Nate Silver on Reddit: Pundits are 'very delusional people'


Superstar blogger Nate Silver took questions on Reddit Tuesday. One user asked him whether he found sports or politics "more frustrating to analyze." Politics, Silver replied: "Between the pundits and the partisans, you're dealing with a lot of very delusional people."

Another Redditor asked him how much he enjoyed "getting the ire of pundits."

"At some point in the last few weeks of the election, I guess I decided to lean into the upside outcome a little bit in terms of pushing back at the pundits in my public appearances -- as opposed to emphasizing the uncertainty in the model, as I had for most of the year," Silver replied.

Another user asked Silver whether he thought other news outlets "intentionally overlooked the data analysis from you and those like you in order to hype up the 2012 election."

News organizations tend to have incentives to "root for the story," he replied.

Part of what were were saying for much of the campaign -- both at different stages of the general election and perhaps even more emphatically in the end-stage of the primary when Romney pretty much had things wrapped up -- is that the outcome had become fairly certain. So that creates a bit of a culture clash.

Asked about his strangest experience after becoming famous, Silver said, "When I was in Mexico last week, I got recognized at the top of the Sun Pyramid at Teotihuacan, which I'm pretty sure really is a sign of the Apocalypse."

Previously: Two views of journalism clash in debate over Nate Silver’s work | Nate Silver: 'A lot of news is really entertainment masquerading as news' | Voters gather to decide Nate Silver’s fate | Nate Silver wins, and data is vindicated | What Nate Silver’s success says about the 4th and 5th estates

Related: With Reddit chat, Obama goes around press directly to voters | A journalist’s quick guide to Reddit, the next thing you have to learn

  • Andrew Beaujon

    Andrew Beaujon reported on the media for Poynter from 2012 to 2015. He was previously arts editor at and managing editor of Washington City Paper. He's the author of the 2006 book "Body Piercing Saved My Life," about Christian rock and evangelical Christian culture.


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