Michael Bloomberg spent $500 million on advertising, only to be soundly defeated and humiliated in his attempt to become the next president. It was an impressive bit of frivolous spending that would have shocked even Yankees or Red Sox ownership groups.
The price tag, of course, is a relative drop in the bucket for a multibillionaire. Still, it's fun to imagine all the different ways the $500 million could have been used. For instance, he could have given all of his fellow 327 million Americans a check for $1.52.
Freelance writer and Washington Post contributor Mekita Rivas tried to make this point on Twitter yesterday, but had a bit of trouble with the math. The harmless tweet gained traction and provided merriment and would have been lost to history if not for an inexplicable decision by MSNBC's The 11th Hour With Brian Williams to use it as a graphic.
Simply astounding. You so desperately want either party to snap out of it and realize the error of their ways, but it never happens.
Consider the number of people this had to get by to make it on-air. There's Mara Gay, the New York Times editorial board member who thought it prudent, the graphics department, several producers, Williams himself, and the list goes on.
And, look, this isn't all that scandalous. Bloomberg essentially light a tremendous amount of money on fire for a doomed vanity project. One could argue he should give every American a million bucks. Hell, it'd help me out of any number of jams I currently find myself in. But if he were to do that, he would have to part with, per a handy online calculator, $3.27e+14! Whatever that number is.
Cable news: probably not great for our country in the long-term but home to tremendous content.