Times Won’t Scare Readers With Needle

My wife and I immensely enjoyed election night in 2016, which we spent at the main Republican hotel event. More than anything else, my wife enjoyed periodically checking in on the needle at the top of the New York Times’ front page. The needle tracked the probability of Hillary Clinton winning the election. At the beginning of the evening, it stood at something like 97% (going from memory here).

But as the evening went on, the needle slowly traversed the dial and wound up on the other side, graphically illustrating Hillary’s demise. My wife highly enjoyed the trip, taking occasional screen shots.

Apparently a lot of Democrats were traumatized by the needle last time, so the Times has announced it will be demoted. Steve Green has the story at InstaPundit:

The NYT is working to avoid triggering panic attacks among people who felt the election needle duped them into believing former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton would easily win. The needle supposedly created confusion between real-life election data and flawed predictive polling.

“Until we get a sufficient sampling of early results to make that model meaningful, we won’t even surface the needle,” Managing Editor Joe Kahn told Vanity Fair’s Joe Pompeo Monday. There will now be two needles – one for the House and one for the Senate – and neither will be placed high up on the front page, he said.

“People have expressed a concern that even though our real-time election model is extremely valuable, that despite that, we should still be very cautious about featuring the needle prominently in our coverage on Election Night—not because we’re not confident in it, but because certain readers may have a nervous reaction to the re-introduction of the needle,” he added.

If Democrats see the needle, it may induce post-traumatic stress syndrome. Is this another indication that liberals just aren’t strong enough to thrive in the modern world?


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