|Donald Trump, Nate Silver (Credit: Reuters/L.|
E. Baskow/MSNBC/Photo montage by Salon)
The press either abetted Trump's rise or got it all wrong. But the stakes seem higher for one-time oracles at 538
In 2012, when I first saw FiveThirtyEight founder Nate Silver making the talk show rounds to tout his site, I was excited. He talked about bringing critical thought to data, striving for better polling analysis, and renewing our collective faith in statistics. He spoke with confidence about the power of pure data analysis as a predictive tool, and I bought every line. FiveThirtyEight has lived up to some of the early promise, but it is also beginning to see disastrous missteps that are leading some to ask whether there is even a place for data journalism going forward.