Times Cheap Shot Backfires

The New York Times went a long way on Wednesday for a cheap shot against Florida Governor Jeb Bush, with brief story titled “Math Question Stumps Jeb Bush”:

At a speech to high school students in Orlando, Gov. Jeb Bush was stumped on a math question from the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test, which he has championed. A student, Luana Marques, 18, posed the question: “What are the angles on a three-four-five-triangle?” The governor gave a steely grin. “The angles would be – if I was going to guess,” he said. “Three-four-five, Three-four-five. I don’t know, 125, 90 and whatever remains on 180?” Ms. Marques had the correct answer: 30, 60 and 90. “The fact that a 51-year-old man can’t answer a question is really not relevant,” Mr. Bush, a Republican, said. “You’re still going to have to take the FCAT and you’re still going to have to pass it in order to get a high school degree.”

Sure, we get the point, Republicans are all dumb. Of course, not many people can do geometry on the fly, including, apparently, New York Times reporters and editors. Today’s Corrections section confesses error:

A report in the National Briefing column on Wednesday about a math question from Florida’s Comprehensive Assessment Test that stumped Gov. Jeb Bush, when posed to him by a student, misstated the answer. The angles on a 3-4-5 triangle are 90 degrees, 53.1 degrees and 36.9 degrees


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