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Brian Williams' Bad Math Made for a Hilarious Cable News Moment

These numbers about Mike Bloomberg's campaign don't add up

Amanda Bell

It's hard out there for a cable news anchor -- especially these days, when disinformation runs rampant. But no matter how overwhelming the current news cycle is, what happened onThe 11th Hour with Brian Williams on Thursday night was nothing short of hilarious, and Twitter is having a field day.

On Thursday's episode of the MSNBC program, anchor Brian Williams spoke with Mara Gay of the New York Times editorial board about the cost of Michael Bloomberg's now-suspended presidential campaign. According to CBS News, the former New York City mayor spent over $570 million in ads, which works out to about $18 million per each of the 31 delegates he earned on Super Tuesday.

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But when discussing what else Bloomberg could have put that money toward, Williams and Gay's math missed the mark. The two pulled up a tweet from writer Mekita Rivas that suggested Bloomberg could have used his $500 million to provide $1 million to every American with money to spare. The problem is that those numbers aren't even close to accurate. Williams even mentioned doing the math!

As social media users quickly pointed out, Bloomberg would have had to spend about $327 trillion to give everyone in the country that sum.

The show's official Twitter account later issued a correction, saying, "Tonight on the air we quoted a tweet that relied on bad math. We corrected the error after the next commercial break and have removed it from later editions of tonight's program. We apologize for the error."

But the best reaction of all was that of Gay herself, who had fun with the flub and tweeted that she's planning to make an investment of her own: in a calculator.

The 11th Hour with Brian Williams airs weeknights on MSNBC at 11/10c.