Then they came for Nate Silver

Apparently, Bobo launched an attack on Nate Silver a few days ago. You know the drill: numbers can only tell so much, we Burkeans are never too sure of anything (except, paradoxically, the awesomeness of Burkean skepticism).

Not surprisingly, it’s being widely heh-indeeded by many in the establishment media. Here’s the New Yorker’s John Cassidy spending 300 words saying “I agree with Bobo…oh and also too I followed markets once so I know something about stuff like this I think.” Here’s Charles Lane re-tweeting Binyamin Appelbaum’s heh-indeed of Cassidy’s piece.

It’s natural that establishment pundits would dislike Silver, of course. He deals in numbers, whereas they are quantitative illiterates. He made his bones in the grimy world of sports statistics, they made theirs doing respectable things like blowing Marty Peretz (Lane) or writing comedic books about yuppies (Brooks). So they come from different places than he does.

This is about establishment media defending its turf, its position, its prestige. Fortunately, all of that is under siege. Once the American public was force-fed conventional wisdom by an establishment media that was profitable on its own terms; now people can read blogs and outsider pundits like Silver, and print media is hemorrhaging money.

And writers like Lane and Cassidy and Brooks have nothing to stand on but their good names. They haven’t risen to the top of a corporate hierarchy or law firm, they aren’t scholars or scientists of distinction, they have no special technical skills of any kind.

When you have a comfortable position and no convincing reason why you should keep that comfortable position, you are reduced to screaming RESPECT MAH AUTHORITAH. And counting on your fellow parasites to heh-indeed your screams.

None of this is to say that I worship Nate Silver or consider him infallible. But he did call the popular election in the last election with in a couple tenths of a percentage point and got 49 out of 50 states right too.

What has Bobo or Charles Lane ever forecast that accurately?

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164 replies
  1. 1
    AA+ Bonds says:

    Brooks still has plenty of time to endorse Obama

  2. 2
    JustBeingPedantic says:

    It’s something of a stretch to call Nate Silver an outsider pundit given his perch at nytimes.com, but the man certainly knows his math and he can count to 270. The astonishing thing is that Bobo et al. don’t seem to be able to count at all.

  3. 3
    scottinnj says:

    And not only that Silver is Castrati Man

    http://www.examiner.com/articl.....b_articles

    “Nate Silver is a man of very small stature, a thin and effeminate man with a soft-sounding voice that sounds almost exactly like the “Mr. New Castrati” voice used by Rush Limbaugh on his program. In fact, Silver could easily be the poster child for the New Castrati in both image and sound. Nate Silver, like most liberal and leftist celebrities and favorites, might be of average intelligence but is surely not the genius he’s made out to be. His political analyses are average at best and his projections, at least this year, are extremely biased in favor of the Democrats.”

  4. 4
    schrodinger's cat says:

    I have no idea who John Cassidy is, but Bobo has a good name? may be among totebaggers. No other mainstream punditubbie is mocked more than Bobo, well may be MoU. I don’t think he is all that well liked among greater Wingnuttia either.

  5. 5
    Uncle Ebeneezer says:

    Most importantly, Silver did the unspeakable…predicted a major election with great accuracy and detail. I know many people who are currently feel ike “who cares what Chris Matthews et al, say about the election, according to Nate Silver…” And these are people who DID listen to Tweety-wisdom just a mere 4 years ago.

    If the statistics of baseball provided such accurate prediction of the World Series, you better believe Joe Buck would be hating on the statistician for making the holy horse-race narrative to be obsolete.

  6. 6
    PreservedKillick says:

    Sounds familiar. Exactly what they said when the stats guys were upending baseball. Of course the villagers don’t like this. It gets in the way of their horserace reporting.

    As the saying goes, nothing ruins a good story like numbers.

  7. 7
    Jay in Oregon says:

    @scottinnj:
    Says the guy that thinks that Romney is going to swing Hawaii over 30 points to go red in 2012.

    But yeah, Silver’s model is biased. Sure.

  8. 8
    Hill Dweller says:

    I think Silver has tried to play nice with the Establishment during this cycle, but they’ve still turned on him.

    On Maher’s show last night, Silver basically shit on Willard’s chances to win the EC and/or PV. He also took a shot a Gallup, wingnuts, who loved him in 2010, and the media for pushing the Mitt-mentum horseshit.

    I’ve been critical of Silver for some of his horse race coverage, but he looked like he was tired of playing that game on Maher’s show.

  9. 9
    amk says:

    a couple tents of a percentage point

    needs fixing.

  10. 10
    TaMara (BHF) says:

    Nate Silver and 538 are my ‘happy place’ I go there several times a day to reduce my blood pressure.

  11. 11
    Cacti says:

    Sam Wang has taken to mocking Bobo and the Village over at PEC, and refers to their innumeracy as “Ro-mentum”.

  12. 12
    amk says:

    @Hill Dweller:

    he looked like he was tired of playing that game

    Giordano warned of this way back.

  13. 13
    Paul says:

    Apparently, Bobo launched an attack on Nate Silver a few days ago.

    Not overly chocking considering he is part of the anti-science party that thinks global warming and evolution are part of a made up hoax.

    At least bobo is consistent.

  14. 14
    lamh35 says:

    OT, but Obama just now in New Hampshire today.

    “…he (Romney) raised fees to get a birth certificate, which would have been expensive for me…” Obama on Romney’s fee-raising as governor.

    Line or not, the man sure knows how to give ’em.

  15. 15
    Cacti says:

    @Hill Dweller:

    I’ve been critical of Silver for some of his horse race coverage, but he looked like he was tired of playing that game on Maher’s show.

    Since Nate became an employee of the NYT, his commentary sometimes parrots the worst of Villager conventional wisdom.

    But I don’t doubt his scruples as a statistician.

  16. 16
    The Dangerman says:

    Isn’t Brooks shitting on the hand that feeds him (i.e., the NYT)? Seems like he may want to look at who signs his paychecks.

  17. 17
    schrodinger's cat says:

    When you don’t like the message, attack the messenger, its the game Republicans have played and been good at, for a long time now.

  18. 18
  19. 19
    PeakVT says:

    Here’s a long interview of Nate Silver on Fresh Air.

  20. 20
    Old Dan and Little Ann says:

    @Hill Dweller: Nate’s line that “Gallup is the 5th doctor in the 4 out of 5 doctor’s polled” made me laugh.

  21. 21
    scav says:

    @Cacti: I have so fallen into geeklove with Sam Wang’s site. The landfall graphic today pushed me completely over the edgo and the RoRoRomenentum stuff had me teetering.

  22. 22
    Death Panel Truck says:

    But he did call the popular election in the last election with in a couple tenths of a percentage point and got 49 out of 50 states right too.

    Sam Wang was more accurate than Silver.

  23. 23
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    Any possibility that this might induce some brain hemorrhage? Of course it’s totally biased, but what isn’t after all?

  24. 24
  25. 25
    Hill Dweller says:

    @Cacti: Silver didn’t even attempt to push any Village bullshit last night. In fact, he was shitting on the Village, Mitt, douchebags on the twitter machine and wingnuts.

    I had the impression Silver was tired of playing their game.

  26. 26
    Chris says:

    @JustBeingPedantic:

    The astonishing thing is that Bobo et al. don’t seem to be able to count at all.

    As I understand it, media is primarily about storytelling (not that it should be, but it is). Inconvenient numbers get in the way of the narrative.

  27. 27
    Jeremy says:

    The media has to have their horse race narrative. It doesn’t take a genius to see that Mitt Romney is losing. You look at the early vote totals and current non-biased polls that actually take into account what the electorate will be and currently is and you know Mitt is toast.

    In Ohio Obama is killing with early vote with over 1/3 of the voters having already voted. I don’t even have to talk about the other states. But don’t expect the village idiots the mentions these facts.

  28. 28
    Winston Smith says:

    I agree with your assessment of Silver as and outsider to the establishment media, but I find it hilariously ironic that his home is the uber-establishment New York Times.

    Almost gives me hope for the old gray lady.

    Sort of.

    Well, not really.

  29. 29
    Metrosexual Manichean Monster DougJ says:

    @Death Panel Truck:

    When they start attacking Sam Wang I’ll defend him too.

  30. 30
    geg6 says:

    @Hill Dweller:

    I saw that, too, and formed the same impression. And not only did he seem sick of it, he also seemed to take great glee in fucking up their narrative.

    It was awesome and worth every penny I pay for HBO to see it.

    Oh, and Barney Frank was pretty awesome, too.

  31. 31
    AA+ Bonds says:

    FiveThirtyEight: The Number of Things Nate Silver Gets Wrong About Climate Change, by Michael Mann, Director of Penn State Earth System Science Center:

    . . . he falls victim to a fallacy that has become all too common among those who view the issue through the prism of economics rather than science. Nate conflates problems of prediction in the realm of human behavior — where there are no fundamental governing ‘laws’ and any “predictions” are potentially laden with subjective and untestable assumptions — with problems such as climate change, which are governed by laws of physics, like the greenhouse effect, that are true whether or not you choose to believe them.

  32. 32
    Jeremy says:

    @Jeremy: to mention these facts.

  33. 33
    LCaution says:

    I followed the link to Cassidy, read it. I quite frankly do not understand your interpretation of his column. He was not insulting Silver. Indeed, he had considerable praise for Silver. About the worst conclusions one could draw from the column are that people who believe Silver’s predictions are 100% accurate should reconsider their confidence level and that Silver could be wrong – conclusions with which I suspect Silver would agree.

  34. 34
    West of the Rockies (formerly Frank W.) says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: Hey, he’s a serious voice on NPR, damnit! He’s got to know what he’s talking about, right? I mean, at least probably… possibly anyway… maybe….

  35. 35
    gwangung says:

    @geg6:

    I saw that, too, and formed the same impression. And not only did he seem sick of it, he also seemed to take great glee in fucking up their narrative.

    Contrarianism, which gets attention in media. Kinda like when he was harshing on us O-bots earlier this month.

  36. 36
    Strontium 90 says:

    @a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q): I guess if this was true, then guys like Sam Wang would be way off on their predictions, no?

  37. 37
    MikeJ says:

    @Death Panel Truck:

    Sam Wang was more accurate than Silver.

    Actually they were equally accurate, both missing one unit of EV distribution. Silver missed a state, Wang missed a half state in a state that splits EVs. They both missed one “place”.

    I don’t think of them as rivals any way. Different methods are good at pointing out different things. Silver is far more accurate further out, Wang builds less doubt into his model.

    Can’t we all just get along?

  38. 38
    Jeremy says:

    The only thing that will suck after election day. Will be the non stop talk from the media about the 2016 election. Will Hillary run ? Will Jeb Bush run or Chris Christie ?

  39. 39
    debbie says:

    I know Nate Silver is much more accurate than others, and I don’t pretend to understand how this kind of number-working works, but how is this different from that formula Wall Street was using to calculate risk, which blew up in their faces?

  40. 40
    lamh35 says:

    This poll is tailor-made for a Dennis G or ABL post…is Dennis G on twitter???

    Today’s bit of “No SHHH Sherlock News”. Ask any random Black person in America and 9 times outa 10 they’ll tell ya answer ….”No shhhh…”

    AP poll: Majority harbor prejudice against blacks http://nbcnews.to/PbIOUY via @NBCNewsUS

  41. 41
    Chris says:

    The only thing that will suck after election day. Will be the non stop talk from the media about the 2016 election.

    Oy, vey. So true.

    All the people saying “I’ll be glad when the election’s over…” I feel like the 2012 “election season” has been going on since November 2008, or at least since the Inauguration. Certainly the 2010 election season, which was basically a prelude to this one, was.

    “Election Season” = “any time there’s a Democrat in the White House.”

  42. 42
    MikeJ says:

    @debbie: Not everything with a number in it is the same formula.

  43. 43
    Davis X. Machina says:

    Will Jeb Bush run or Chris Christie ?

    Christie may be a candidate, but he will not run

  44. 44
    nancydarling says:

    @scottinnj:

    “Nate Silver is a man of very small stature, a thin and effeminate man with a soft-sounding voice that sounds almost exactly like the “Mr. New Castrati” voice used by Rush Limbaugh on his program. In fact, Silver could easily be the poster child for the New Castrati in both image and sound. Nate Silver, like most liberal and leftist celebrities and favorites, might be of average intelligence but is surely not the genius he’s made out to be. His political analyses are average at best and his projections, at least this year, are extremely biased in favor of the Democrats.”

    Here’s the guy who wrote that.

    http://static1.firedoglake.com.....ambers.jpg

  45. 45
    pkdz says:

    Yeah, I noticed that The National Review has a piece attacking him as well. Shoot the messenger indeed.

  46. 46
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q):

    Some of my Facebook “friends” are exploding with outrage today that UN election observers are going to try to muscle their way in and, well, observe the elections. Texas has already said they will stop, or jail, or shoot, or something, any danged UN election observer that tries to observe elections in Texas. I didn’t actually read the linked articles, but it was a thing that popped up among at least three RWNJs I know (who do not know each other at all), within about a ten minute span. Anyone know what that’s all about?

    As they always told us re the Patriot Act: if you’re not doing anything wrong, you have nothing to fear from DHS etc. Well, if they’re not actively trying to suppress voter turnout or commit election fraud, there’s no reason for them to worry about UN election observers, right?

  47. 47
    pablo says:

    I did my morning visit to 538, and saw that the comments on Nate’s last post was over 800, about 5x what is normal.Digging down into them it seems Red State must have said some nasty things about him, and the trolls were out in force. Good to see that the rational commentators would have nothing to do with them!

  48. 48
    Corner Store Operator says:

    If you think the medias ‘Romney Momentum’ etc stories are bad, imagine a world without Nate Silver. Each day they play this narrative and yet Obama still has a 65% + and rising chance to the win the election according to fivethirtyeight. And because of Nate’s perch at the NY Times they cannot discount him the way they could when he was poblano at the great orange satan.

  49. 49
    DonBoy says:

    What’s amazing about all this is that when the anti-Silver stuff started a few days ago, Nate “only” had Obama as a close to 2-1 favorite — meaning that Mitt still had a 1/3 chance. And things with a 1/3 chance of happening happen ALL THE TIME. But even that was cause to call out the dogs, because MITT IS GOING TO WIN FOR SURE, WHY ARE YOU SAYING SOMETHING ELSE.

  50. 50
    scav says:

    @debbie: Another way of putting it is you’re more or less asking how can we believe anything Obama says because Romneneny lied in the same language. They misapplied the models and didn’t allow for their limitations arguably with intent.

  51. 51
    Jeremy says:

    @Chris: So true !

    They couldn’t even wait till the Obama’s moved into the white house after they won to start talking about the next election. It’s so funny because if you look at election coverage from decades ago there was not this obsession over horse races/elections like it is today. The coverage is way out of control.

  52. 52
    RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist says:

    This excellent long read from Charles Stross does a good job of explaining why the establishment media needs the election to be a horse race. Or a boxing match, either will do. They just can’t afford the result to come down to numbers. It takes the panic out of the story. Sample quote:

    “The need to sell eyeballs to advertisers means that news agencies need to maximize their audience. And because real news is random, chaotic, and incoherent, a big part of their job is to come up with a comprehensible narrative—a grand story of the world around us which makes sense and which keeps us sitting on the edge of our chairs, coming back for more each evening or morning. “

    ETA: I’m getting phone polled right now…

  53. 53
    Michael G says:

    “Hundreds of hours. Two banal observations. I have wasted a large chunk of my life I will never get back.”

    This dude is really not very self aware, is he.

  54. 54
    quannlace says:

    might be of average intelligence but is surely not the genius he’s made out to be. His political analyse

    He was interviewed on The Leonard Lopate show a few weeks back. Any guy who can make a living playing poker is no mental light-weight.

  55. 55
    amk says:

    @pkdz: @pablo:

    Things for the “left” to note. Drive the fucking narrative instead of riding driving the fucking high horse.

  56. 56
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    @Strontium 90: Pretty much zactly that. But is does show that both sides do it. With “it” being having crazy folks on the side, who are spouting nonsense.

  57. 57
    Maude says:

    On the bright side, Bobo’s novel was considered trash and Halpern’s novel was given a very bad NYT review.
    These idiots are touted as respectable.
    They believe they are exceptional.
    Bobo is a well respected man about town.

  58. 58
    Pope Ratzy says:

    While Silver is good, Sam Wang is better and has the track record to prove it.
    http://election.princeton.edu/

    That they almost always agree is beside the point, right? The election is a horse race and we can ignore anything that disproves the horse race. People don’t lie, numbers lie.

  59. 59
    PreservedKillick says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    Some of my Facebook “friends” are exploding with outrage today that UN election observers are going to try to muscle their way in and, well, observe the elections.

    Don’t they *always* observe? I mean, isn’t that just the norm?

    That said, I would not want to be a UN observer in some parts of this country right now. Not without an armed escort. Texas would be one of those parts.

  60. 60
  61. 61
    DPS says:

    Yeah, well, I guess when your business model is guessing how an election is going to go solely on the basis of how the candidates make you feel in your special naughty place, Silver has to seem a little threatening.

  62. 62
    Keith G says:

    @Cacti: Thanks for the tip. I went there, knocked around a bit, and now PEC is on my bookmark bar.

  63. 63
    pixelpusher says:

    Nate Silver’s 538 blog was already very successful when he was approached by the NY Times. As far as I’m concerned, he lends them credibility, not the other way around.

    On the Daily Show a week ago, he told Jon Stewart that pundits had a roughly 50% prediction accuracy score, which made them no better than flipping a coin. Which was to be expected, since they were not statisticians, but entertainers. Stewart howled at that, but you can imagine the hurt feelings among the villagers.

  64. 64
    geg6 says:

    @Maude:

    I blame Tom Wolfe. They all want to be a pretentious poser like him.

  65. 65
    peorgietirebiter says:

    @debbie: Wall Street used a model created for a highly regulated mortgage model to predict foreclosure rates in a new and highly unregulated mortgage market.

  66. 66
    Paul says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    Some of my Facebook “friends” are exploding with outrage today that UN election observers are going to try to muscle their way in and, well, observe the elections. Texas has already said they will stop, or jail, or shoot, or something, any danged UN election observer that tries to observe elections in Texas. I didn’t actually read the linked articles, but it was a thing that popped up among at least three RWNJs I know (who do not know each other at all), within about a ten minute span. Anyone know what that’s all about?

    It’s a non-issue.

    http://livewire.talkingpointsm.....-texas-law

    But here’s the larger issue: How can we expect other countries such as Egypt, perhaps Libya down the road, etc etc to accept election observers from us/the UN if we are too shallow, too scared to accept them here. Hell, we know they are needed considering what a mess our election system is.

  67. 67
    JGabriel says:

    __
    __
    David Brooks:

    Politics isn’t a game, like p0ker, with an artificially limited number of possible developments.

    Maybe politics doesn’t have an “artificially limited number of possible developments”, but the outcome of the electoral college most definitely does.

    .

  68. 68
    DCLaw1 says:

    Can I just say how much I LOVE the neologistic verb “to heh indeed”?

  69. 69
    Michael says:

    @nancydarling: Eight months ago, Bob’s testicles were removed. Then hormone therapy. He developed bitch tits because his testosterone was too high and his body upped the estrogen.

    (In honor of Romneyite, Meat Loaf)

  70. 70
    PreservedKillick says:

    @RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist:

    This excellent long read from Charles Stross does a good job of explaining why the establishment media needs the election to be a horse race.

    Good read.

    They also need to make a name for themselves. Many, many of them are working for institutions that are going to disappear in the next few years and those institutions will shed jobs like crazy as they disappear. These guys are all looking to pad a resume.

  71. 71
    Monkus says:

    Cassidy’s comments are unfortunate. Why Markets Fail is very good.

  72. 72
    Democrat Partisan Asshole says:

    how is this different from that formula Wall Street was using to calculate risk, which blew up in their faces?

    @debbie: I would be ashamed to post something which so openly displayed my innumeracy. Do you have any pink Himalayan salt in your kitchen, by chance?

  73. 73
    DCLaw1 says:

    @Chris:

    “Election Season” = “any time there’s a Democrat in the White House

    Truth. The instantaneous, relentless focus on the next election any time a Democrat is in the White House (or, to a lesser degree, has a majority in Congress) really does bespeak a profound discomfort and anti-Democratic yearning for someone else. Good call.

  74. 74
    Maude says:

    @geg6:
    Wolfe has always missed deadlines. He drove editors crazy. Pretentious douche.

  75. 75
    DCLaw1 says:

    Question: after Obama is reelected, will these same pundits insist somehow that they saw it coming, or will they throw the whole thing down the memory hole? Will they act shocked at the outcome, pointing to some election “anomaly” that nobody coulda node, but which had little actual bearing on the outcome?

  76. 76
    azrev says:

    Nate Silver’s numbers make it more difficult to steal the election — that’s what the screaming is all about.

  77. 77
    LosGatosCA says:

    @amk:

    Should be ‘tents of pernts’

  78. 78
    DCLaw1 says:

    @nancydarling: This is always the case.

  79. 79
    jayjaybear says:

    @scottinnj: Jeebus. I scrolled down to see who wrote that and the author’s pic looks like Baron Harkonnen from the Lynch “Dune”. I don’t think he has much room to talk.

  80. 80
    Democrat Partisan Asshole says:

    And because of Nate’s perch at the NY Times they cannot discount him the way they could when he was poblano at the great orange satan.

    @Corner Store Operator: Hell, the NYT discounts him today. Go to the politics section. The map they’re using for state-by-state tracking is not Silver’s, and neither are the electoral counts, and showing both Wisconsin and Ohio as “tossups” is certainly not based on anything Nate has said for months.

    They’re paying to keep a gold standard resource on staff, you’d think they’d use it. Guess the horse race narrative is more important than anything else.

  81. 81
    geg6 says:

    @azrev:

    This. And all the wanking over who is better, Silver or Wang, means nothing. They’re both good and the wingnuts will go after Sam Wang once they realize he exists. Silver is taking the heat because he’s a big media guy, however out of the box he is among other big media guys.

    They want to play shenanigans with the vote and Silver, and soon Wang, are fucking that whole thing up. As the UN observers are, which is why we have the rending of garments happening over them. It’s their firewall and the firewall is about to become non-operational.

  82. 82
    Hal says:

    @ranchandsyrup:

    The unskewed guy looks like John Wayne Gacy.

    Unskewed numbers genius and human gravy manufacturing plant Dean Chambers wants you to know that Nate Silver is skewing those poll numbers because he is either queerer than a three dollar bill (so, you know, he probably not using straight heterosexual math where 1+1 = 2 but instead uses gay math like Adam + Steve = gaymarried)

  83. 83
    quannlace says:

    after Obama is reelected, will these same pundits insist somehow that they saw it coming, or

    Joe Scarborough’s already setting himself up for that. The man’s a frigging weather vane.

  84. 84
    SteveM says:

    It’s not just Nate Silver. It’s also Sam Wang at Princeton, whose number-crunching leads him to believe that Obama is something like 85% certain to win at this moment.

  85. 85
    Richard says:

    @nancydarling:

    Here’s the guy who wrote that.

    Jabba the Hutt with hair.

  86. 86
    Tripod says:

    Mitt still makes the rank and file queasy and is almost certainly going to lose. They need to fluff his chances so down ballot races don’t become a bloodbath.

  87. 87
    burnspbesq says:

    @AA+ Bonds:

    The Master (Or Is That Mistress?) if the Irrelevant Non Sequitur Strikes Again!

  88. 88
    DCLaw1 says:

    Yet another example of the idiot pundit approach to this election, this morning on MSNBC, no less. The blue-eyed woman from Real Clear Politics was on the Alex Dewitt show – Alex mentioned Romney’s “momentum,” and the RCP commentator went off about the Gallup poll (of course), which showed a multi-point drop in Obama’s approval rating over the last day or two.

    Utterly absent from her comments, the comments of a woman who works for a poll-themed website and should know better, was any observation of the fact that absolutely nothing in the news could explain such a bizarre drop in approval in this one poll. Nor were any of Gallup’s other profound (and historically repeated) weaknesses mentioned. It was all Mittmentum and Gallup. Precisely the behavior of pundits that actual experts like Nate Silver, and people such as myself, find so galling and idiotic.

  89. 89
    Jamey says:

    What has Bobo or Charles Lane ever forecast that accurately?

    Applebee’s is rolling out self-serve all-you-can-eat salads in select locations.

  90. 90
    WaterGirl says:

    @nancydarling: Seriously?

    hahahahahaha

  91. 91
    DCLaw1 says:

    But whatever – the shock (or gymnastic attempts at revising history) of the pundits will be just as sweet as the horror of the Romney supporters led to believe they had “Black Jimmy Carter” on the ropes.

  92. 92
    dmsilev says:

    I have some nits to pick with Nate Silver’s methodology this time round (briefly, I think he’s got entirely too many adjustable parameters in his model), but the basic idea of what both he and Sam Wang are doing is fundamentally sound and is leaps and bounds better than the standard pundit analysis which looks at one or two polls and combines that with feelings pulled out of their ass liberally flavored with spin from the campaigns.

  93. 93
    dmsilev says:

    @DCLaw1: RCP is self-admittedly a conservative site. They’re OK as an aggregator of polls, but their analysis is tilted.

  94. 94
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Jamey: and the Iraq War was a huge success!

    @DCLaw1: isn’t RCP an avowedly conservative outfit?

  95. 95
    Mino says:

    Dick Morris is their preferred provider of all things prognosticated.

    And check out the NYT. Obama as just upped the ante for Mittster. By executive directive, he has created a non-profit public option for healthcare. Which will go away if Mitt is elected.

  96. 96
    SRW1 says:

    I am shocked, absolutely shocked, I tellz you, that 80 comments in nobody has pointed out the obvious parallel:

    Majikthise and Vroomfondel and the demand for the absence of solid facts:

    “I mean what’s the use of our sitting up half the night arguing that there may or may not be a God if this machine only goes and gives us his bleeding phone number the next morning?”

  97. 97
    DCLaw1 says:

    @dmsilev: @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Thing is, I’ve heard this RCP commentator opine on the election before, and at least when not talking about the polls (I know), she hasn’t struck me as biased for R before. May be a case of the pundit/commentator obediently mirroring the disposition of the show’s host, which we see an awful lot on cable TV news. In this case, Alex Dewitt, despite being on MSNBC, seemed to be running with the Romentum theme and perhaps the RCP woman picked up on that.

    Anyhow, I see little evidence that our pundits iz learning in the final stretch. Good news is that their idiocy and desperate need for a “dead heat” horserace still hasn’t self-fullfilled in the actual electorate.

  98. 98
    WaterGirl says:

    @Mino:

    And check out the NYT. Obama as just upped the ante for Mittster. By executive directive, he has created a non-profit public option for healthcare. Which will go away if Mitt is elected.

    What’s that about? Do you have a link?

  99. 99
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    The NYT Caucus blog has a post up asking if Mittmentum is real. As evidence against: Polling. As evidence for: A CNN dot com column by Bill Bennett (who I guess at least has some interest in odds) and a FoxNews column by Karl Rove.

  100. 100
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @DCLaw1: I don’t really follow Alex DeWitt, so I don’t want to slag her, but MNBC does have some dumb anchors/correspondents (ahem, Luke Russert). There’s a young guy with dark hair, can’t think of his name, who seems to mostly be a sub, but it always strikes me he’s auditioning for Fox, or maybe the mothership.

  101. 101
    dmsilev says:

    @WaterGirl: Link here

    The Obama administration will soon take on a new role as the sponsor of at least two nationwide health insurance plans to be operated under contract with the federal government and offered to consumers in every state.
    __
    These multistate plans were included in President Obama’s health care law as a substitute for a pure government-run health insurance program — the public option sought by many liberal Democrats and reviled by Republicans. Supporters of the national plans say they will increase competition in state health insurance markets, many of which are dominated by a handful of companies.

  102. 102
    DCLaw1 says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    The NYT Caucus blog has a post up asking if Mittmentum is real. As evidence against: Polling. As evidence for: A CNN dot com column by Bill Bennett (who I guess at least has some interest in odds) and a FoxNews column by Karl Rove.

    Just like every other F-ing public discourse debate these days, from climate change to economics: on this side, liberal facts and evidence; on the other side, boorishly confident conservative assertions. You decide!

  103. 103
    GregB says:

    *The State of Hawaii produced a false birth certificate.
    *Numerous colleges have colluded to hide Obama’s grades.
    *Polls are being tampered with by Obama friendly confederates.
    *The Bureau of Labor Statistics is fudging their numbers for Obama’s re-election.
    *The notoriously effeminate Nate Silver is creating a false narrative with bogus poll crunching.

    And now to top it off the National Weather Service has created this phony storm so that President Obama can invoke FEMA and start filling the camps before the election.

    Obama will stop at nothing.

  104. 104
    WaterGirl says:

    @dmsilev: Thanks! The NYT doesn’t let me just poke around in their website anymore, and I refuse to pay.

    Going off to read the whole article now.

  105. 105
    Cacti says:

    First the Republicans came for Biology, but I didn’t care, because I wasn’t a biologist.

    Then they came for Arithmetic, but I didn’t care, because I wasn’t a mathematician.

    Then they came for Geography, but I didn’t care, because I wasn’t a geographer.

    Then I woke up one day, and crops were being watered with Brawndo.

  106. 106
    Shakespeare says:

    @dmsilev: Hmmm. If Obama’s team deliberately leaked that, it makes me think their internals are showing they need to get out the base and disregard the undecideds, because they are certainly going to take a huge hit from Mitt on “socialized health care” for this story. Weird timing.

  107. 107
    koolearl says:

    @DCLaw1: the MSM and villagers are already giving Paul Ryan a pass if (when) the repubs lose and will be fluffing non-stop come Nov 7th

  108. 108
    Cacti says:

    @DCLaw1:

    Just like every other F-ing public discourse debate these days, from climate change to economics: on this side, liberal facts and evidence; on the other side, boorishly confident conservative assertions. You decide!

    Scientists teach that the earth travels around the sun in an eliptical orbit.

    Others believe that the earth sits on the back of a giant turtle.

    “And we’ll have to leave it there!”

    -Wolf Blitzer

  109. 109
    DCLaw1 says:

    @koolearl: Yup. Ryan will be another noble “Lost Cause,” due for triumphant resurrection.

  110. 110
    Democrat Partisan Asshole says:

    the MSM and villagers are already giving Paul Ryan a pass if (when) the repubs lose and will be fluffing non-stop come Nov 7th

    @koolearl: In all fairness, which neither the MSM nor the Villagers deserve, Ryan vanished faster and more completely than Osama Bin Laden after he was picked. He’s not the world’s smartest guy, that’s obvious, but I think he knows that Mitt’s Momentum is going to end up with the RomneyTrain spread all over the bottom of Galt’s Gulch.

  111. 111
    Chris says:

    @DCLaw1:

    As they did with Palin.

    “She BROUGHT every vote McCain won!”

    Interesting that she never even tried to run in 2012. She was just grifting. Ryan, on the other hand, strikes me as just narcissistic enough to go for the gold, especially if he can get the right kind of media support.

    (There’s also my not-very-likely-but-remotely-possible personal theory, that Romney is just obsessed enough with the White House to try and run again in 2016 if he loses this one. Not saying he’ll get the nomination, only that he’s nuts enough that I think he might try).

  112. 112
    mdblanche says:

    This is about establishment media defending its turf, its position, its prestige. Fortunately, all of that is under siege.

    Which makes it so much worse for them that Silver is saying their guy isn’t going to win.

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    A CNN dot com column by Bill Bennett (who I guess at least has some interest in odds…

    I see what you did there.

  113. 113
    RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist says:

    Paul Ryan will be fine. With his wonky budget bona fides there must be plenty of think tank offers awaiting him. And requests for speaking gigs. He’ll prosper without having to do anything but shave, dress and flap his gums. Which pretty much sums up his job skills.

  114. 114
    dmsilev says:

    @Chris: If Romney tries a third time, nobody in the GOP will give him the time of day. If he loses in 10 days, he’ll be the “not conservative enough” scapegoat, and he’ll be lucky not to be tar and feathered if he shows up at some GOP primary event.

  115. 115
    nellcote says:

    @Shakespeare:

    they need to get out the base and disregard the undecideds

    That’s been the game plan for a couple of weeks now.

  116. 116

    @Chris:
    Ryan’s only 42 (and of course, being GOP, his youth/inexperience -valid issues- were never really seriously brought up).

    Even if he lost both races, he could sit out the 8-16 years and come back, Nixon-style.

  117. 117
    Watership says:

    Oh, sweet Tebow … I read the Examiner article, and it begins thusly …

    While many conservatives look to former Clinton political consultant Dick Morris to understand the polls and political surveys on the elections, or even a site like UnSkewedPolls.com, those on the left look to New York Times blogger Nate Silver.

    Is there a better encapsulation of the difference btwn left and right? I love that Mr. Chambers opens with that. Everything that follows is directly informed by the perceived equality of the binary argument spelled out in the lede.

  118. 118
    Yutsano says:

    @WaterGirl: I’ll tell you right now: all the for-profit insurers just had kittens. If OPM gets involved in a national health insurance plan, they are gonna have to shed expenses fast to get ahead of that negotiating power. And if GEHA gets in on it, that’s pretty much game over.

  119. 119
    Napoleon says:

    @Cacti:

    Links?

    BTW, you are completely wrong about that.

    Also I would love to know how you know Nate’s arrangement with them. Funny thing is that I can not recall seeing a single post from anyone who may be in a position to talk to Nate describe him as an employee and usually those type of people say that the NY Times host his blog.

  120. 120
    Napoleon says:

    @Death Panel Truck:

    No he wasn’t – they both deal in probilites which for any one prediction makes it impossible to tell who was closer to right. You would need a number of cycles to tell whose method is right. And in this cycle Wangs % have been nothing short of a fucking joke.

  121. 121
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @scottinnj:

    “His political analyses are average at best and his projections, at least this year, are extremely biased in favor of the Democrats.”

    There it is again. Facts having that fuckin’ Democratic bias, again.

    Must suck to be Rethuglican swine.

  122. 122
    jayackroyd says:

    Nate changed the model. Turned the polls into fodder. And then added in a soupcon of the old Monte Carlo.

  123. 123
    gwangung says:

    @Napoleon: This is from someone who hasn’t bothered to read the methodology.

    Joke, hah!

  124. 124
    El Cid says:

    It’s not about “Nate Silver”, or not, it’s the difference between the notion that real humans exist who can write persuasively while relying upon real working knowledge of actual research and social science techniques (with concomitant strengths and weaknesses) whereas they [Brooks et al] want to be the highly paid worshipers of power and wealth who quote whichever preferred researcher they like (accurately or otherwise quoted) in order to bolster the bullshit points they couldn’t argue themselves.

    David Brooks gets a lot of play by pretending he understands the research he claims to be relying upon; being confronted by a mere lesser mortal who can actually do those sorts of things undermines Brooks’ value-added.

    People like Brooks want their readers to imagine that there’s a land of unintelligible majesty in research, academia, and insider info, and he, Brooks, will be there to guide them along that scary and mysterious and incomprehensible path, with an easy-to-read and anecdote filled map showing why everything leads to nice, conservative policy and cultural and economic preferences.

    If someone comes along who is clear, well argued, and can handle that sort of supposedly incomprehensible field himself or herself, then it makes Brooks’ worthlessness too easily visible.

  125. 125
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    @LCaution: Just speaking for myself, passages like this are what I find annoying to infuriating every time I read Cassidy:

    What I do question—and here I sympathize with Brooks—is the gravity with which some people treat the figures generated by the FiveThirtyEight voting model. Somehow, we are asked to believe that Silver has managed to avoid the pitfalls that affect other forecasters—to the extent that he can generate accurate voting projections down to one decimal point. That is silly.

    Yet in the same piece Cassidy goes on to state with no qualification that “Romney is surging” and all the rest of it, thus unquestioningly buying into polls and their interpretation when in line with the Villager common wisdom, and distrusting them and even sneering a bit when they’re not.

    Leaving aside the straw man that people are insisting en masse that Nate Silver is going to predict the election to the decimal point (how would that even work, since Silver’s numbers change daily?), just imagine the following sentence from someone like Cassidy:

    “While the notion that Romney is “surging” is a commonly accepted talking point these days, careful scrutiny of the data that this is based on makes it a dubious claim”.

    Probability of him writing that is close to zero.

  126. 126
    scav says:

    @Cacti: @Cacti:

    Then they came for Geography, but I didn’t care, because I wasn’t a geographer.

    Shit! They got me and I wasn’t even watching. I am soooo the booogity-boogity scarey Chicago voter now! Triumph!

  127. 127
    Watership says:

    More pure joy from that Examiner dude, Dean Chambers …

    The latest Rasmussen poll of Ohio shows the race tied at 48 percent. That means Romney will get almost 52 percent in Ohio. The latest polls by Purple Strategies shows the race in Ohio Obama 46 percent, Romney 44 percent. That means Romney wins at least 52 percent when the undecided voters decide how to vote. The latest ARG poll in Ohio shows Obama leading 49 percent to 47 percent. Again, that would mean Romney wins by almost 51 percent with undecided voters. In reality, Romney is going to win Ohio.

    And he follows this with …

    And Nate Silver and his gerrymandered stats and fuzzy math. Ol’ Nate says Obama has a 85.7 percent change of winning Wisconsin, despite how close those polls are. I don’t know where he gets those numbers, I suspect he makes them up on the basis of wishful thinking.

    Talk radio (and I actually listen frequently) is telling their group that: “Obama camp is in disarray” … “They’re losing Ohio” … “They won’t talk about the early voting data favoring Republicans” “They’ve pulled out of Colorado” (these are all accurate, heard over the last week.

    So, of course they think like Mr. Chambers. And after the election, I’d be shattered to hear the words “President Elect Mitt Romney” because I can’t imagine a political environment that rewards Republican behavior and the mendacity of its campaigns.

    They’ll be shattered if Obama wins because they’ve been made to believe that this is shaping up as a Romney blowout. Thought 2010 was ugly? Imagine Nov. 7th. The millions who will vote for Romney won’t be mad at the liars they’ve been listening to. They’ll be mad at the liberals who rigged the election and undermined our democracy. Really mad.

  128. 128
    Anoniminous says:

    Bobo isn’t a skeptic nor does he know shit about Skepticism. Either the modern or the classical varieties.

    Overriding intellectual duty of a skeptic is to rethink as often and soon as possible, casting aside one’s previously held conclusions when the evidence is against them. Dildo Bobo hasn’t rethought anything and his supposed “Moderation” is an exercise in intellectual cowardice.

  129. 129
    gwangung says:

    @Bill E Pilgrim:

    What I do question—and here I sympathize with Brooks—is the gravity with which some people treat the figures generated by the FiveThirtyEight voting model. Somehow, we are asked to believe that Silver has managed to avoid the pitfalls that affect other forecasters—to the extent that he can generate accurate voting projections down to one decimal point. That is silly.
    __
    Yet in the same piece Cassidy goes on to state with no qualification that “Romney is surging” and all the rest of it, thus unquestioningly buying into polls and their interpretation when in line with the Villager common wisdom, and distrusting them and even sneering a bit when they’re not.
    __
    Leaving aside the straw man that people are insisting en masse that Nate Silver is going to predict the election to the decimal point (how would that even work, since Silver’s numbers change daily?), just imagine the following sentence from someone like Cassidy:
    __
    “While the notion that Romney is “surging” is a commonly accepted talking point these days, careful scrutiny of the data that this is based on makes it a dubious claim”.
    Probability of him writing that is close to zero.

    Translation of Cassidy: “I flunked math.”

  130. 130
    I'mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet says:

    @WaterGirl: You can still read everything you want at the NY Times. All you have to do is put your cursor in the Location (URL) box, go to the end of the URL and delete everything from there back to (and including) the question mark. Then hit “Enter”.

    There are other ways, too, but that works for me.

    HTH.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  131. 131
    koolearl says:

    @Judas Escargot, Acerbic Prophet of the Mighty Potato God: Ryan will be back in 2016 as long as Romney loses narrowly. He seems to be the one guy the 3 factions of the Repubs (snakehandlers, randroids, country clubbers) can agree on and he will get much Villager fluffage. Jeb will suffer from Bush brand, Christie would not be able to handle the rigors of a national campaign and Huckabee will have a hard time flipping northern states.

  132. 132
    Napoleon says:

    @gwangung:

    I have never said that. I have read through what he does and although nothing he does just seems wrong I have no way to judge whether its a good methodology other then through results, and one set of results is simply not nearly enough to make a conclusion, though both him an Wang missed on a single state last time, which seems pretty good.

  133. 133

    Been playing with 270towin.

    I don’t see how Obama keeps FL and VA. I think he loses NH (despite recent polls, sorry, no way, not in this ad war). I don’t think he gets CO, either. But with OH/NV/WI, he just makes it (271).

    Now if I’m wrong and Obama gets VA, that’s close but comfortable. If it turns out that CO joins its neighbors in NV and NM, even better.

    Ohio’s vote, if very close, might not be known in full until Nov 17th. That’s a LOT of time for the Brooks Brothers set to cause mischief, if it all hinges on OH.

    And VA is, of course, about to get hurricaned.

  134. 134
    RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist says:

    This is why I miss this blog so much when I’m away. Intellectual stimulation with a side of vicious snark. So great.

  135. 135
    gwangung says:

    @Napoleon: What I am saying is that you’re not offering a criticism based on the methodology. This is equivalent to creationists disbelieving in evolution. Or, perhaps more closely, traditional baseball fans not believing in the value of .OBP or .SLG.

    You can disbelieve in his conclusion, but it’s just not a serious comment until you can point at linkages where the model departs from reality (and he’s been doing this for more than one election cycle).

  136. 136
    Helen Bedd says:

    Here’s what Nate said about unskewed polls in an interview with Salon

    It’s the purest example of a selective reading of the evidence that you can possibly find. Rasmussen has the race tied right now, I think. And Unskewedpolls has Romney up eight, right? When I used to play poker, if someone is that out of touch with reality, at least you could bet them money.

  137. 137
    WaterGirl says:

    @Yutsano: I am so glad to see your comment. I have been hoping that someone here would be a good judge of what this really means.

    So if this is better than sliced bread, why wasn’t every ecstatic when this was included in ACA? Or is it something about the WAY they are going about implementing this that is such a big deal?

  138. 138
    Yutsano says:

    @gwangung: Maths iz hard!!

    @WaterGirl: It looks like the real details are in the implementation. Getting GEHA involved would be huge, as it would be essentially creating a national insurance exchange on top of one that pretty much already exists. No private insurer could keep up with that kind of risk pooling. And GEHA is already non-profit. This will be a subtle change now but it’ll be huge later.

  139. 139
  140. 140
    SBJules says:

    My alma mater, UCSB, signed up 11,000 new voters. And the LA Times says there isn’t as much enthusiasm this year.

  141. 141
    sb says:

    The more I see of Lane, the more I wonder if perhaps Stephen Glass wasn’t must misunderstood.

  142. 142
    JS says:

    Well, I guess that having a “non-profit Public Option” in the ACA all along would explain why Obama was never all that concerned with adding a “Public Option” to the bill.

    Lieberman is gonna spit nails when he hears about this.

  143. 143
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    Listening to ABC News on the car radio today and I heard this about the campaigning today:

    Announcer: President Obama and Joe Biden attacked Mitt Romney…

    Cuts to clip of Joe Biden talking about Rmoney outsourcing the unemployment call center as governor of Massachusetts with an immediate cut after Biden’s statement (no applause heard).

    Announcer: Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan were campaigning in Florida today…

    Cuts to clip with Rmoney attacking Obama with a pause afterward so the listener can hear the crowd cheering…

    Fuck I hate the M$M. We got our ballots in the mail yesterday and there are three votes in this house for the Kenyan usurper going out tomorrow.

    Fuck them all.

  144. 144
  145. 145
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @Cacti: Scientists teach that the earth travels around the sun in an eliptical orbit.

    Others believe that the earth sits on the back of a giant turtle.

    “And we’ll have to leave it there!”

    -Wolf Blitzer

    …& who would know better than Woof Blather that it’s turtles all the way down

  146. 146
    halfcynic says:

    @Chris: He’s also not quite as dense or lazy as Palin. I mean, there’s a difference between someone who at least stays put in their government job, and someone who quits halfterm as governor ffs.

    Also, yup, he’s a white dude.

    He does come off as a fundie bimbo though, to me anyway. Like Kirk Cameron joined an aging boy band.

  147. 147
    halfcynic says:

    @Chris: He’s also not quite as dense or lazy as Palin. I mean, there’s a difference between someone who at least stays put in their government job, and someone who quits halfterm as governor ffs.

    Also, yup, he’s a white dude.

    He does come off as a fundie bimbo though, to me anyway. Like Kirk Cameron joined an aging boy band.

  148. 148
    xian says:

    @dmsilev: they cheat, drop liberal polls early, etc.

  149. 149
    debbie says:

    @ Democrat Partisan Asshole:

    No, I’ve never had that kind of disposable income. I was just a fine arts major. But congratulations to you for the most appropriate name here!

    @ peorgietirebiter:

    Thanks for that. Joe Nocera had a cover article in the NYT Sunday magazine about 5 years ago that dealt with that formula. I just don’t understand how human behavior can be reduced to anything remotely predictable. Apparently, I’m wrong.

  150. 150
    Another Halocene Human says:

    or writing comedic books about yuppies (Brooks)

    I totally read that as “comic books about yuppies” at first and was admiring your verbal styling.

    Very similar to US comic books because the majority of commercial US comic books are juvenile power fantasies.

  151. 151
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist: You left out the tastiest part of Stross’ rant:

    …the news media are becoming increasingly desperate to shovel the sizzle at us, regardless of how little steak there might actually be. They’re chefs in a city under siege, and whatever the pompous cordon bleu menu might say, they’re trying to serve you a dog.

    I presume you failed to quote this in a noble if misguided attempt to spare the tender fee-fees of the petophiles on this site…

  152. 152
    xian says:

    @Watership:

    And Nate Silver and his gerrymandered stats and fuzzy math. Ol’ Nate says Obama has a 85.7 percent change of winning Wisconsin, despite how close those polls are. I don’t know where he gets those numbers, I suspect he makes them up on the basis of wishful thinking.

    in other words, “I am too innumerate to understand the math, and too illiterate to understand the description of the model used to generate the math.”

  153. 153
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @quannlace: He was interviewed on The Leonard Lopate show a few weeks back. Any guy who can make a living playing poker is no mental light-weight.

    Um, to be fair, several years ago when he was playing it was common on some sites for power users to have multiple socks and play rigged games against rubes.

  154. 154
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @PreservedKillick: That said, I would not want to be a UN observer in some parts of this country right now. Not without an armed escort. Texas would be one of those parts.

    Pakistan with better production values.

  155. 155
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Maude: Tom Wolfe BOMBED on TDS promoting his college strumpet novel a few years back. Arrogant, self-satisfied, out-of-touch bozo.

  156. 156
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Shakespeare: If Obama’s team deliberately leaked that, it makes me think their internals are showing they need to get out the base and disregard the undecideds,

    I know that to be the case in my state.

  157. 157
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Yutsano: Take that, Jill Stein.

  158. 158
    Kathleen says:

    @a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q): This web site is an excellent source for information on rethuglican election stealing in Ohio:
    http://www.freepress.org/index2.php

  159. 159
    Kathleen says:

    @azrev: I contend that the relentless horse race coverage is a concerted effort to prepare us for a Romney win which will result from rethugs tampering with the election results.

  160. 160
    grandpa john says:

    @DCLaw1: To be expected since RCP is a self defined by the owner right wing site. Check and see polls are omitted and and which ones posted. also in averaging note the cut off line that leaves in older polls that increases Romney’s ave, but omits ones that increases Obama’s ave.

  161. 161
    J R in WV says:

    @debbie:

    The Risk “computed” by Wall Street involved lies and fraud, and status assigned by people using their best professional judgement, when that judgement included their payday as a major factor.

    None of this is proper statistical analysis.

  162. 162
    J R in WV says:

    @koolearl:

    I don’t think Ryan is going to be in congress after the election. I think Tammy will take his seat!

  163. 163
    debbie says:

    @ J R in WV:

    Thank you, that certainly is in keeping with the way the ratings agencies were co-opted. I just don’t understand how anyone can say with a straight face that what this country still needs is more deregulation.

  164. 164

    […] Balloon Juice: It’s natural that establishment pundits would dislike Silver, of course. He deals in numbers, whereas they are quantitative illiterates. He made his bones in the grimy world of sports statistics, they made theirs doing respectable things like blowing Marty Peretz (Lane) or writing comedic books about yuppies (Brooks). So they come from different places than he does. This is about establishment media defending its turf, its position, its prestige. Fortunately, all of that is under siege. Once the American public was force-fed conventional wisdom by an establishment media that was profitable on its own terms; now people can read blogs and outsider pundits like Silver, and print media is hemorrhaging money. […]

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] Balloon Juice: It’s natural that establishment pundits would dislike Silver, of course. He deals in numbers, whereas they are quantitative illiterates. He made his bones in the grimy world of sports statistics, they made theirs doing respectable things like blowing Marty Peretz (Lane) or writing comedic books about yuppies (Brooks). So they come from different places than he does. This is about establishment media defending its turf, its position, its prestige. Fortunately, all of that is under siege. Once the American public was force-fed conventional wisdom by an establishment media that was profitable on its own terms; now people can read blogs and outsider pundits like Silver, and print media is hemorrhaging money. […]

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