Friday, March 6, 2020

MSNBC's Brian Williams A Victim Of Numbers

                 Brian Williams is the gift that keeps on giving. He is to inadvertent humor as turkey is to Thanksgiving dinner. The host of MSNBC’s “The 11th Hour with Brian Williams” recently quoted a tweet claiming that former 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg “could have given each American $1 million and still have money left over” during an interview with New York Times editorial board member Mara Gay. Gay referenced the tweet and Williams quickly said, “I’ve got it, let’s put it up on the screen” as a smirking Gay looked on with anticipation. He added, “When I read it, ahhh, tonight on social media, it kind of all became clear.” Apparently, that was not the case. The tweet, from journalist Mekita Rivas, reads, “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.” Williams then opined, “It’s an incredible way of putting it,” to which Gay replied, “It’s an incredible way of putting it. It’s true. It’s disturbing. It does…it does suggest-- you know-- what we’re talking about here, which is, there’s, there’s too much money in politics.” That’s as may be, but it certainly suggests that most journalists are morons. Bloomberg could have given everyone in America a million dollars if there were 327 people in the country, not 327 million. In reality, he could have given every American about $1.53, which is significantly less than $1 million, and probably not “life-changing” for anyone.
                Bloomberg did spend over $500 million to capture a victory in…American Samoa…before dropping out of the race. There were 200,110 souls in American Samoa at last (official) count, so Bloomberg could have given each one of them $2,498.63, which is still a long way from $1 million.
                Williams later apologized, citing his lack of math competency and saying: “Turns out Mara and I got the same grades at math. I'm speaking of the tweet we both misinterpreted. He could give each American $1. Again, I didn't have it in high school. I don't have it tonight. I stand corrected. Sorry about that. The tweet is wrong." How is it possible that a “journalist” posted a tweet like that, and that a mainstream media news anchor and New York Times editorial board member could not see the obvious? 500 divided by 327 and 500 million divided by 327 million are essentially the same basic equation. Anyone should, at a glance, at least know that the answer will be one point something. Not a million. And the media constantly complain about being labeled “fake news.”
                Perhaps Williams was responsible for coming up with the figure Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden recently used to decry gun deaths in the country. While campaigning in South Carolina, Biden said that “150 million” Americans had been killed by guns just since 2007. That’s nearly half of the population gunned down in the past 13 years alone. One would think that the fact nearly every other person in the nation was gone should have been quite noticeable to all of us, even before Biden pointed this out. But even Creepy Joe was only off by a factor of 1,000, not 1,000,000, as were Rivas, Gay and Williams.
                Williams has previously prevaricated on a number of occasions…and been caught doing so more than once. In 2013 he told David Letterman how he was on a helicopter that was shot down over Iraq. The only problem with that story is it wasn’t true.
                Williams has no business being a news anchor. On the other hand, what else could he do? Math teacher is obviously out. CPA? Would you let him prepare your tax return? I don't think he could get a job at Wal-Mart. Would you let him count back your change? 


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