Brian Williams may need to go back to math class.
On MSNBC on Thursday night, the news anchor was talking to The New York Times editorial board member Mara Gay about the $500 million in ad spending by Mike Bloomberg during his presidential race.
Some viewers raised an eyebrow or two, though, when Williams shared a tweet to demonstrate just how much Bloomberg had spent.
“Let’s put it up on screen,” Williams said of the tweet. “When I read it tonight on social media, it kind of all became clear.”
The tweet claimed, “Bloomberg spent $500 million on ads. The U.S. population is 327 million. He could have given each American $1 million check and still have money left over. I feel like a $1 million check would be life-changing for most people. Yet he wasted it all on ads and STILL LOST.”
Williams reiterated, “He could have given each American one… million… dollars, and have had lunch money left over.”
Gay agreed, “It’s an incredible way of putting it, it’s true. It’s disturbing.”
But as many viewers quickly pointed out, $500 million divided by the population of 327 million people would mean Bloomberg giving each person just $1.53.
Gay, for her part laughed off the gaffe in a tweet.
Later on his show, Williams noted the mistake.
“Turns out Mara and I got the same grades at math,” he said. “I’m speaking of the tweet we both misinterpreted. He could give each American $1.”
He added, “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.”