If this election season has shown us anything, it is that the nation's media have been almost always wrong.
In some cases, as in the primaries in the U.S. Northeast, polls were to blame, but what of other boo-boos?
Such unfulfilled predictions are all the more remarkable given his recent rising to the top of the Republican field.
Just two days ago, so-called Super Tuesday was supposed to be the definitive breakaway event for the Democratic presidential primaries. But events didn't turn out that way. The candidates are essentially locked in a head-to-head race.
How does this happen?
It's also true that polls are little more than snapshots in time. They, therefore, reflect brief blinks of a certain moment. If needs are changing, or if new audiences are entering the fray, these moments are missed.
As for new audiences, I mean young people from 18 to 35, many of whom have never had (or don't now have) land lines - and polling companies are forbidden by law from contacting people via cell phones.
Thus, a whole cohort of people--young people-- those most apt to change their minds--are lost to pollsters.
Another factor is, in this age of new media, news shows don't report what happened anymore; they rush to report what will happen next.
When this is done, it presents a 50/50 proposition; you're right 1/2 the time, or wrong 1/2 the time. You simply can't be right 100% of the time!
Major corporate media outlets do this because it's a battle for audience eyes - and market share. Predicting news is a lot sexier than reporting it, especially to younger viewers who are drawn to the interactivity of the Internet.
Also, many people, young and old, felt burnt by the cheerleading role played by the media in the selling of the Iraq War.
The corporate media has gotten it wrong - again.
--(c) '08 maj