13 Of The Worst Predictions Ever Made By The New York Times

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Chances are you probably know that the NYT is a respected media for a number of reasons. This is more than just a source of news and information. People rely on qualified journalists and their predictions are part of their influence. Still, these predictions are not always correct. The list below will show you why. It is full of the biggest misses NYT has made so far in trying to predict the future. One of the journalists there once said that Apple would probably never release a smartphone.

1. The airplanes

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One of the most notable predictions made by the NYT staff is related to airplanes. They published an article on whether airplanes were feasible or not back in 1903. As we all know today, the NYT position on the matter was wrong.

2. The rockets

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Here is yet another prediction that turned out to be completely and utterly wrong. It appears that their 1936 prediction was busted shortly after it was made. They claimed that man-made rockets can never go past Earth’s atmosphere.

3. The cars

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With the invention of the automobile at the dawn of the previous century, the NYT had concerns about the safety of cars and the higher speeds associated. They were expecting that people’s brains could not keep up.

4. The Picasso style

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Now, this is where things are really starting to become funny. New York Times decided to issue their position on the matter of Picasso’s newly adopted Cubism style of painting. They thought that it was childish and immature but they had no idea how wrong they were.

5. The Twitter social platform

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Here is one more incredibly wrong prediction. The NYT wrote about the future of the platform and stated that it was likely to not have one at all. They even mocked the idea behind it and said that it cannot be a profitable business in the future.

6. The Apple future

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The biggest name in tech today was once believed to be obsolete by the NYT. It seems that they couldn’t have been more wrong about it. They even called Apple “classic” and believed the company was “cooked”. Imagine how the journalist who wrote that feels now.

7. The iPod

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Since we are talking about Apple, we might as well mention this absurd prediction as well. The NYT quoted specialists who believed that this nifty little thing was only going to attract Macintosh fans. They thought that Windows users would never buy this product.

8. The Aerosmith success

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Aerosmith is the kind of name that needs zero introduction. The world-famous rock band and its vocalist Steven Tyler were once believed to be good only for opening acts. That, of course, proved to be wrong. The band became one of the greatest names in music.

9. The Wheel of Fortune

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It appears that NYT got this one wrong, too. They thought that its peak was in 1986 and that the show will not go on for much longer. Still, we all know that the story was quite different. We grew up watching it and we loved it despite the naysayers.

10. The bagels

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Back in 1946, NYT believed that bagels were not the answer to the needed reduction in the size of loaves of bread produced by bakers. The small treats were considered to have no future but we all know that it turned out differently and we can’t live without them today.

11. The space travel

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Back in 1920, NYT was more than certain that space travel would never happen. They even tried to mock the idea and the people behind it. When eventually the Apollo 11 went on their Moon mission, the Times decided to edit their original article and apologize for the prediction.

12. The personal computer

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This is one of the worst predictions the NYT has ever made. The staggering fact about it was that it was made not so long ago, back in 1985. We all know that hundreds of millions of people have their laptops or tablets with them all the time. The NYT stated that would never happen and people will never want to carry such a device around.

13. The TV

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Similar to the previous prediction, this one couldn’t be further from the truth! As the prediction states, TV had no future simply because people had no free time to spare and sit in front of a TV set. This sounds funny today but it was the prediction the New York Times made in 1939.

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Patrick Bennet
I love reading and writing. I am a full time student and I study Philosophy in Oxford.


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