MSNBC anchor Brian Williams is getting roundly mocked on social media after an embarrassing math blunder on his show The 11th Hour. The gaffe has not only caused “Brian Williams” to go viral on Twitter with more than 32,000 tweets also acknowledging the accompanying hashtag “math is hard.”
The segment, which aired last night, dissected the failed 2020 presidential campaign of former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg. Bloomberg has been rumored to have spent around $500 million in advertisements alone during his bid, with some politicos even estimating the three-time mayor spent around $1 billion in total.
Williams and his guest, Mara Gay — who is an editorial board member at The New York Times — discussed huge expenditure and then cited a tweet that wrongly claimed that Bloomberg could have given $1 million to each American instead of funding his run.
“He could have given each American $1 million and still have money left over,” wrote Mekita Rivas in the original tweet, who boasts bylines at The Washington Post and Glamour Magazine in her Twitter bio.
In reality, Bloomberg could have given each American a little more than $1.50, far from the one million dollar claim.
However, instead of recognizing the math error, both Williams and Grey confirmed the tweet.
“When I read [the tweet] tonight on social media, it sort of all became clear,” Williams said while reading out Rivas’s claim.
“It’s an incredible way of putting it,” he concluded.
MSNBC claims that if Bloomberg’s campaign expenditures were allocated to Americans, we’d get $1 million each.
Or, in reality, about $1.50 each. Enough for, maybe, a child-sized hot cocoa at Starbucks?
Pesky math! 1/3…pic.twitter.com/5oahsbbOee
— Steve Cortes (@CortesSteve) March 6, 2020
Social media quickly picked up on the error, with many users poking fun at the newsman and editorial board writer.
Thank you Brian Williams for utterly destroying all my fears about helping my kid with their math homework someday. I’ll be fine.
— Matt Braunger (@Braunger) March 6, 2020
Someone send Brian Williams a “MATH” lapel pin.
— abhi nemani (@abhinemani) March 6, 2020
But others on social media have suggested that what is most alarming is that not a single editor on the network show realized the mistake.
“The really scary part about this botched math story is how many people had to see and approve it before it even went on the air,” wrote conservative pundit Wayne Dupree in a tweet.
Though Williams has not made any statements on the gaffe, Gay did poke fun of herself on Twitter, joking that she needed to buy a “calculator” and ending her tweet with the embarrassed monkey emoji.
Buying a calculator, brb ????
— Mara Gay (@MaraGay) March 6, 2020
In addition, Rivas changed her Twitter feed to private and added “I’m bad at math” to her bio.
This is not the first time that Williams has made headlines. The newsman was fired from his Nightly News position following reports that he had both fabricated and embellished a number of stories throughout his career.
In addition, a number of MSNBC hosts and guests have been in the news in recent weeks. Hardball host Chris Matthews announced his retirement on his Monday show following allegations of misogynistic conduct.
In addition, MSNBC contributor Jason Johnson was suspended after claiming that “racist white liberals” supported Bernie Sanders, as was previously reported by The Inquisitr.