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What happens when reporters
try to predict the future?

January 16, 2001
Web posted at: 2:23 PM EST (1923 GMT)


LESSON PLAN
Student News Archive


It didn't take long for the media to declare that George W. Bush's less-than-landslide-victory meant he would enter the Oval Office as a lame duck.

 VIDEO
Presidents and press corps often at odds

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But history has shown that speedy judgments often force reporters to retract the statements they make about incoming presidents during the transition period.

Successes and stumbles during the early months as president tend to be flukes more than deliberate acts -- events that shouldn't be used to predict the effectiveness of a president.

After labeling former President George Bush as a wimp, the press retracted those statements indirectly by saying Clark Kent had turned to Superman.

CNN's Howard Kurtz looks at what happens when journalists try to be fortune-tellers.



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