MSNBC Guest May Have Just Made the Dumbest Math Error in the History of Cable News

A MSNBC guest endorsed the idea behind a tweet that said billionaire former mayor Michael Bloomberg should have taken the $500 million he spent on his failed presidential bid and given $1 million to every American instead.

New York Times editorial board member Mara Gay discussed the since-deleted Super Tuesday tweet with MSNBC host Brian Williams on Thursday.

“Bloomberg spent $500 million on ads. The U.S. population is 327 million. He could have given each American $1 million and still have money left over, I feel like a $1 million check would be life-changing for people. Yet he wasted it all on ads and STILL LOST,” the post read.

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But neither Gay nor Williams caught the basic math error the original Twitter user had made— disbursing the half a billion dollars spent by Bloomberg would have resulted in each American getting about $1.50.

“It’s an incredible way of putting it,” Williams said, referencing the tweet.

“It’s an incredible way of putting it. It’s true,” Gay agreed.

Gay and Williams were right that the sentiment behind the tweet was “incredible.”

Twitter reacts

Commenters on social media certainly didn’t miss the mistake.

“What is wrong with these people? This would be right here if there were 327 people in the US. And this reflects horribly on the NY Times too. Can someone stop and think for two seconds?” tweeted New Jersey-based writer Michael Safino.

“They can’t be this stupid but yet here we are. Wow, just freaking wow,” said one commenter.

“Here is Brian Williams, a lead anchor at NBC News and Mara Gray, a NY Times Editorial Board Member not passing 3rd grade math. 49 Seconds of stunning TV,” tweeted another.

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One Twitter user said Gray was “so unbelievably wrong I actually questioned if I was losing my marbles and thought I was missing something.”

Cover image: Mara Gay. (Screen grab)

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