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Nate Silver: 2/3 of America's op-ed columnists are "worthless"

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Alma, Mar 6, 2014.

  1. Alma

    Alma Well-Known Member


    Worth nothing. Completely without value. So says the numbers whiz. I'd be curious to see if he actually measured their worth on a scale, or if he's, you know, bloviating.

    He's set the bar high for himself and his staff. Nobody will be more rigorous, empirical or quantitative. He used a grap to hire them, after all.

    He'd better know Deadspin lurks at every turn to pop his and ESPN's balloon. (Presuming Deadspin can.)
  2. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    Two-thirds sounds a little low, to be honest.
  3. Songbird

    Songbird Well-Known Member

    This'll make Nate's head explode.


    And that's just one of hundreds.
  4. DanOregon

    DanOregon Well-Known Member

    I don't know if the typical op-ed columnist ever adjusted to the Internet. The reason people "noticed" what they wrote or why their opinion "mattered" was that some paper gave them space two or three times a week - people figured what they said had some weight.
    Now you read columns with little reporting or much of an attempt to verify facts. (which I get the impression would only serve to undermine their argument).
  5. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

  6. Alma

    Alma Well-Known Member

    If I'm cynical, colloquially riffing on the state of the biz, hell, I might agree. It's a joke, a line, a bloviated idea.

    But this is the one journalist who's not supposed to do colloquial, anecdotal or the off the cuff. I found it an interesting thing to say. Many op-ed columnists are too caught up in the game of wordplay, innuendo and gut feeling, but to label them "worthless" and the "crap quadrant?"
  7. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    Hey, he calls 'em like anyone with a functioning brain sees 'em.

    Want me to start posting Mitch Albom and Dan Shaunghessy greatest hits from the last couple years?
  8. Alma

    Alma Well-Known Member

    And that makes his comment different from most op-ed columnists in what way? That their brains don't function? You have proof? Does he? Is 2/3 off the top of his head.

    And I know I'm being on the nose here. If somebody called Nate Silver "overrated," he'd be on the nose.

    When a guy uses a graph measuring rigor and empiricism to hire his reporters, lectures all the HR departments he's never been in about how they should hire, then tosses off a criticism that most op-ed columnists might use, I'm going to be on the nose. Nate Silver knows better. Fine. Do the knowing better and let the "crap quadrant" stay where it is.
  9. nbiz

    nbiz New Member

    I write this without having read the article but that sounds a bit off base. Lots of sports fans aren't number-crunching analytical diehards and don't want to read statistically-driven articles. I usually try to find a solid balance with my own writing.

    Personally, I've embraced advanced statistics, for the most part, and one of the biggest issues I have is when those who "get it" look down upon those who do not.
  10. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    That reminds me. Shaughnessy just got APSE columnist top-10. Boston Strong, bitches.
  11. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    Columnists don't have to do number-crunching or embrace advanced stats to be effective.

    But they, (a) shouldn't be willfully wrong; and (b) should make some effort at constucting cogent, defensible arguments; and (c) should know sports, including front-office inside baseball and Xs and Os.
  12. Small Town Guy

    Small Town Guy Well-Known Member

    I love Silver's work. But I'm not that excited for the new site. I'm greeting its arrival the way a lot of people probably thought about Grantland when it started. Shoulder shrug. Or maybe I've been reading too many books lately about the quants who played a role in nearly destroying economy so am worn out by the religion of numbers.
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