Blogs Jul 23, 2013 at 9:26 am


Being right all the time can make you seem like an asshole to people who are wrong all the time.
Isn't this we're-dumbshits-behind-the-curtain item good to see in a big old institution like the Times? It's news to me that many of the old guard didn't like Nate, so I'm glad to learn of some reasons he may have been glad to find a better opportunity.
Nate Silver changed the ball game forever. Moneyball is a good metaphor.
Of course pundits and "high-profile" political journalists hate him, because he shows everyone that they're full of shit.
Yeah, not super clear on how the Moneyball metaphor isn't actually just an endorsement.

It's not super surprising that Nate Silver's "Obama wins, this is dumb" approach was unpopular with the crowd-milkers who wanted to sell a nail-biter.
Translation: he made them look bad.
What @1 said.

Also, he stole all their thunder because he predicted highly accurate results far enough in advance that the "traditional" journalists could no longer build up anticipation.

What he really did was cast a big light on the fact that the News isn't really for information anymore and hasn't been for a long time. It's purely about entertainment. He made them all look bad in multiple ways.
Most journalists and opinionists (including Stranger staff) were lit majors etc who avoided maths as far as humanly possible. The life-long aversion to empirics is no surprise.

I took one prominent J-ster to task for using "millions" and "billions" interchangeably. He responded "it's still an enormous [budget item] ... I've never been a numbers guy anyway".
The biggest problem with our culture is the unwillingness to admit that we are wrong. I hate living in a culture where the truth is secondary to personal opinion. Data is data, and not to be ignored.
So, let's get this straight:
1. Nate Silver was accurate;
2. Nate Silver was honest;
3. Nate Silver didn't fit into the culture at The New York Times.

Ergo, the culture of The New York Times doesn't allow for accuracy and honesty.

Glad we finally got that straight.
What @1 said.

Like his Superbowl predictions were that right?

Drooling idiots like T. Mustache Friedman are only comfortable talking to drooling idiots like D. Bobo Brooks. There's a surprise.

Ooh, who do you think the "three high-profile political journalists" who objected to Silver were? Lemme guess: Janet Elder has to be one of them.

Of course, if Silver didn't get along with the NYT reporters, he's going to have a lot more trouble getting along with the gigantic blowhard Olbermann.

I also hope he doesn't get bogged down in sports reporting; it's just not that interesting, and there are plenty of other people mining that field extremely well. One of the things that made Silver stand out in politics is that he was the only one doing that work; in sports he's one of a thousand, some of whom are better at it than he is.

That and trivia like the Oscars. The thing that may be difficult for him to grasp about the Oscars is that people don't actually care who wins; they only care about the dresses.
Does she realize that the Brad Pitt "character" is an actual person, who has been a wildly successful baseball GM?
@15: I don't think so. Which just adds delicious layers of humor to this story.
Being too lazy to read the links myself, are any details of Silver's new deal available? I'd guess he doesn't have an iron-clad, exclusive five-year contract. Interest in FiveThirtyEight wouldn't be that high until Spring 2016, anyway, so I'll bet that someone (maybe not the NYT) will have him back on the politics beat then.
People can get so ugly when they're feeling defensive.

Nate Silver is a treasure. I hope he's off to find better company.
@ 17, it would get very interesting in the late summer of 2014, too.
I agree that most political reporters and pundits are hacks, but can we stop conflating shoddy news blurbs and think pieces with print journalism in general? I have yet to see the "new media" or the "blogosphere" create anything like real long-form journalism. I keep hearing about how print is dead, and yet bloggers and glorified Internet news aggregators keep cribbing from them or falling back on their reporting. I'm glad people still read credible newspapers (online and in print) and journalistic magazines. There are enough ignorant blowhards and know-it-alls who've never read anything over 1000 words on the Internet. The whole traditional "newspapers=propaganda" line is getting a little stale too, especially in light of the fact that many people who tout it get their news from shoddy news leeches like Truth-out, Huffington or other partisan horseshit websites.
Damn kid. Get off my lawn.
@21 Mid-term elections don't have as much interest (as demonstrated by lower turnout) and the relatively few polls for House and Senate races provide less grist for Silver's mill. So, while the mid-term elections are obviously important to governance, I'm sure traffic at FiveThirtyEight would be way off.

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