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On the Trail / POLITICAL SOOTHSAYERS

The pundits are either with you or against you

June 06, 2008|Robin Abcarian

Blaming the media when things go south is a time- honored political tradition. In the last few months, Bill Clinton has regularly reminded reporters that they are responsible for his wife's tumbling fortunes.

The other night, though, after Hillary Rodham Clinton told her supporters in New York that she had kept campaigning "even when the pundits and the naysayers proclaimed week after week that this race was over," Jon Stewart of "The Daily Show" directed his finely honed sense of sarcasm her way.

"Those pundits never gave you a chance," Stewart said. "Ever, ever, ever."

What followed was a montage of TV punditry from early in the campaign, including:

* Dec. 20, 2006: MSNBC's Joe Scarborough: "Hillary Clinton will be the nominee. She will crush Barack Obama. Barack, just sit it out, it's going to be ugly, I promise you. You heard it here first."

* Feb. 17, 2007: On Fox News, next to the headline "GOP views Clinton as virtually unbeatable," Kirsten Powers says: "She's a meteor hurtling through space toward the White House. President Hillary Clinton. Get ready."

* Aug. 23, 2007: On CNN's "Situation Room," Leslie Sanchez says: "It's almost inevitable now that Hillary Clinton will be the nominee."

* Oct. 8, 2007: On CNN, Amy Holmes opines: "At this point, she has it in the bag."

"News pundits," Stewart concluded. "They're like the Doppler-less weathermen of our time."

-- Robin Abcarian

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