No mere math mistake

Mara Gay of the New York Times made a facially absurd math error” on MSNBC, aided and abetted by Brian Williams.

This being 2020, America, and even Donald Trump’s America, some in the ensuing Twitter mob drew sweeping conclusions about race from the incident, so Gay has her Get Out of Jail Free card now.

But I reiterate that this was more than a math error: it was a stark, raving absurdity to entertain for more than a moment the possibility that Michael Bloomberg could have given every American a million dollars with what he spent on his failed Presidential run, and the error was material as Gay and Williams were making the point that there’s too much money in politics.

The error is so absurd that anyone should have double-checked it before repeating it — just as one should not draw racialized conclusions from this especially where a white bread MSNBC personnage was just as aburdly wrong as a black Times Executive Editor.

Subsidiary lesson: 24 x 7 x 365 news coverage eventually makes fools of all participants.

March 12, 2020

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