Pass the #popcorn

ICYMI: Politico goes another round with Nate Silver

According to a recent Pew study, 16 percent of adults online use Twitter — 8 percent daily. I’m pretty sure most of that 8 percent are journalists. Journalists love Twitter, whether using it for writing, conversation, or fighting. And I love to watch—and judge—the sparring.

If you see a #JournoTweetFight that you think merits inclusion, please give me a heads up @saramorrison.

Hey, remember that time just before the election when a few journalists took a stand against Nate Silver’s statistics-driven election reporting, only for Silver’s predictions to be much more accurate than just about everyone else’s? For this, he received a Laurel from us and the respect of many. And Politico’s Dylan Byers, one of the most visible Silver skeptics, had to eat his words.

When our Sasha Chavkin took issue with parts of Silver’s recent accounting of outside contributions to Republican campaigns — and Silver responded — another Politico reporter was eager to take up the anti-Silver cause.

DECISION: In terms of the argument’s substance, I’m certainly no expert on its intricacies, so I’ll defer to my colleague’s take—Chavkin wrote that Silver should have included the data, and Silver’s correctification (they never seemed to agree on whether or not it was a “clarification” or a “correction”) on his own post indicates that, at the very least, he originally used “imprecise language.”

I’m much better equipped to determine who conducted the argument best. I’m giving @fivethirtyeight the victory, but not by much. He came off a bit over-defensive and even smug, with lines like “people who lack reading comprehension skills.” He clearly thinks he’s better than Politico (“a news organization that routinely misses the forest for the trees”), and he’s got plenty of company in that view. His best move in all of this would have been to ignore Vogel’s attempts to engage him and stay above it.

@kenvogel, on the other hand, lost whatever legitimate points he had to make on Silver’s post when he buried them in trolly nitpicks, then got stuck arguing clarification vs correction.

@DylanByers loses most of all. “Mean?” Come on.

Also, I know we only get 140 characters in these tweets, but it’s hard for me to side with an argument made with “ur” instead of “you’re,” “shud” instead of “should,” and “i” instead of “I.” Now I’m nitpicking. But Vogel should be used to that.

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Sara Morrison is a former assistant editor at CJR. Follow her on Twitter @saramorrison. Tags: , ,