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Could It Be More Pedantic?

I’m speaking of this interview with Ray Fair in the NYT Magazine [horrible, free subscription required]. The Fair Model is an econometric model used to predict Presidential elections. And it’s been pretty good, (+/- 2.5% on average) on the whole. There’s a lot of potential here for a really interesting interview, but instead Deborah Solomon has exchanges like this one:

In your book ”Predicting Presidential Elections and Other Things,” you claim that economic growth and inflation are the only variables that matter in a presidential race. Are you saying that the war in Iraq will have no influence on the election?

Historically, issues like war haven’t swamped the economics. If the equation is correctly specified, then the chances that Bush loses are very small.

But the country hasn’t been this polarized since the 60’s, and voters seem genuinely engaged by social issues like gay marriage and the overall question of a more just society.

We throw all those into what we call the error term. In the past, all that stuff that you think should count averages about 2.5 percent, and that is pretty small.

It saddens me that you teach this to students at Yale, who could be thinking about society in complex and meaningful ways.

This is what passes for journalism. Ask Ray Fair questions, lady, don’t banter meaninglessly about your opinions. Science (yes, science, Ruff) doesn’t care whether you’re sad or not, and Ray Fair is a good Economist for teaching his students econometrics without getting all emotive about it. You want sociology, Ms. Solomon, you’ll have to go over to the Op-Ed desk and ask Krugman. [Via Antler]

  1. troutfur says:

    This repoterette is so self-absorbed! Is this an interview or an interrogation? I have almost no tolerance for her editorial stupidity. If she were on my staff, I would have her flogged and then demoted to ass-kissing status. It sure is swell of the NYT to support affirmative action like this; there are PLENTY of talentless, unemployed hacks that would be more than happy to whine and bitch for a paycheck under the guise of journalism. Wow. This lady pretty much gave away the liberal media formula. Or, at least made it just that much more painfully obvious. Pull your hair out, anyone?

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