Last week, on MSNBC’s program “11th Hour,” hosted by admitted liar and demoted former “NBC Nightly News” anchor Brian Williams, he had a guest, Mara Gay, a member of the New York Times (NYT) editorial board.
The NYT has touted itself as the standard bearer of news and journalism for decades. Can we trust that? This apparently educated NYT editorial board member stated the following on live TV: “[Michael] 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…the $1 million dollar check would be life-changing for most people.”
It sure would, but what would the check really be?
Journalistically, the most positive review is that Williams stated that we “shouldn’t get ahead of the math.” On the pathetic side, he did not call out the obvious, which we should expect from journalists, no matter their political leaning.
Here is the math and I’ll use Gay’s numbers that the U.S. population is 327 million, though it is widely reported that it is 331 million: $500 million divided by 327 million equates to each American getting $1.53 from Bloomberg for his wasted ad spending.
For fun, let’s say Bloomberg, a noted philanthropist, gave his entire fortune reportedly of $56 billion to all Americans, then we would each get a check for $171.25.
Ms. Gay, how can you get it so wrong? A middle school student could do this math.
I’m sure we’d all take the $171.25, but the issue is about ridiculous reporting and, kindly stated, “amateur hour” from those who are supposed to be the pros. People who come across as authority figures, who we should be able to trust – and clearly have not done their homework – should be fired.