The Year That Wasn’t

by Jonah Goldberg

I just went back and looked at my predictions for 2003 from last year’s NRO New Year’s symposium . I didn’t do that well on some/most fronts. But there’s still time for a handful of predictions to be more or less fulfilled in spirit:


People will look back on 2002 as Bill O’Reilly’s last good year.

There will be major Howard Dean boomlet next summer. It will die out the moment people think it’s remotely possible the Vermont governor might actually become president.

“What is: Nachman and Donahue?” Will be the winning response for the $500 Jeopardy category “Reasons MSNBC is a Nature Channel Now.”

California will make national newsmagazines as the disaster that could have been averted. Gray Davis will become a laughingstock of such monumental proportions, his unpopularity will do more to make the state competitive for Republicans than George Bush’s 712 visits.

Delaware stays out of the headlines again.

The Corner becomes a full-time vertical banner ad.

The Sipowicz-as-Job theme of NYPD Blue will break new ground when Dennis Franz’s lower body is actually consumed by rabid dogs. His recovery will not only be uplifting but Emmy®-winning as well, because he will befriend his gay African-American physical therapist, eventually forming a new crime-fighting team a la the new series Monk.

There will be a major reevaluation of the Giuliani legacy as New York City goes into a fiscal death spiral.

Osama bin Laden’s death will be confirmed.

Michael Jackson will permanently leave the United States to avoid criminal prosecution, earning him the nickname “Skinny Arbuckle.”

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