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NYT’s Mara Gay plays victim card after sucking at math

Mara Gay has emerged, relatively unscathed from her embarrassing viral moment to explain to all of us in a new New York Times op-ed that everyone made fun of for her failure at math because they were … you guessed it: racist!

Barrett Wilson Montreal QC

Last week, MSNBC’s Brian Williams and New York Times Editorial Board Member Mara Gay went viral when they dedicated an entire news segment to a tweet from writer Mekita Rivas.

Rivas tweet read: “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 most people. Yet he wasted it all on ads and STILL LOST.”

Instead of correcting the extremely dubious math of Rivas, Williams and Gay went along with it as if it was a super great point. “It kind of all became clear!” exclaimed Williams. “It’s an incredible way of putting it!”

Gay concurred: “It IS an incredible way of putting it!”

By the next morning, those who had noticed that this math didn’t make sense had lots of fun poking at the experts for making such an obvious gaff. The Twitterverse took the opportunity to punch up.

Now, Gay has emerged, relatively unscathed from her embarrassing viral moment to explain to all of us in a brand new New York Times op-ed that everyone made fun of her failure at math because they were … you guessed it: racist!

Gay refers to the mockery she received on Twitter as a “deluge of hate.” She quotes the trolly messages that flooded her DMs.

But she’s not unique for getting tweets making fun of her. Every public figure gets that. People who put themselves out there, on tv, in writing, on radio, on twitter, get hate from trolls who want attention and don’t have enough nerve, drive, or talent to express themselves in a constructive way.

These people suck, no doubt. And they were wrong to use racial insults against Gay. That doesn’t mean that it was racist to point out the math error made by Williams, Gay, and the producing staff that fed them the tweet for on air discussion.

“Unfortunately,” Gay writes, “quite a few Americans can tell you what it’s like to be the target of a Twitter mob over a gaffe. My great sin was trivial, harmless, silly. What’s it like when people are trying to cancel you for a math mistake? Weird, and maddening and painful.”

We’re pretty sure that Gay was never in danger of being cancelled, but it was important for many of us to point out that Williams and Gay were representative of the establishment media who all too often talk down to their audience and mock and denigrate those who they consider “deplorable.”

The reason for the loud voices was that this little moment of sucking hard at math confirmed that these elite talking heads were not as smart as they think they are. Also, it was just straight-up funny.

One wonders if Gay thinks Twitter mobs are justified for other things, over anonymous accusations for example, or if she thinks there are mobbings that do serve a purpose. The clear incompetence with figures exhibited by Williams, Gay, and the production team, stands on its own. Maybe it was silly, as Gay says, or maybe it was an obvious willingness on the part of these pundits to believe words just because they saw them written down.

If you’re going to go on TV and talk to millions of people about economics, learn to do some super basic math in your head. And if you screw up, and people notice, it’s because it’s obvious, not because they’re racist.


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