Interesting Dig at NY Times Public Editor by NYT Columnist

You don’t see this every day: Charles Blow, the NY Times visual Op-Ed columnist, takes a dig at the Times‘ Public Editor:

And now the final paragraphs from my May column:

So, when she stops casting the nomination as a standoff between the Dukes of Hazzard and the Huxtables and accepts the outcome as a fait accompli, the party can unite, and there will be a better sense as to which states are in play.

Obama has proclaimed “change” his mantra. That change may well be evident in the electoral map come fall. Appalachia is all American, but America is not all Appalachian.

There is no doubt that this election changed the map.

The fact that these trends began to emerge weeks ago is part of the reason I felt confident to say in an Oct. 18 column entitle “Nov. 5, 2008″ that, barring a seismic political event, the race was over. (The Times’ Public Editor said that I was out on a limb. I knew that I wasn’t.)

I told you so.

What’s interesting is that, in his response, the Public Editor was troubled that an op-ed columnist, who is nothing more than another asshole with a blog, would draw a conclusion based on data. Sure, the data could be inaccurate or the analysis could be wrong (it’s happened plenty of times before with polling data), but anyone who analyzes data for a living knows this is how it works. What should an opinion writer do in this case? Not offer his opinion? This wasn’t a flight of speculation–it was based on a reasonable analysis of data. If only more op-ed writers did this.
To this scientist, this is truly bizarre, and is one reason why newspapers are broken.

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