Behind the Lines: The press's false prophecies
I CANNOT conclude this column honestly without coming clean about my own past practices as an instant pundit. Though my Jerusalem Post track record hasn't been that bad, a few glaring mistakes stand out. Three of these are particularly embarrassing. Despite the fact that no one actually took me to task for them, I'm now inviting your ridicule by pointing them out.The media makes mistakes! wow! He's a brave man to admit it.
In January, immediately after Ariel Sharon's second debilitating stroke, I predicted that the Kadima leadership would not gather around his replacement, Ehud Olmert, and that a succession battle would sink the nascent party.
On the eve of the election, I advised readers not to vote for the Pensioners Party, confidently asserting that since it had no chance of passing the electoral threshold, a vote for it would be wasted.
Before the cease fire at the end of this summer's war, I wrote that the government's days were numbered, due to its having been discredited and by its being left with no agenda following the demise of the realignment plan.
The first two of these predictions were quickly confounded. As for the third: It is four and a half months later, and the government is not only still here, but no one is prepared to make any more bets on its imminent fall.
What about the weather? Accordinging to the experts, it was supposed to rain all day today. I didn't notice any, though it did rain last night. And they're also predicting some snow on Wednesday. I checked a couple of weather sites and it probably won't be more than flurries. That is unless they're wrong. And if they're wrong, two things--oops! no, three things could happen. Either it won't snow, but it'll rain, or it'll be real stormy, and that could mean either rain or snow.
Last year there were some serious rain predictions by the Israel Meterological Service, and the Jerusalem city workers were all on alert, equipment was set up, and-- no snow. And the TV was also on alert, searching for snow flakes to interview.
Yes, some people made lots of money off the the snowless snow.
Maybe it would be better not to predict at all and just take each day as a surprise and a blessing.