AS we all know, electronic and print media are full of pundits and other types of political commentators. Research has indeed shown that pundits are terrible forecasters – but then again the quality of forecasts may never have played too big a role in the assessment of talking heads.
Still, the lack of accountability could be part of the problem. A TV or newspaper pundit can say anything and still be invited back.
But the 2011 election brought an interesting change to this pattern. TV2’s political editor in 2009 declared that “he would eat his old hat” (a common Danish phrase when you are stating your disbelief about something) if Liberal Alliance passed the 2% threshold while the gruesome twosome (aka Peter Mogensen and Michael Kristiansen) promised to wear large ears (I suspect this plays on another phrase: “Hearing so much that your ears fall off).
PS: As a political scientist I loved this conclusion from a paper about US pundits: “The final significant factor in a prediction’s outcome was having a law degree; lawyers predicted incorrectly more often.”