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By Lawrence Lessig
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Ear to the Ground

Fox News Drops Bad Election Predictor Dick Morris

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Posted on Feb 6, 2013
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Dick Morris’ forecasts failed to come true. 

Fox News, perhaps finally aware that Dick Morris is no Nate Silver, has reportedly revoked the Republican cheerleader’s conservative pollster’s right to spew nonsense on its airwaves. Morris’ contract expired, and the right-wing news channel is reportedly not renewing it.

“No single human made as many wrong, botched, bogus, and stupid predictions about the 2012 election as Dick Morris,” Dave Weigel writes at Slate. “Making fun of them, by campaign’s end, hardly seemed fair.”

It appears that assuring viewers that Mitt Romney would most certainly, definitely, absolutely win the last presidential election—among the handful of sham predictions that earned him Politico’s title of “The Worst Pundit of 2012”—had consequences after all.

More from Weigel:

But let’s kick Dick Morris while he’s down. He wasn’t merely an inaccurate pundit. He was a con artist. He used his Fox News hits and Hill columns (he still has the columns!) to pitch candidates that he would concurrently schlep to people who signed up on his mailing list. Hey, did you listen to me on TV and hear about my web site? Great! Donate to the Super PAC for America, which will plow money back into list-building and completely fail to elect any of these candidates.

Fox News elevated Morris from a pundit to a Republican activist, a speaker at Tea Party rallies and Republican events. Eleven months ago—ie, with plenty of time to go before the election—Morris spoke at a Lake County, Florida GOP meeting and tried to auction off a visit to the Fox News studios. Fox News suspended him, briefly, but the scandal should have been even more embarrassing than that. Morris was presenting his employer not as a news organization, but as a helpful part of the struggle. At the same time he was undermining the news organization’s utility to conservatives, by using it as a forum to profitably, baselessly promise that everything was gonna work out.

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—Posted by Tracy Bloom.

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