Varifrank posts a fine rant about those modern-day prognosticators who never seem to be called to account for the failure of their predictions of doom and gloom to come true (with, of course, the sole exception of Bush and the WMDs).
I've often wondered the same thing, in relation to pundits (especially those financial analysts who tell you where to invest), scientists, economists, fortunetellers, and psychics. But I'm not sure most of these predictions aren't considered a sort of entertainment, much like disaster or horror movies, meant to impart a frisson of almost-pleasurable anxiety but not necessarily to predict reality.
I have one tiny quibble with Varifrank's essay: he compares these people to poor old much-maligned Cassandra. Now I happen to know a little bit about Cassandra, having been fascinated by her back in high school when I first encountered her through Greek tragedies (yes, they used to make us read them in high school, and a public high school at that) and was moved to write a paper on her poignant plight.
Cassandra received one of those "yes, but" gifts/curses of which the Greek gods seemed so very fond. Her resultant powers, however, actually made her the opposite of those whom Varifrank decries: it was Cassandra's terrible fate to make correct predictions about dreadful events to come, but to never be believed.
Who would ever host her on cable news?