Nate Silver is taking his number-crunching empire from The New York Times to ESPN and ABC, but any suggestion that the move will thaw his icy relationship with the political commentariat was dispelled on Monday.
During a question-and-answer session on the sports website Deadspin, Silver offered what he sees are the chief differences between sports pundits and political pundits:
Obviously, there are SOME sports pundits who are total hacks. But I'd argue that MOST political pundits are completely useless; the outliers are the few who are actually worth reading. Plus the political pundits take themselves very seriously — read the new Mark Leibovich book — whereas I think on some level someone like Jay Mariotti realizes that he's just trolling people.
Silver's criticism of political journalists — particularly those who work at Politico — has been well-documented. He told the comedian Stephen Colbert in November that he'd rather vote for Ebola than a political pundit. In an email sent to TPM last month, Silver said that Politico co-founders Jim VandeHei and John Harris "seem to lack very much curiosity for the world outside of the bubble."