Politico's balanced critique of Nate Silver

Isaac Chotiner's Q&A with Politico honchos John Harris and Jim VandeHei has plenty of fun moments, but my favorite part is when Harris and VandeHei discuss Nate Silver, who is not a fan of their news organization.

Especially fascinating: Harris and VandeHei appear to carefully balance each of their knocks on Silver with a compliment (or something close to one). Compliments are in italics, zings are in bold. Text that doesn't lean too far one way or the other in roman.

Harris: I know why people found him interesting and entertaining, and some people found him illuminating. There are people in our gang who think he is overblown and get worked up about Nate Silver. I don’t give a damn*.

VandeHei: Some of his stuff goes on and on, trying to use numbers to prove stuff that I don’t think can be proved by numbers alone. I know he is a Politico hater. I admire what he has been able to do.

Harris: I admire how he has built a franchise. I roll my eyes at how he gets up on his high horse quite a lot on different topics.

*While this sentence appears to be dismissive, I think Harris is saying he doesn't give a damn about the disagreement and is not saying he doesn't give a damn about Nate Silver.

  • Andrew Beaujon

    Andrew Beaujon reported on the media for Poynter from 2012 to 2015. He was previously arts editor at TBD.com 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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