Twirling her parasol and fainting at the very idea of Nate Silver's $1,000 bet offer to Joe Scarborough, the NY Times new Public Editor Margaret Sullivan allows:
Granted, Mr. Silver isn’t covering the presidential race as a political reporter would.Well, thank God for that, Ms. Sullivan.
Much better to have reporters like Frank Bruni in 2000 lying about Bush's performance in the first debate; or like Jeff Zeleny and Dalia Sussman who transcribe report Mitt Romney's "moderate" abortion position without a mention of his many past opposing positions. or like Peter Baker and Michael Cooper, who blindly adopted the bogus Republican charge that Obama "bragged" about decreasing the public workforce.
and let's not get started on Judith Miller.
Prior to fluttering back down on the couch, Ms. Sullivan wrote:
But whatever the motivation behind it, the wager offer is a bad idea – giving ammunition to the critics who want to paint Mr. Silver as a partisan who is trying to sway the outcome.I dunno, Ms. Sullivan. If I were you, I would concentrate on the standards of Times reporters who frequently parrot bogus false equivalency or even adopt right wing lies wholesale.
It’s also inappropriate for a Times journalist, which is how Mr. Silver is seen by the public even though he’s not a regular staff member.
“I wouldn’t want to see it become newsroom practice,” said the associate managing editor for standards, Philip B. Corbett. He described Mr. Silver’s status as a blogger — something like a columnist — as a mitigating factor.
Granted, Mr. Silver isn’t covering the presidential race as a political reporter would.
But he is closely associated with The Times and its journalism – in fact, he’s probably (and please know that I use the p-word loosely) its most high-profile writer at this particular moment.
When he came to work at The Times, Mr. Silver gained a lot more visibility and the credibility associated with a prominent institution. But he lost something, too: the right to act like a free agent with responsibilities to nobody’s standards but his own.
h/t John Cole.