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'Are you kidding me?' NYT's Mara Gay blames — what else? — racism for the response to her 'trivial math mistake' on Brian Williams' show

Last week, New York Times editorial board member Mara Gay made a fool of herself on Brian Williams’ MSNBC show when she breathlessly fawned over a tweet that nailed Michael Bloomberg for spending half a billion dollars on campaign ads instead of giving every American $1 million.

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Gay took a lot of heat for that shockingly bad math, but it seemed like most of the heat consisted of jokes about her intelligence (or lack thereof). That’s not nearly as glamorous as making herself into some kind of martyr in the war on racism, though:

Gay’s piece includes four examples of racist comments she received following her MSNBC appearance. She makes it sound as though those kinds of comments, rather than comments pointing out that she just plain sucks at math, made up the bulk of the responses to her “trivial math mistake.” We find that … hard to believe.

But Gay’s found a narrative she likes, one that takes her off the hook for her embarrassing mistake, so she’s gonna lean into it:

I write a lot about the underdog, which tends to make some people feel threatened, or simply uncomfortable. When I appeared on that TV show last week, I had been working for many days interviewing black voters in the South who were determined to defeat Donald Trump, whom they see as the nightmare embodiment of the old hatreds many of them fought to overcome.

Many of those Americans had survived far worse under the racial terror of Jim Crow than anything I can imagine. I thought about the black man I met at the march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala., who had been beaten bloody by the police there half a century ago. I thought about the older black woman who approached me in a Selma coffee shop to tell me she was proud of me. I thought about my father, who grew up enduring the daily indignities of segregated South Carolina and Detroit.

I am here because of them. And there is nothing the haters can do about it.

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Wow. She’s basically the Rosa Parks of mathematical ineptitude.

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Editor’s note: This post has been updated with additional tweets.

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