Is there any journalist who came in with more promise and ultimately delivered less than Nate Silver? Perhaps his best work is inspiring righteous dunks from others:
Silver came on the scene as a “data journalist,” promising to deliver a fact-based view of politics based on statistical analysis. But it turns out that there just isn’t a lot of clean data that can be used for data-driven political journalism, so he generally reverts to punditry of the worst sort.
By the way, if you want to know why it takes so long for the J&J vaccine to be approved, read up at Nate’s competition, The Verge, which is part of the Vox media network.
Three weeks may seem like a long time to wait before the committee meets and the FDA makes its decision. And in the context of the pandemic, three weeks is a long time — thousands of people could die in that gap — but it’s actually remarkably fast given the enormity of the task at hand. The agency will use every second of that time to make sure there aren’t any safety concerns with the vaccine and that it can actually do what it claims to do. Skipping steps could erode already fragile trust in vaccination.
That’s a piece by Nicole Westman, who is their health and technology reporter. She’s written quite a few good stories that come from old fashioned reporting, based on quaint “facts” and “research”. I’m sure her total compensation is a fraction of Nate’s, and I’ll also go out on a limb and say that she almost certainly works harder than he does.
Nate joins Ezra Klein on a long list of supposedly careful pundits who have said very stupid things about COVID vaccines.