A woman who worked at data journalist Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight news site blasted him as a “terrible boss” on Tuesday as Disney-owned ABC is reportedly looking into shuttering the data-driven news site.
Farai Chideya, who worked as a reporter for FiveThirtyEight during the 2016 election, posted a lengthy tweet thread which went viral on Tuesday. She hit out at Silver as a “white male nerd” who ran a “money-losing, failure-of-trendspotting site.”
“I had some wonderful friends and allies at @FiveThirtyEight,” Chideya tweeted on Tuesday. “But Nate Silver was a terrible boss, especially to women and people of color.”
“Someone should do a bit of data journalism on how long women lasted on average there,” she tweeted. “And that made the journalism worse.”
The Post has sought comment from ABC News.
Chideya wrote that Silver was a “terrible manager” who “didn’t listen” to his employees’ complaints, particularly “criticism from women on staff.”
She described one incident in which she confronted Silver and threatened to quit if “things didn’t get better.” Chideya tweeted that the incident left him “gobsmacked.”
Silver also was accused of being “part of the problem with American journalism” by failing to adequately appreciate how “race and gender were weaponized” by Donald Trump to win the 2016 presidential election.
According to Chideya, who is black, Silver “dismissed all relevance of race and gender on the metanarrative.”
Chideya posted tweets in response to a Daily Beast report which claimed that executives at ABC News put Silver’s news site “on the chopping block” as the network mulls cost-cutting measures.
A decision is expected to be made by ABC News brass this summer, when Silver’s contract expires.
The site’s performance is purportedly under review by ABC News president Kimberly Godwin, according to the report, which added that ABC could look to “offload” the FiveThirtyEight site in a sale.
The site, which has never turned a profit, was founded by Silver in 2008. It was initially the property of The New York Times, where Silver made a name for himself nationally by accurately predicting Barack Obama’s election.
In 2013, Silver and his site migrated from the Times to Disney-owned ESPN. In 2018, FiveThirtyEight was acquired by ESPN’s corporate sister, ABC News.
Additional Reporting by Thomas Barrabi
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