2012 Election | Nate Silver | Stephen Colbert

Stephen Colbert Takes Issue with Nate Silver's Number-Crunching: VIDEO


Part 2 of your Nate Silver fix this morning comes in the form of an interview on the Colbert Report last night, in which Stephen grilled him about working at the NYT, his new book The Signal and The Noise", predicting elections, and why so many pundits (like Colbert) have an issue with Silver's number-crunching.


Speaking of predictions, David Mixner has posted predictions from Hilary Rosen, Bob Shrum, and Ken Mehlman, on what they think today's surprise (there's always one) will be!

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  1. Yeah, but not really. Colbert a big, ole 'librul' too and I love him to pieces.

    Posted by: Geoff | Nov 6, 2012 9:08:16 AM

  2. Fun! I pray that Nate Silver is absolutely correct.

    Posted by: Bobby | Nov 6, 2012 9:18:45 AM

  3. Nate is the quintessential nerd. So you know you can believe him.

    And Steve ridicules like no one else can (he must have a gay streak in him somewhere, or plenty of gays on the writing staff). I'm glad he's on our side.

    He might possibly be a "homofascist." Although I prefer the homo-fascist spelling myself.

    Posted by: anyone for bundt cake? | Nov 6, 2012 10:30:01 AM

  4. One of the show's ongoing jokes is that "Stephen Colbert," the character, is fighting his own gay urges and just barely winning. But he has consistently been one of the most pro-gay personalities on TV (through the funhouse mirror of his character's homophobia), even more-so IMO than Jon Stewart who doesn't bring it up that often.

    I've often wondered if that wasn't also true of Stephen Colbert the actual person though that's probably just wishful thinking. It's based somewhat on the character he played on "Strangers With Candy," the school principal who was having an affair with the art teacher played by Paul Dinello.

    Colbert tends to have really great chemistry with his gay male guests. Not so much with Nate Silver who presents more as wonk/nerd/brain than gay, but his more overtly gay guests (or those whose gayness is more primary to their fame) like Andrew Sullivan, Andy Cohen, Dan Savage, and Neil Patrick Harris. Seriously, go to the Colbert website and look up those interviews. It's great stuff.

    In the past few months Colbert has done more interviews out of character than ever before, opening up about his devout Catholicism and other things. He has never shied away from mocking the Pope on his show but it seems like the Church is going through a major cultural shift at the moment, insisting not just on faith but ideological purity from the faithful, particularly about gay rights and abortion. "You must not just believe this but VOTE this way or you're not a good Catholic and you'll go to hell" basically. Because Colbert's Catholicism IS so important to him I've wondered how that effects his show and what he says.

    Posted by: Caliban | Nov 6, 2012 11:28:28 AM

  5. @Caliban: all true, but as a Strangers with Candy fanatic, I have to point out that Colbert played a history teacher. The principal was played by that big bald dude.

    I actually wasn't all that fond of the Colbert show when it started, but now I like it much better than The Daily Show--especially now that Colbert is able to get higher caliber guests. Though I think a lot of people are scared to go on his show, and he (especially) and Stewart can be frustrating at times by not letting their guests talk.

    Posted by: Paul R | Nov 6, 2012 12:21:25 PM

  6. Thanks, Paul R. I haven't seen that much of Strangers With Candy, mainly just the clips of Colbert and Dinello making out! ;-)

    Colbert's interviews are IMO often frustrating because he asks questions from the POV of his character's willful stupidity rather than just letting them say their piece. Some guests can handle it but many are thrown by it, with poor results.

    Posted by: Caliban | Nov 6, 2012 12:36:32 PM

  7. Exactly. He has some really interesting guests, but you often learn next to nothing about the theory or view they're espousing. The character can play too heavy at times, and certain types of guests (like most academics) are baffled.

    Posted by: Paul R | Nov 6, 2012 1:00:44 PM

  8. Listen to Nate Silver say "Yeah," and tell me he doesn't sound like an old-school Hollywood gangster.

    Posted by: Jerry | Nov 6, 2012 1:54:29 PM

  9. I think Nate is hot!

    Posted by: alex | Nov 6, 2012 3:58:10 PM

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