What Are They So Afraid Of?

When I read this NYT op-ed, my immediate reaction, especially following hard on the heels of Paul Krugman’s spat with Nate Silver, was that the op-ed was more pushback against him. I recognize that it’s an op-ed and not an editorial but I also seriously doubt that the NYT publishes op-eds from any passing stranger. The selection of op-eds to run is as much a part of editorial policy as editorials are. Just as the news that they decide isn’t “fit to print” is.

Pretty obviously he’s got a lot of his former associates spooked. Why?

5 comments… add one

  • michael reynolds

    Not just the NYT. HuffPo is hammering Nate as well.

    Legacy media and Next Gen legacy media pushing back at Next Next Gen media.

  • But why? It’s asymmetric warfare. The more they pound on him, the more he wins. If they really wanted to hurt him, they’d ignore him.

    It reminds me a bit of faculty committee meetings. They’re fighting to the death over a fraction of a fraction of a fraction.

  • ...

    Most likely Silver is reporting numbers they don’t like. I’m sure as soon as big data starts reflecting the party line again, Silver will be a GENIUS in good standing again.

  • michael reynolds

    For one thing Nate is trafficking in something that is anathema to HuffPo: facts and original journalism. The NYT’s issue has more to do with tribal loyalty, I think. At times the NYT seems to embrace the new – their Snowfall piece was a masterpiece of new media. Other times, well, it’s Friedman time.

    But don’t underestimate Nate Silver. He’s backed by Disney/ABC/ESPN money. That’s way bigger money than the NYT or HuffPo has available. He’s an independent voice practicing a new style of journalism with huge cash reserves behind him. HuffPo at least is right to worry.

    Snowfall in case you haven’t seen it. Best on computer, decent on iPad: http://www.nytimes.com/projects/2012/snow-fall/?forceredirect=yes#/?part=tunnel-creek

  • Andy

    I think it’s a couple of things:

    – There’s a long standing division between quantitative analysts and non-quantitative “experts.”

    – Silver hired Roger Pielke Jr, who is a bete noir for the progressive climate concerned community.

    – For partisans and those pushing agendas, there’s a you’re-with-us-or-against-us mentality. Silver isn’t towing the party line.

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