Pundits Will Pay No Price for Being Arrogantly Wrong About Trump

The Washington Post‘s Dana Milbank (10/2/15) said he would eat the page on which his column was printed if Donald Trump gained the Republican nomination. “The entire commentariat is going to feel a little silly when Marco Rubio wins every Republican primary,” tweeted the New York Times‘ Ross Douthat (9/25/15). “Trump Will Still Lose. Here’s How,” said Bloomberg News (1/7/16). “No, Donald Trump Won’t Win,” lectured David Brooks (New York Times12/4/15). And on and on.


These experts, it would seem, were wrong—and confidently, arrogantly, condescendingly so. But as noted by Glenn Greenwald and Zaid Jilani, who corralled many examples for The Intercept (5/4/16), they will pay absolutely no price for it. And that’s a problem. It isn’t that journalists should never make predictions; or that they’re expected to always be right. But you do have to wonder why so much energy is devoted to crystal-ball gazing when nothing seems to be learned when pundits are way off target.

“At the very least,” wrote Greenwald and Jilani,

when a profession that touts its expertise, collectively, is this wildly wrong about something so significant, more needs to be done than a cursory, superficial acknowledgment of error — or casting blame on others — before quickly moving on, in the hope that it’s all forgotten.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card

Close

Don't Sit on the Sidelines of History. Join Alternet All Access and Go Ad-Free. Support Honest Journalism.