Former Mail & Guardian, now former Huffington Post editor Verashni Pillay has emerged from the wilderness to pen a piece (see here) attacking the SA Institute of Race Relations for, well, truth be told, it is difficult to say exactly. Her thoughts read like they just fell out of a tumble-dryer. But she is not happy. One can discern that much at least.
One of things she seems unhappy about is that the IRR has been going around “predicting” things, via its polling. She writes, in a moment of clarity, “The IRR’s convenient opinion-finding in support of its own stance should put us on alert when it comes to the IRR making predictions of an ANC win – a win that would be very antithetical to their stated interests.”
I like the phrase “very antithetical”. It’s similar to the phrase, “very unique”. Not really the sort of language you would expect from a former editor but then her time at the Huffington Post suggests editing was not her strong point.
Here is another phrase she might be interested in, if she bothered to read the IRR’s actual poll. It is the first one under the section titled “Interpretation”. It reads: “This poll is not a prediction.” Again, one would expect reading to be part and parcel of a former editor’s journalistic make-up, but then she is a former editor for a reason, and that reason had a lot to do with not reading in the first place.
There is a whole lot of moaning and groaning about the IRR’s ideological character - “The IRR hews much closer to the DA in terms of policy” and “as we consume these statistics and numbers, we must remember the ideological bent of the organisations behind them” - but no actual interrogation of the poll methodology itself.