Main | Friday, November 02, 2012

NYT Reacts To Nate Silver's Bet

Two days ago polling prognosticator Nate Silver offered to make a $1000 election bet with MSNBC host Joe Scarborough.  Silver's overlords at the New York Times are taking a dim view. From their Public Editor Journal:
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. 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.

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