The Press: A Safe Prediction

In a commentary on the CBS Morning News, Correspondent John Hart admonished fellow journalists to avoid making predictions in their impeachment coverage. "One sure way to be out ahead of the story is to report it before it happens," he said. "The trouble is that predictions foster expectations, and expectations have some influence on the future."

Of course they do. Hart's point applies in a variety of situations, perhaps most notably election reporting. An authoritative-sounding business story about a company's future prospects can measurably affect those prospects (as well as the stock price). Even publicity about a race horse can have...

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