Hoisted from comments: Low-Tech Cyclist:
Ron Suskind on George W. Bush: There's a Bill James quote from one of his early Baseball Abstracts - 1982 or 1983, I'd guess - about the difference between the way most reporters covered baseball (by watching the games and talking to the players and managers), and the way he looked at baseball (by looking at the numbers, and reaching his own conclusions).
It's always seemed apropos to the difference between the way the D.C. pundits saw the Bush Administration and the way the blogosphere sees it. Ditto the difference between the way Woodward, the ultimate insider, saw the Bush Administration, and the way Suskind did.
One of these days I'll have to find the damned quote, though I may have to scan in an entire Baseball Abstract to do so. But you get the idea. Bill James had a much clearer idea, back in the 1980s, of why teams were winning or losing, than the baseball reporters and commentators did, and part of that was that while there were surely advantages to the close-up view, looking at the game from a distance allowed him to see a lot of things the others were missing.