Trump Will Resign by the End of the Year, Right? New at Reason.

President Trump deserves more credit than he has gotten for at least one thing—outlasting his critics’ prediction of the length of his tenure.

Having failed to accurately predict Trump’s exit during the first year of his presidency, the press, or at least some of its members, have proceeded to move the goalposts another 12 months down the calendar. “Will 2018 Be The End of the Trump Presidency?” asks a headline in Vanity Fair. The usual rule of thumb applies: if the headline has to be phrased as a question, the answer is “no.” Otherwise it would be just phrased as a statement: “2018 Will Be The End of The Trump Presidency.”

What fuels these inaccurate predictions?

Part of the problem is a mismatch between the short-term commercial incentives of journalism-as-entertainment and the longer-term commercial incentives of journalism-as-credible-information. As a headline, “Trump Will Resign” gets a lot of clicks. There are the career incentives of pundits. Make an outrageous prediction, or write up someone else’s bold prediction into a news article, and by the time that prediction fails to materialize into reality, most people will have forgotten about it. If the prediction turns out to be true, however, it can pay off big time, writes Ira Stoll.

Read the whole thing.

from Hit & Run

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