The New York Times looks back over its New Year’s predictions from the past – often missing the target.
The New York Times released a report this morning listing some of its predictions from the past. They often missed the target and were way off.
Below are some of the predictions the Times noted this morning:
Alongside coverage of New Year’s celebrations, The Times reported “warlike preparations” — including Southern demands that federal troops vacate Fort Sumter, near Charleston, S.C. Still, the first paper of 1861 sounded hopeful, predicting that “the great Republic will grow stronger and greater with the procession of the months.” Instead, the Civil War began in April, with the Confederate attack on Fort Sumter.
A Times story about the country’s financial outlook on Jan. 1, 1929, acknowledged the difficulty of prediction but concluded on an upbeat note: “as to the underlying strength of the American economic system, however, there is only one opinion.” That opinion was bullishness. One Chicago banker predicted that the newly elected president, Herbert Hoover, would “give the country a most constructive and able administration.” The stock market crashed less than 10 months later.
The threat of another world war stalked Times Square revelers ringing in 1939. “Among the funmakers, there were few who did not realize that the twelve months that had passed had seen drastic changes in the map of the world,” The Times reported, referring to Nazi Germany’s annexation of Austria. The newspaper also quoted a German economist visiting New York who predicted “a general European war in 1939.” Germany invaded Poland eight months later, and England and France declared war.
Times journalists knew 1968 would be a big political year — but got the specifics wrong. A New Year’s Eve story declared Nelson Rockefeller, New York’s governor, to be the only candidate whom Republican officials believed would beat President Lyndon Johnson. In reality, Johnson was so unpopular that he dropped out of the race, while Rockefeller dithered and launched a late and ultimately failed campaign. Richard Nixon took office in January 1969.
One prediction that the New York Times missed was before the 2016 Election. The Times predicted a Hillary Presidency. They missed that as well.