The Washington Post

Dick Morris in good standing with Van Susteren

On the blog GretaWire, pundit Dick Morris, who’d famously predicted a Mitt Romney landslide, tries to account for the bogus call:

The key reason for my bum prediction is that I mistakenly believed that the 2008 surge in black, Latino, and young voter turnout would recede in 2012 to “normal” levels. Didn’t happen. These high levels of minority and young voter participation are here to stay. And, with them, a permanent reshaping of our nation’s politics.

In 2012, 13% of the vote was cast by blacks. In 04, it was 11%. This year, 10% was Latino. In ’04 it was 8%. This time, 19% was cast by voters under 30 years of age. In ’04 it was 17%. Taken together, these results swelled the ranks of Obama’s three-tiered base by five to six points, accounting fully for his victory.

Place as much credence in that explanation as in Morris’s tortured and snake-oily explanation for the original prediction, which included this spasm of sophistry: “Take the 7 or 8 points of undecided after you move those numbers around, split ’em 2 to 1, you have Romney winning by eight or nine points.”

Despite the sheer and proven nonsense, Morris appears in fine standing with Greta Van Susteren, the Fox News host on whose show Morris spouted off.

Hours ago I posted Dick’s column on GretaWire where he admits to having “egg on his face” and explains his thinking. As for having him on again? Of course I will. I worry about the people who make mistakes or get it wrong and won’t fess up and explain their thinking and there are lots of them across all networks. I may remind him when he makes a prediction next time, but I will have him back on.

Why harp on Morris’s comically mistaken prediction?

1) Because he’s a Fox News political analyst. Fox News is the leading cable news channel;

2) Because his rationale for the prediction, as explained here, consisted of gibberish;

3) Because Fox News, according to a Nexis search, trafficked in the Morris prediction, recycling it on other shows and generally just having a ball with it;

4) Because a conservative news outlet can promote conservative ideas and conservative causes without stooping to baseless cheerleading.

Erik Wemple writes the Erik Wemple blog, where he reports and opines on media organizations of all sorts.


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