Last week New York Times editorial board member and writer Mara Gay appeared on MSNBC’s “The 11th Hour with Brian Williams” to talk politics. Former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg’s failed campaign naturally came up, as did the ridiculous amount of money he spent on ads for the race. It was mentioned that the amount of money spent, a whopping $500 million if evenly distributed throughout the US population of 327 million, would give every individual $1 million.
Now, most you reading this will instantly know that the math here is simply incorrect. But instead of correcting it or even acknowledging the mathematical error, both Williams and Gay continued talking. Gay even said, “It’s an incredible way of putting it. It’s true. It’s disturbing.”
Naturally, both Gay and Williams have had a fair share of heat thrown in their direction for their lack of math skills or just being oblivious to what was actually said. But instead of taking the criticism and moving on, Gay has turned it into an example of both a political and racial hate crime because now it apparently racist to notice someone’s errors.
She even went so far as to write an entire column about how victimized she is and how unjust it is because of the color of her skin.
She wrote, “I am a black woman who writes for the New York Times and appears on national TV. And if you’re black in America, no matter who you are, what you accomplish, or how hard you work, there will always be people to remind you that you are black, that you are “just a ni**er.”
Gay noted that the media, starting with “the right-wing, and then by seemingly everyone else,” celebrated her “trivial” mistake and made her the “target of a Twitter mob.”
But as people pointed out, this is not a race issue, and neither is a political one.
Gay didn’t get corrected or even chastised by social media users because she is black. She was criticized because she is a successful and highly recognized editorial member of one of the most widely known and acclaimed news outlets in the world. And as such, she should be held to a particular set of standards, namely that she would actually edit things before she puts them out there for all the world to hear and see.
After all, isn’t it a reporter/writer’s job to fact check and vet topics before they are published or made public?
Furthermore, doesn’t this particular job description basically come with the knowledge that not everyone will like what you say and hear? I would expect that this is not the first time her work has been faulted and not likely to be the last either. If Gay can’t handle it, maybe she should think about another line of work.
And I remember Gay not being the only one involved in the situation, nor was she only one hackled for it. Brian Williams also stated these numbers and took them for fact. And he, like Gay, was also given an endless supply of criticism. But you don’t see him making statements or writing op-ed pieces about he feels wronged.
Why? Because it has nothing to do with race, sexuality, or even politics.
One of the harsher statements and one Gay directly referred to in her column asked: “how did this end up on TV?” Gay made it sound like it was a ring wing pundit or something similar that made the comment. However, it was actually Andrew Kaczynski, a well-known contributor to the very anti-Trump CNN.
It only became a racial and political issue when Gay made it that way, claiming that her “people have been through worse than a Twitter mob.”
Well, maybe Gay now knows what Trump feels like when he makes up every morning and sees the onslaught that the media has thrown at him over every word, every decision, and every single step he takes. When he misspells a word, Twitter goes crazy with his supposed stupidity. When he says a word wrong or makes a confusing statement, the world riles up to tell us he is racist or a bigot.
Is it right that Gay’s mistake got blown out of proportion? Absolutely not. But at this age, it happens to everyone at some point. So stop whining and blaming it on race. Instead, try doing your damn job, Gay.