Famed polling analyst Nate Silver was quietly seen by some at The New York Times as “disruptive” and many were glad to see him depart for ESPN, editor Margaret Sullivan disclosed in a blog post on Monday.
“I don’t think Nate Silver ever really fit into the Times culture and I think he was aware of that,” she wrote. “He was, in a word, disruptive. Much like the Brad Pitt character in the movie ‘Moneyball’ disrupted the old model of how to scout baseball players, Nate disrupted the traditional model of how to cover politics.”
Sullivan went on to explain that several “traditional and well-respected Times journalists disliked his work,” and objected when she wanted to carry it in the Times print edition. “They were also tough on me for seeming to endorse what he wrote, since I was suggesting that it get more visibility,” she noted.
“Many others, of course, in The Times’s newsroom did appreciate his work and the innovation (not to mention the traffic) that he brought, and liked his humility,” she added, saying that she counts herself among those who were fond of Silver personally and admired his work.