I agree. The R² is a small thing — a sign that the model isn’t a good fit, but definitely not a dealbreaker on its own.
The small sample divided up into many subcategories renders the study scientifically meaningless. It’s effectively a collection of anecdotes, with all the problems that entails.
That’s how I interpreted it too — a sort of “I’m sorry you’re offended” non-apology apology.
So we know Biden doesn’t think it’s a big deal, and neither do his supporters. But whether Democratic primary voters care is an open question.
I felt similarly. At least with the psychopathic sadists, most people knew they were sadistic psychopaths. The High Sparrow presented himself as holier-than-thou, was surrounded by people who agreed, and was thought of, or at least treated, as righteous by most.
I don’t think the media’s blameless in this, but a lot of blame goes to the audience. Media organizations are businesses, and personal scandals get viewers/listeners/clicks. If ratings were better for, say, climate, they’d cover that more and scandals less.
I disagree on two points.