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View Diary: By hiring a climate disinformer, Nate Silver undermines his entire premise of data-driven journalism (204 comments)

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  •  Disney via ESPN (16+ / 0-)

    Here's the relevant passage from the ESPN press release: ESPN’s FiveThirtyEight Announces Managing Editor, Key Editorial Hires

    FiveThirtyEight.com, the definitive website for data-driven journalism, will re-launch in early 2014 in coordination with ESPN. In anticipation of the launch, the editorial team has made a number of key hires to fulfill the vision for the new site, which will be led by Editor-in-Chief Nate Silver.

    The new FiveThirtyEight will maintain the innovative and entrepreneurial spirit of the original site Silver founded in 2008, while building on its success around the last presidential elections.  It will be focused around five distinct content verticals: Sports, Politics, Economics, Science, and Lifestyle. The verticals will be led by a team of writer/columnists, with additional content from staff writers as well as external contributors.

    The sports, politics and economics verticals will accentuate the coverage that ESPN and FiveThirtyEight are best known for, delivering storytelling that is both compelling and data-driven. The lifestyle and science verticals are the broadest in scope, and will allow FiveThirtyEight to explore topics such as education, health, technology, weather, entertainment, and travel.

    “The new FiveThirtyEight will bring more analytics to ESPN’s storytelling in a smart and entertaining fashion.  The site will provide a deep, broad and ambitious approach to data-driven journalism across a spectrum of topics, revealing for readers not just the what, but also the why and how,” said Marie Donoghue, Senior Vice President of Global Strategy, Business Development and Business Affairs at ESPN.

    Said Silver: “We’re building our own Moneyball team — an All-Star roster of the best data journalists from best news organizations, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, the Tampa Bay Times, and The Guardian. While the site will take many different approaches toward data journalism, ranging from rigorous number crunching to stellar original reporting, it’s all within the site’s mandate of uncovering meaning and truth amid the sea of data.”

    Silver continued: “I’m especially excited by our two newest hires. Mike Wilson, who oversaw the development of several Pulitzer Prize winning stories at the Tampa Bay Times, will provide leadership and integrity as our Managing Editor. And Kate Elazegui will create a compelling visual identity for the site — she knows that great design is at the essence of a great product.”

    Disney is not the NYT.

    "My friend Vince Lamb often comments that Americans will take all manner of social, economic and political abuse, but will rise up with righteous fury when you disturb their Entertainment."-Michael Varian Daly

    by Neon Vincent on Sun Mar 23, 2014 at 12:31:50 PM PDT

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    •  Yebbut Silver probably can't be influenced (3+ / 0-)

      Nate Silver is in the enviable position of dictating his own terms. If ABC tried to put pressure on him, he'd walk to another well-paid gig in a minute.

      And I doubt he could be blackmailed into saying/endorsing anything he didn't sincerely believe in. Everyone already knows he's gay, for goshsakes: a generation ago making that public would end a career, so the PTB can't use that to pressure him. (And I doubt he has any other skeletons in the closet. Didn't he used to be a DK regular? Wasn't his other interest baseball? Pretty small potatoes, blackmail-wise.)

      The long & the short of it is that he decided to hire this assclown, & when this guy embarrasses Silver one too many times, it'll be Nate Silver who pays for it -- not the Koch brothers or anyone at Disney.

      •  Money and ego. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        quill, llywrch, k9disc

        Seriously, data driven Lifestyle journalism?  He's already sold-out.  Even data driven sports journalism is weak—as if sports journalism isn't already overwhelmingly data-driven.  But his record in sports data analysis is hardly in the same league as his political skills.  For example, he blew the 2013 Superbowl completely and for the 2014 Superbowl he said the data says it's a tie but he favored Seattle because their numbers were great last year, too.  Nothing subjective about that.  Basically, he got lucky.  The Denver Post had much better data-driven analysis:

        "Or maybe the Broncos must face the reality that pass-happy, offense-oriented teams don't win it all. Manning was the fourth quarterback to lead the NFL in both passing yards and touchdowns and reach the Super Bowl in the same season. All four — Dan Marino (1984), Kurt Warner (2001), Tom Brady (2007) and Manning (2013) — lost their Super Bowls. By a combined 118-54 score.
        These Broncos are also among the top nine scoring teams in NFL history. Not one of those nine won it all.  In the end, defense rules."
        Silver has a big ego that's only gotten bigger.  Putting Sports first with politics, etc. as a sidebar clearly shows where he stands—it's with the money.

        America, where a rising tide lifts all boats! Unless you don't have a boat...uh...then it lifts all who can swim! Er, uh...um...and if you can't swim? SHAME ON YOU!

        by Back In Blue on Sun Mar 23, 2014 at 03:51:01 PM PDT

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