Discussion: Is Nate Silver About To Lose A Top Editor?

Discussion for article #231040

Filed alongside questions such as “Is Wayne Brady gonna have to choke a bitch?”

Who cares. Nate Silver lost my respect when he turned into a prissy little snot-nosed stats diva who has inane tweet-fights with fellow prissy little snot-nosed stats divas. Fucking ridiculous human being.


Is Nate Silver About To Lose A Top Editor?

Should anyone care?


I long for the days of “Poblano.” Back when the data was the true story instead of the cult of personality that has become Nate Silver.

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Big time sissy fight. Too much slapping and pinching and scratching.


Seriously. When is the new Tweet Fighter coming out for X1 and PS4? I heard he’s going to be a new character practicing stat kwan do. Ooooh, just look at the numbers fly. They’re subtitling it “Beyond TwitterDome”…2 men enter, both men embarrass themselves.


All he does is give numbers without context or passion. No original work that you can’t do with an iPad. Boring.

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I didn’t know that 538 was owned by ESPN. That explains a lot about what it has become.


So, an actual print media job appears where there ostensibly are none.

Good for him.

Yeah…Silver started out doing data analysis for baseball I believe, so reading the numbers for sports is his passion. He decided after all the popularity after 2012 that he was going to take another dive into it, and sold ESPN on the deal.

I thought it was a pretty crazy idea at the time, too. Because his popularity wasn’t with the typical football fan…it was political watchers.

This past election cycle didn’t help, either. Him and ever other prognosticator and pollster failed miserably. Nobody was even remotely in the ball park regarding the size of the republican victories.

My poll is bigger than Nate’s poll.

In fairness, a poll analyst is only as good as his polls. It was the polls that overestimated Dem turnout and threw off all prediction models, not Silver’s model per se.

But regardless, I think Silver has been hugely overhyped. He’s a good data cruncher. He’s not a magical seer. And he doesn’t have the broader experience to be a political analyst. His attempts at wide analysis and prognostication have not been impressive. Remember him explaining why Santorum would be a stronger general election candidate than Romney (because he would supposedly gain working class voters without losing any Romney voters) or how Mike Huckabee was the most electable GOP contender?

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When I see headlines in the form of questions like this one about niche topics especially, my automatic response is “I dunno. Why the hell are you asking me?”

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If you’ve read Silver’s book, then you know that he has a lot of loopy ideas for reforming elections, etc. It’s a mix of pop-market econ-lite and what he learned doing online poker. Silver did done thing well (aggregegate data) beyond that, there isn’t much there. Naturally, this has been a failure. he was much better doing a column once in awhile for the Times.

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I agree. Personally, I find value in his number crunching, but its always just another data point to consider. The big problem I have (besides the prima dona persona he takes on with his petty little twitter fights) is that he does step into the pundit role, and then denies vehemently he is doing so. Even more troubling, is a worry that in his “special sauce” he makes in his own punditry these days.

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I enjoy 538.

I need to be up on politics, and I enjoy football
and Nate has good, fact-based stuff on both…

Do I give a damn about talking heads damning 538? Not really.

Nate is clearly a terrific statistician, but also a lousy administrator.

Dallas… really??? Have you ever lived in Dallas??? uhg!

Why are you wasting time and space publishing rumors about your competition? I’m sure the TPM editors find the gossip fascinating, and I can appreciate the schadenfreude angle given Nate’s bizarre behavior of late. But please leave the story to Romanesko and Buzzfeed till there’s an actual shake-up at 538. Printing this story at this point feels unseemly for TPM.

My take is that this “data driven” journalism needs a an over-arching mission statement that defines why it is needed. Just tossing out reports of various facets of our culture with some vague stats attached is pretty weak. The real mother lode to be mined is to offer data driven analysis of the major issues, offering a less narrative dependent explanation of what makes our society tick. Essentially, debunking the dumbed down narratives that typically pass for MSM reporting.

It seems like the corporate profiteers at ESPN really wanted some soda-pop fizzy pop culture web-in to pop into being by employing some “use all of the pig but the squeal” approach to assembling a dumbed down vehicle for the masses who lack the NUMERACY process statistical data.