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Hewitt's Crystal Ball Is Clearly Biased

October 30, 1994

I predict Hugh Hewitt (Newport Beach attorney and "Life & Times" prognosticator) will be eating crow on Nov. 9, the day after elections, when his predictions about how Orange County voters will cast their ballots don't pan out. In his commentary ("Recession, Crime and Clinton Are Recipe for GOP Victories," Oct. 23), he bolsters his obviously biased support of Measure A by misrepresenting Larry Agran's plan for the reuse of the El Toro Marine base, and at the same time offering no proof that a commercial/cargo airport guarantees jobs.

On the Feinstein/Huffington race, Hewitt tells only part of the story, omitting important facts that weaken his position. All Leisure World residents I know and have met at many political events are not buzzing anger (his phrase and bias) at Sen. Feinstein.

Hewitt could better serve Orange County and boost his credibility if he'd showed more objectivity and broadened his base of inquiry before drawing error-ridden conclusions.


Laguna Hills

* If necessity is the mother of invention, then partisan advocacy is often the father of political prognostication. Advocacy hidden as prognostication is intellectually dishonest and seductively suggestive, a powerful and dangerous form of political discourse. Suggesting the inevitability of an election outcome and doing so convincingly, for example, diminishes the electorate's belief in the independent autonomy and power of its franchise. Unfortunately, in the era of mass media politics, prediction has become just another word for endorsement.

Once again, Hugh Hewitt illustrates his mastery of this deceptive art. Hewitt is entitled to endorse any candidate or ballot measure his loyal Republican heart desires and has ample opportunity to do so. But there is a stark dishonesty in Hewitt's penchant for masking endorsements as disinterested predictions.

Were Hewitt's endorsements also good predictions, readers might take seriously his most recent ruminations.

Problem is, Hewitt's record as a soothsayer in past general elections is quite weak. In 1992, for example, Hewitt "predicted" (i.e., endorsed) reelection for George Bush, Bruce Herschensohn's election as senator, and a GOP takeover of the California Legislature, among other crystal ball misreads. Hewitt's predictions for 1994 may also fall short.

Hugh Hewitt ate quite a few crows after the 1992 election. I hope my friend is plenty hungry on Nov. 9.



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