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Pelosi, Schweikert agree: Reporters are bad at math

House Democratic Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi thinks reporters stink at math. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images) House Democratic leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi thinks reporters stink at math. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

One thing that always seems to unite Democrats and Republicans: bashing the media.

And on Wednesday we heard a line from House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif) that reminded us that no matter how much the two parties might disagree over politics, policy and, well, just about everything else, they share a common disdain for the Fourth Estate.

During a press conference, Pelosi sort of apologized for using figures in discussing the partisan breakdown of the vote last week to raise the debt limit. And that’s apparently because she feared such things might only confuse the poor number-illiterate scribes. “I know maybe you don’t like numbers because you’re into words and stuff,” she told reporters during her weekly briefing.

Which puts her on exactly the same page as Arizona Republican Rep. Dave Schweikert, who professed amazement earlier this month that reporters possessed such a meager grasp of numbers that they would fall for the White House’s argument in favor of increasing the debt limit.

“I’m stunned you all fall for it in the press,” he told reporters, according to Slate’s Dave Weigel. “None of you were math majors, were you?”


Emily Heil is the co-author of the Reliable Source and previously helped pen the In the Loop column with Al Kamen.

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