Ranking Nate Silver’s Trashiest Post-Election Trash Talk

Nate Silver sits on the stairs at a hotel in Chicago on Friday, Nov. 9, 2012. The 34-year-old statistician, unabashed numbers geek, author and creator of the much-read FiveThirtyEight blog at The New York Times, correctly predicted the presidential winner in all 50 states, and almost all the Senate races.
Nate Silver judges you. Photo: Nam Y. Huh/AP/Corbis

Ever since discovering math and using it to very accurately predict the presidential election, Nate Silver has been on something of a score-settling media tour. Over the past six weeks, Silver hasn’t been shy about letting his adversaries and detractors (mostly, Politico and “pundits”) know just how much they suck, an undertaking that continued today with the release of a profile in Out magazine, which named Silver its Person of the Year. Herewith, a compilation of Silver’s post-election trash talk, ranked in order of trashiness.

7. “Politico ran 15 (!) stories on Seamus the Dog in a 72-hour period in April.

6. ”Gallup’s demographic weighting algorithms probably contain a few bugs. They need to hire better statisticians.”

5. “I think I have a better value system than the pundits — I care about truth, and I care about informing people, and they care about ratings.”

4. “Punditry is fundamentally useless.”

3. “What’s remarkable for me is that you had some journalist for Politico who tweeted out , ‘All Nate’s doing is averaging polls and counting electoral votes? That’s the secret sauce?.’ Well, yeah, and the fact that you can’t comprehend that very basic thing, that says more about you than it does about me, right? Politico is a ‘who won the day’ kind of thing, right? They’re trying to cover it like it’s sports but not in an intelligent way at all, right? And they want to create noise, basically, right?”

2. On Politico’s Dylan Byers: “I think he’s a terrible journalist.”

1. “Peggy Noonan is someone who is very, very skilled at making bullshit look like some elegant soufflé. She’s very good at rhetoric and argument, but it’s still not grounded in the truth — it all falls apart every four years, but I don’t think she’ll be out of a job any time soon.”

Nate Silver’s Trashiest Post-Election Trash Talk