Why Ari Fleischer Can’t Count Properly (When Tweeting About President Obama)

By Keith Kloor | September 25, 2013 12:52 am

Lots of people are amused by this tweet from former Bush spokesman Ari Fleischer:

Many are chortling that Fleischer has a math deficiency. Actually, I think the recent findings by Dan Kahan and colleagues (discussed here by Chris Mooney and here by David Ropeik) better speak to his numeracy error.


CATEGORIZED UNDER: cultural cognition, politics, select
  • http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/neuroskeptic/ Neuroskeptic

    Anyone could slip up counting characters in a tweet.

    What makes this disturbing and hilarious is that having done so Fleischer considered it more likely that Obama has a special twitter over-ride, than that he, Fleischer, miscounted.

    • Buddy199

      NS, he was kidding, obviously. Personally, I find Obama’s tweet-claim about premiums disturbing and not at all hilarious.

      • byobg

        How is that a joke?
        Seriously, like if I responded to your post by saying that you had misspelled “Obama,” would that be a funny joke? In what sense?
        Because see, if you actually *had* misspelled “Obama,” and that was all I followed up about, that would suggest that I didn’t have anything else to take issue with in your post.

  • RobLeon

    Fleischer made a jackass of himself. The mockery is well deserved.

  • mem_somerville

    I can math. I’ve been part of the Massachusetts “Romneycare” experiment since it began. My premiums are lower than they were in 2006 (still) and I have more coverage (I didn’t used to carry any prescription coverage) a lot more choice than I used to.

    I have the evidence to show this too.

    But as we know, facts and data have little value in these discussions.

    • Buddy199

      On a national scale, theory is going to run into reality very soon, one way or the other.

      • mem_somerville

        Yeah, this is true. And I look forward to it. For those of us who had no, or precarious and expensive, options before–I think reality will be swell.

    • harrywr2

      I can math too

      My wife an I voth quit smoking in January in hopes of qualifying for the ‘non-smoking insurance rate’ which would have saved up $200/month in health insurance premiums.

      We’ll we qualify now for the non-smoking rate…the premiums however are going to be $300/month more and our deductible has gone from $3500 a piece to $5000 a piece.

      So please help me with the math…a $200/month savings that we would have been entitled too without Obamacare has now become an additional $300/month expense.

      We also have an additional $1500/piece deductible.

      Not to mention our ‘co-pay’ has gone from 20% to 30% after deductable.

      We’ve both always had health coverage…we are seriously considering just paying the fine and going ‘bare’.

      Obamacare…turning financial responsible indivduals into criminals…

  • Terry Cooney

    Did Discover report the miss-count on the number of United States Obama visited? Miss-counting characters pales in comparison.

  • bobito

    It is amazing how many different ways people can see what they want to see. If a person isn’t actively fighting to identify where their biases are affecting their thought they are a slave to their biases…

  • labman57

    As GW Bush’s Press Secretary, Fleischer was not accustomed to getting his facts straight before making public comments at press conferences.

    Apparently, old bad habits are hard to break.

    Of course, the right wing blogosphere continues to adhere to their fundamental philosophy ofspreading disinformation: when fact-devoid rumors are disproven, ignore the facts and perpetuate the rumors.


Discover's Newsletter

Sign up to get the latest science news delivered weekly right to your inbox!


Collide-a-Scape is an archived Discover blog. Keep up with Keith's current work at http://www.keithkloor.com/

About Keith Kloor

Keith Kloor is a NYC-based journalist, and an adjunct professor of journalism at New York University. His work has appeared in Slate, Science, Discover, and the Washington Post magazine, among other outlets. From 2000 to 2008, he was a senior editor at Audubon Magazine. In 2008-2009, he was a Fellow at the University of Colorado’s Center for Environmental Journalism, in Boulder, where he studied how a changing environment (including climate change) influenced prehistoric societies in the U.S. Southwest. He covers a wide range of topics, from conservation biology and biotechnology to urban planning and archaeology.


See More

Collapse bottom bar