DORK WARS  10:17 am November 19, 2008

Nate Silver Cussed Out By Angry Wingnut

by Sara K. Smith

Balls of steelWow! One might have guessed, given his charmingly nerdsome appearance and general blinky “how do I translate from numbers into English?” mannerisms that Nate Silver would be somewhat conflict averse. But no man he BRINGS IT. He interviewed some guy who commissioned a Zogby poll that proved, factually, that Obama voters are all a bunch of ignorant black Muslims. There’s even a YouTube to prove it! Anyhow Silver called up this very shirty gentleman John Ziegler to discuss his survey methods. Ziegler called him a pinhead and said many hilariously nasty things.

NS: What was the right answer to that [Palin] question?
JZ: The technically accurate question [sic] is that none of the four people said that, but we counted it as correct if they said Sarah Palin.

NS: Why would you commission a survey question with no correct response?
JZ: The purpose of the question, you pinhead, was we wanted to determine the Tina Fey Effect.


NS: Would you consider yourself well-informed?
JZ: I’d consider myself extremely well-informed.

NS: Who are the two senators from South Dakota?
JZ: Thune and, uh, Johnson.

NS: Very good. South Carolina?
JZ: Go fuck yourself. I’m done with this interview if you’re going to ask me stupid questions like that. Obviously I know who Lindsay Graham is.

NS: Well, since you’re running a website calling people misinformed, I’d like to see if — there are certain things you’ve said that I would consider misinformed.
JZ: Misinformed? You’re a piece of work! You are never going to have the guts to post a representative transcript on your website! I thought you actually ran a legitimate website!

NS: Thank you, have a good day.
JZ: Go fuck yourself.

The whole transcript is available here.

An Interview with John Ziegler on the Zogby “Push Poll” []

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4tehlulz November 19, 2008 at 10:19 am

I am so gay for Nate Silver after that.

grendel November 19, 2008 at 10:24 am

Nate Silver should adopt me after he gets his fat book advance.

MathewBrooks November 19, 2008 at 10:25 am

Ok, you gotta go read the whole transcript. So many bitters…

Woodwards Friend November 19, 2008 at 10:25 am

Katherine Graham is gonna get her tit caught in a big ringer for printing that.

Watchreader November 19, 2008 at 10:25 am

“I thought you ran a legitimate website!”

what the fuck does this even mean?

Watchreader November 19, 2008 at 10:26 am


“I thought you ran a legitimate website?”

What the hell does this even mean?

Borat November 19, 2008 at 10:27 am

Nate you are truely a Hero. I would say an American hero but real americans don’t have any use for facts. They live in the real world with unicorns and the bible n’stuff.

4tehlulz November 19, 2008 at 10:27 am

[re=180826]Watchreader[/re]: Legitimate Web sites don’t ask hard questions.

OffTheRecord November 19, 2008 at 10:32 am

Is it weird that this is making me hot? Yea? Oh…sorry.

aristoggle November 19, 2008 at 10:32 am

Hmm … doesn’t Ziegler rhyme with “Sieg”-ler, or something like that?

ellie November 19, 2008 at 10:32 am

I am embarrassed over my feelings for Nate Silver.

obfuscator November 19, 2008 at 10:34 am

If this is the same John Ziegler I’m thinking of, Nate hire a bodyguard or buy a gun or something. This guy is srrrrrsly unhinged. He blames O.J. Simpson for the end of his marriage and the loss of a previous talk radio job out in California.

What a shitty nutbag he is.

dannygutters November 19, 2008 at 10:34 am

Somebody posted this yesterday here, but it’s worth reading this interesting david foster wallace article from the Atlantic about Zigler (and talk radio in general).

Doglessliberal November 19, 2008 at 10:34 am

[re=180824]MathewBrooks[/re]: yeah, the whole thing leaves you speechless. Holy moly.

monty November 19, 2008 at 10:34 am

That guy better watch out or nate will release his level 70 dwarf paladin to regulate his ass.

psychedelicSludge November 19, 2008 at 10:35 am

Fuck. That guy – Karl Rove much?

Nigerian Business Executive November 19, 2008 at 10:36 am

[re=180836]monty[/re]: Ha! A level 80 tauren death knight would do the job quicker. Yes, I am a nerd, but not a Paultard.

N8Ma November 19, 2008 at 10:37 am

Nate Silver remains relevant after the election! Yay for math porn!

thefrontpage November 19, 2008 at 10:37 am

These guys are morons.

Tra November 19, 2008 at 10:37 am

The best part is how this seriously unhinged person thinks posting the transcript will make HIM look good. Unless you have Tourettes, screaming “Fuck you” to calm questioning does not tend to buy a lot of sympathy. Someone spent waaaaay too long in talk-radio land.

gambypants November 19, 2008 at 10:39 am

doesn’t this zogby guy know not to mess with the force. Nate Silver is the Luke Skywalker of stats and polls.


superfecta November 19, 2008 at 10:39 am

Can we finally live in a world where the edjumacated US Americans win? Because this feels good!

Larry McAwful November 19, 2008 at 10:40 am

Fuck you! Who needs facts to show they know what they’re talking about? FUCK YOU!

Give that guy an EIB contract!

obfuscator November 19, 2008 at 10:41 am

JZ: Misinformed? You’re a piece of work! You are never going to have the guts to post a representative transcript on your website! I thought you actually ran a legitimate website!

NS: Your mom’s a legitimate website.

In Ziegler’s defense, “Go fuck yourself” is the most effective response to anything ever.

NoWireHangers November 19, 2008 at 10:42 am

I hear Nate Silver porn involves counting slowly and crushing wingnuts with kindness. It gets the ladies and gentlemen off every time.

El Bombastico November 19, 2008 at 10:43 am

Does he have a lot of shirts?

ManchuCandidate November 19, 2008 at 10:44 am

Reading Ziggie’s wiki, one gets the slight impression that he’s got some serious issues with black people.

Who obsesses over OJ? Even OJ don’t obsess over OJ like Ziggie does.

ForTheTurnstiles November 19, 2008 at 10:44 am

[re=180849]obfuscator[/re]: Works against senators from Vermont…

gjdodger November 19, 2008 at 10:45 am

[re=180847]Larry McAwful[/re]: Actually, it’s now NIB. “Nowledge in Broadcasting.”

Yuppie November 19, 2008 at 10:45 am

I would love to see McCain voters’ answers to the same questions…

Which party currently controls Congress?

How do you feel about Nancy Pelosi?
“More guns?”

What about Harry Reid?
“Purple. And fucking GUNS.”

rambone November 19, 2008 at 10:45 am

Typical gotcha journalism, with the questions and the facts. Why can’t we just talk about palling around with terrorists and Muslins?

ella November 19, 2008 at 10:47 am

Just because Sean Hannity says something doesn’t mean it’s not true.

Yes it does. (Well done, Nate.)

obfuscator November 19, 2008 at 10:48 am

[re=180855]ManchuCandidate[/re]: He’s pretty far off the reservation, even for a talk radio guy. I bet Michael Savage looks at him and says, “Geez, Ziggie, maybe tone it down a little?”.

Serolf Divad November 19, 2008 at 10:52 am

Seriously all this poll did was gauge how effective the right-wing smear campaign was. But we know the answer already after the election: not effective enough.

magic titty November 19, 2008 at 10:54 am

This was so awesome. You have to read the entire transcript. Who is this dickbag, really? I might have to ‘inform’ him about a few things.

norbizness November 19, 2008 at 10:54 am

Nate’s old girlfriend from Oklahoma was gonna fly out for the interview but she couldn’t cause she’s doing some modeling right now.

shortsshortsshorts November 19, 2008 at 10:54 am

What the hell is Nate doing interviewing Jay Z anyhoo? Jay Z is obviously not qualified to conduct survey analysis. I mean DUH. JEEBUS.

rag November 19, 2008 at 10:54 am

[re=180839]N8Ma[/re]: Hip-hip, hoory!

Min November 19, 2008 at 10:56 am

I can’t believe Ziegler actually wanted the interview posted, because he sounds like a complete tool in it. Granted, there are men out there who aspire to sounding like complete tools, so maybe this is his four-minute mile.

Smackdown November 19, 2008 at 10:57 am

Can someone put Nate Silver’s face on a picture of Patrick Swayze riding a unicorn shirtless so I can make it my desktop wallpaper and get a full back tattoo as well?

Godot November 19, 2008 at 10:59 am

I think we’ve found the New York Times’ new “lightning rod conservative”. I would personally love to see a weekly op-ed column by this guy, especially if done in a mailbag format.

Breakfast Bourbon November 19, 2008 at 11:00 am

If Joe Morgan ever teams up with this Zeigler fella, Silver’s entire enterprise is screwed.

Serolf Divad November 19, 2008 at 11:03 am


Yeah, after the Weekly World News folded I’ve really been missing Ed Anger.

TGY November 19, 2008 at 11:04 am

Score one for my fellow math nerds everywhere! Wheee!

Miller November 19, 2008 at 11:04 am

He hit that poll with his +10 staff of enlightenment. I think the funniest part is imagining the awkward and nearly sedated personality of Nate Silver bubbling up the fire rage in some guy. I just imagine him screaming “Fuck you” into the phone and Silver awkwardly shuffling his feet, then murmuring out his next question.

Gorillionaire November 19, 2008 at 11:08 am

That Zeigler fella has been fired from more jobs than a room full of Apprentice contestants. Well, if you call being an asshole on radio for a few hours a night a “job”.

102415 November 19, 2008 at 11:09 am

Hey, I get firsties on this because I put it into the comments the other day when I got the damn poll from zogby. I’m glad it’s getting more of an airing because it really pissed me off, permanently.I finished part of the poll by just saying yes to everything no matter what and then fired off an email to Mr. Zogby himself who didn’t respond of course. Get used to all the crap the “poll” was pushing because those are the things we are going to be hearing coming out of the the talk show douchebags asses for the next hundred years.
Wow, my spell check corrected douchebags for me.Thanks spellcheck!

WIDTAP November 19, 2008 at 11:10 am

You may disrespect Nate Silver, but heaven help you from Nate Silver if you disrespect the numbers.

crookedE November 19, 2008 at 11:10 am

I think I’m in love.

wellspring November 19, 2008 at 11:10 am

as much fun as it is reading the transcript and thinking about Nate being all calm and stuff, part of me hopes that he actually hauled off and gave the guy back a dose of his own medicine then just left that part out of the transcript. I’ve seen him swear so I know he’s got it in him.

ManchuCandidate November 19, 2008 at 11:12 am

Ziggie sez: I had planned from day one because I knew that no one would take seriously any random sampling of interviewees that I was going to commission a scientific poll of these questions. I also knew that it would be a lot cheaper for me to do a nationwide survey of Obama voters than the nation as a whole because basically I’d only have to do half the number of people to get a representative sample.

WTF? That’s not stats I believes in.

So let me get this straight. Ziggie wants to show how stupid Obamatrons are without a baseline of the general level of stupidity? I’m getting the impression he’s the baseline of intellagince (sic.)

So basically, this is the stats equivalent of a dick measuring contest. So Ziggie, how many boxes of Enzyte do you buy in a month?

PancakeBreakfast November 19, 2008 at 11:21 am

Balls, Silver, giant ones.

dwarf74 November 19, 2008 at 11:23 am

He had better watch out. Nate will put something up on his site that says “There is a 98.2% chance that John Ziegler will be caught in an airport stall and arrested for ‘indecent acts’” and, due to Nate’s complete accuracy, it will happen.

Don’t mess with Nate-dawg.

Homo Motors November 19, 2008 at 11:24 am

This interview wasn’t with Ziegler, it was with O’Reilly…

you pinheads.

StripesAndPlaids November 19, 2008 at 11:25 am

Nate Silver must have ice water in his veins. I wish that I paid more attention in my stats classes, and I wish I could stay as calm when people tell me to go fuck myself. And, yes, this happens surprisingly often.

The Church of Realism November 19, 2008 at 11:27 am

Zigs did a fantastic job of channeling Oily O’Reilly. The best part is that NS completely ignores any of his weak comebacks to continue grinding his head into the cheese-grater.

Botswana Meat Commission FC November 19, 2008 at 11:32 am

Haha. I can’t decide who the bigger clown is, Ziegler or Zogby? What douches.

MysteriousTraveller November 19, 2008 at 11:39 am

Lovin’ Nate more everyday.

He always looks like he just took a bong hit.

facehead November 19, 2008 at 11:40 am

[re=180826]Watchreader[/re]: One with porn.

Team Arctic November 19, 2008 at 11:41 am

I like how the logistics for videotaping people is so much easier in black neighborhoods. That’s just obvious to me.

Mista Eko November 19, 2008 at 11:47 am

Alt text wins!

It’s time for silver to kick ass and chew bubble gum…and he’s all outta gum.

HuskyMescan November 19, 2008 at 11:47 am

John Ziegloby, you lose composure , you epically fail. Wingnuts wear their emotions on their sleeves like six year olds. They’re always easy outs.

gurukalehuru November 19, 2008 at 11:50 am

I love Nate Silver’s bastard website.

Fivetree November 19, 2008 at 11:54 am

Nate is my god now. He showed that idiot up to be a total tool and a fraud. I heart Nate.

Oh hell to the no November 19, 2008 at 11:55 am

Nate Silver can push poll me any time he wants. I mean, um…

I love you, Nate!

Kos November 19, 2008 at 12:03 pm

I’m not Nate Silver, I just crunch numbers a lot.

wonkthis November 19, 2008 at 12:08 pm

It’s like Nate played deaf. The asshole couldn’t get a rise out of him.

Dave J. November 19, 2008 at 12:11 pm

Is there anything better than JZ thinking that the unedited transcript is going to make HIM look good? Good lord, what a delusional tool.

Tra November 19, 2008 at 12:11 pm


It all makes sense now. The guy’s a lunatic.

What kind of idiot gets fired for using the n-word on air not once, not twice, but three times at three different places?

american mutt November 19, 2008 at 12:14 pm

Blaming the media for Obama’s success is like blaming the musicians on the titanic. If that makes any sense. There was a void. A boy named Obama came around and filled it. The end.

dano November 19, 2008 at 12:20 pm

Never try to debate a numbers nerd who is armed with the facts and asperger’s syndrome.

ElectoralGradStudent November 19, 2008 at 12:28 pm

I blame this Ziegler fucker for David Foster Wallace’s death. Staring into the abyss, man…

rmontcal November 19, 2008 at 12:28 pm

I still don’t think Nate will post a representative transcript of that interview on his website!

Quinagin November 19, 2008 at 12:32 pm

[re=180868]norbizness[/re]: WIN! I’ve been saying that every since NS donned the glasses.

Dave J. November 19, 2008 at 12:37 pm

In early 2006 John Ziegler and his newscaster Leah Brandon purchased a horse called “Luckie’s Revenge”.[11] After improving its health Leah tried to move the horse to her house. This created a conflict between John and Leah in June 2006 because the horse was not adjusting to Leah’s house and Leah felt that it should be moved back to the barn. The conflict between the two was about who should pay for this new cost and was a segment on the show on June 7, 2006.

I have no real reason for posting that, other than it’s my favorite WTF? moment from Ziegler’s Wikipedia entry.

trondant November 19, 2008 at 12:38 pm

Wow. And we already have one toolbag in orbit, courtesy of NASA.

Gopherit November 19, 2008 at 12:45 pm

I hope Nate Silver and Rachel Maddow have babies. Somehow.

shortsshortsshorts November 19, 2008 at 12:46 pm

[re=181017]Gopherit[/re]: Does Prop 8 say gays of different seckses can’t get gay married to each other? THE LAW IS VERY CONFUSING.

Neon Trotsky November 19, 2008 at 12:49 pm

Haha, I saw this fool on Fox News, where he said something like, “This cost me $15,000. I will cover the costs of anyone who can make a similar poll on McCain supporters!” Hmm, I think I’ve seen the same kind of totally unscientific polls showing McCain supporters as tards all accross the YouTubes–can I get 15 grand for sending the links?

Dave J. November 19, 2008 at 12:53 pm

[re=181027]Neon Trotsky[/re]: What he said was that if you ask THE EXACT SAME questions of McCain supporters and they do worse, he’ll pay your costs. But since all the question were Free-Republic style Obama conspiracy questions, of course McCain supporters would get that right. I’m sure I could commission a poll of McCain supporters by asking them nasty questions about McCain, that they would get wrong.

That Obama supporters don’t know the answers only proves that they haven’t watched Hannity in the past three weeks. They should be commended, not mocked.

Gopherit November 19, 2008 at 12:54 pm

[re=181020]shortsshortsshorts[/re]: That’s not very progressive, shorts. Maybe Nate can just knock her up or give her something in a baster.

blader November 19, 2008 at 1:02 pm



It appears Ziegler is just too ill-informed to know that bating shit doesn’t work on autistics

Neon Trotsky November 19, 2008 at 1:05 pm

[re=181032]Dave J.[/re]: Thanks for clarifying–it’s hard to resist the urge to change channel while watching Hannity & Colmes…

“ZOMG Obama supporterz didnt kno that there beluved messiah slipped up and sed he’d visited 57 states instead of 47!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1111″

emberglance November 19, 2008 at 2:00 pm

[re=181003]Dave J.[/re]: Also this: Usually after a tough show Zeigler enjoys showering himself in sperm donated by little boys from all over the eastern indian mountains. Once his thirst is quenched and he has pulled his whole head out of his ass…he likes to follow up with some sex play with his pet cockatoo “Biscuits” and a hand job from his spainish lover Astabio! With regards to his french lover Stefen who perfers a sack in his mouth!…On the issue of U.S. party politics, Ziegler has said that “the only dog I have in that hunt is that the more power Republicans(Shitheads) have, the less power Democrats have; it’s the lesser of two evils as far as I’m concerned, on most issues”

Can this really be true?

AxmxZ November 19, 2008 at 2:08 pm

Between Obama and Silver, Zen is IN, baby!

FMA November 19, 2008 at 2:17 pm

[re=181123]emberglance[/re]: Everything but that “lesser of two evils” crap. I have no idea where that came from.

Gorillionaire November 19, 2008 at 2:17 pm

Over at 538 this story has about 500 comments and more than a few of them are from someone new there who is making a rather, uh, vehement attempt to defend Heil Zeigler’s little push poll. It is almost has if it could be the exact same guy who blew his top in the telephone interview with Nate and then dared him repeatedly to post the transcript on his website!

astroprofeddie November 19, 2008 at 2:27 pm

Numbers are in the tank

Politicalchef November 19, 2008 at 3:11 pm

Nate Silver makes me warm and creamy.

I love it when brains win. Although I think the real interesting part may have been the “ad hominem exchanges” that are missing from the transcript.

Traveler November 19, 2008 at 3:40 pm

As bad as that poll is it’s not really a push poll see:

American Association For Public Opinion Research
American Association of Political Consultants

And for a real pollster’s take on that bad poll see:
Zogby’s Misleading Knowledge Test

“Zogby’s survey does not amount to a “push poll” in that sense, but using the term allows him to respond — predictably — with a denial that “this was not a push poll.” It wasn’t, but that’s beside the point. Describing his biased, leading questions as a legitimate test of knowledge is hugely misleading, at best.”

sossajes November 19, 2008 at 4:15 pm

Please do not call this nut Ziggy. Ziggy helps me and Al, the hologram that only I can see or hear (like Jesus).

I know Ziggy, and this man is no Ziggy.

thebeatgoeson November 19, 2008 at 10:48 pm

[re=180863]obfuscator[/re]: No, I happened upon Michael Savage while driving home from work last night and he was playing a clip from the documentary this d$*kwad made, all up in arms about how ill-informed the Obama voters were.

Well, I didn’t actually “happen upon” Michael Savage himself – that would be frightening beyond all imsgination!

MrsNateSilver November 20, 2008 at 7:58 pm

He’s this aggressive in the bedroom, too. That’s why I married him. Not the numbers or the mediawhorishness, or the glasses — though they are sexy — it was that manliness that sealed my deal. =sigh= I love him.

nutcracker January 9, 2009 at 12:58 pm

Just remember sports fans, Nate Silver got his start, and makes his day-to-day living, as a
baseball nerd. Still America’s pastime. Go Nate! I’ve got your back.

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