Can someone please buy Brian Williams a calculator? During Tuesday's Nightly News story about the President's proposed spending freeze, Brian informed us that after exempting defense, medicare, social security and the other untouchable departments, "That leaves just 17% of a $3.5 trillion budget subject to this spending freeze...." An accompanying pie chart graphic gave us the same information: The $3.5 trillion budget "pie" had a slice sticking out that was labeled "17%" and "$477 billion". If Brian had bothered to check his math, he would have realized that 17% of $3.5 trillion is $595 billion, not $477 billion. Any third grader with a calculator could have figured that out. My advice to the Nightly News producers: Go out and hire a third grader with a calculator.
And can someone also buy Brian a dictionary? At the 7-minute mark of Wednesday's broadcast, Brian gave us "one last reminder" about NBC's coverage of the State of the Union speech later that night. Then, at the 28-minute mark, Brian again gave us "one last reminder" about the State of the Union. If Brian doesn't understand the meaning of the word "last", he should check with Mr. Webster.
Finally, someone should buy the Nightly News producers some eyeglasses. On Friday's story about the Toyota recall, we saw an interview with Matt DeLorenzo, who was identified as the "Road And Track Editor-In-Chief". Meanwhile, the wallpaper behind DeLorenzo clearly read "Road & Track". If the company chooses to use an ampersand as part of their title, the Nightly News producers should use one, too.