Trump confounds critics who vowed he’d soon resign

What fuels these inaccurate predictions?

Part of the problem is a mismatch between the short-term commercial incentives of journalism-as-entertainment and the longer-term commercial incentives of journalism-as-credible-information. As a headline, “Trump Will Resign” gets a lot of clicks. It feeds the escape fantasies of people who deeply dislike Mr. Trump. There are many of those people, and they spend a lot of time on the Internet.

In addition to the commercial incentives of click-chasing publishers, there are the career incentives of pundits. Make an outrageous prediction, or write up someone else’s bold prediction into a news article, and by the time that prediction fails to materialize into reality, most people will have forgotten about it. If the prediction turns out to be true, however, it can pay off big time.

There’s a similar phenomenon in the stock market forecasting game.