All right, it’s that time of year again when I am forced to look back and see how my predictions for 2004 compared with what actually happened. There were a few misses and few direct hits. Here are the predictions I made at the beginning of 2004 and an update on what happened…
Howard Dean is winning so far in part because he’s
angry. Not just at the Republicans, but at leading
Dems who have let their party down and made Karl
Rove look like he was running his political
offense against air. The Dean surge has been
nothing less than remarkable. That said: He will
not win the Democratic nomination.
Would’ve been pretty interesting if he had, though, huh?
Joe Lieberman will be among the first Dems to drop
out of the race. In a further blow, he will be
informed in rather stark terms that he actually
isn’t funny at all. Sharpton (to the chagrin of
fellow Dems) will be the last to drop out and
support the winner.
Bingo. Even Al Gore refused to get on the
Joe-mentum express. Lieberman failed to get
significant numbers in any of the first 10 primaries
and was one of the first guys out on Feb 4. Sharpton
hung on until the bitter end (and got some cash to
pipe down and support Kerry). I think Kucinich
outlasted him though…
Any Americans with reasonable means who have not
started using TiVo by the end of 2004 will be put
on a list of undesirables. (And there will be
nothing they can do to either pause or rewind
If you own a TiVo, you’ve likely seen the list.
But let’s keep it under wraps for awhile…
Jack Black’s career will wither away until he
becomes as artistically valuable as a piece of stray
trash. (Note: I don’t really believe or want
that, but I hear that JB regularly Googles himself
and cannot resist reading the negative stuff.)
Anyone know Jack? Did it work? Man
is he a jackass.
Aaron Brown will be forced to choose to either
accept a major demotion at CNN or to leave
Brown didn’t seem to be the ringleader of
convention coverage. But this one was just a bit
early. CNN fired the boss instread (second new
leader in 14 months). And Anderson Cooper is being
paraded around as the next big thing. None of CNN’s
shows are in the top ten among cable news shows
MSNBC: Total Overhaul.
Not total. But the network that once
hired Phil Donahue is now featuring a whole lot
of Joe Scarborough and other Fox-light characters.
They added Deborah Norville early in the year. So
lets call it a partial overhaul, none of which
helped much in terms of ratings. Hardball continues
to buoy the struggling network.
Both Dennis Miller and John McEnroe will
see their CNBC shows cancelled by year’s
end. Both dudes are heavily entertaining, but
they are not about asking others what they think.
McEnroe just got canceled. Miller’s doesn’t
have great numbers, but losing his mind helped
to keep him competitive.
Apple will pick up marketshare in the consumer
sector and do something major in the TV space.
Missed this on the TV thing, but dead-on in
terms of the consumer pick-up. Moving iTunes
to Windows and iPod sales have shown Windows
users the light. More than 13% of those who bought
an iPod have either already purchased a
Mac or they plan to in the next 12 months.
Apple’s stock has more than tripled this year.
Ken Lay in Handcuffs.
What can I say? We live in a cruel and terrible world.
Kobe Plea Bargains (He admits some
guilt. Shaq does time.)
Kobe gets off. Shaq takes off.
Coming soon: Shrink TV
Not quite yet. But it’s coming.
Lost jobs and international outsourcing
will be a major issue of the presidential campaign.
Bingo. Just not big enough.
Jessica Simpson will have the last laugh.
Variety shows. Top selling albums. Coattails
for her less talented sister. Ad campaigns. Jugs.
Someone will realize that Mark Geragos loses
I think everyone has realized it by this week…
Reality television and the web will somehow merge
(somewhere between blogging, webcams, and
This didn’t quite happen. I expected the webcam
thing to be bigger. But do I get partial credit for
the launch of RealityTVDates.com?
Britney will get married again (or rehab or both).
What can a say? I know my midriff baring pop stars.
Charlize Theron, Oscar
Jai will be slapped around and ultimately removed
from the show by his fellow castmembers on
Queer Eye for the Straight Guy setting off
a national state of euphoria not seen since the
Netscape IPO. I mean Jai probably tips the scale
at about 72 pounds and still doesn’t come close to
pulling his weight. Even the folks at Bravo can’t
seem to pad this guy’s resume. Here is their own
description of his nearly none-role: “On Queer
Eye, Jai uses all aspects of his professional
training and skills as a performer plus his social
charisma to coach straight subjects on everything
from mixing ‘n mingling in a social setting, to
conversation skills, and to being at ease on the
Jai survived. Queer Eye burned out. Coincidence?
It will turn out that the amazing pictures
supposedly coming from the Mars Exploration Rover
Spirit are actually being broadcast from a webcam
that some guy hopped up on Ecstasy accidentally
left at Burning Man.
I haven’t seen any proof otherwise and my wife, who
went to burning man, said she saw what looked like
The Republican Convention in New York will bring
with it massive protests.
Only pretty small ones.
Related: Tom DeLay. At Scores. A thick roll of
twenties. Still, nothing.
Arnold. One term (and that will be a stretch).
We shall see. Not looking good. I may be making
predictions about his White House run soon…
Dan Marino was recently named VP of Football
Operations for his alma mater Miami Dolphins.
During a press conference, he was asked if it was
really just a figurehead position. The team’s owner
then stepped in and answered the question for him.
Bottom line: Dolphins will be below .500 next season.
Marino was out about a week later. The Dolphins
are currently 2-11.
The anti-carb, pro-Atkins feeding frenzy will
continue unabated for most of the year (unless you
consider me on the couch, knee deep in a mountain
of pasta to be an abatement). It’s already out of
control with low-carb beer, bunless burgers and
the frying of bacon establishing itself as the new
official American pastime. The pizza joint across
the street from my office actually has a menu item
called the L.C. Pizza. It’s the same as all the
other pizzas except for the fact that it has no
crispy dough and is instead served on a piece of
paper. In the coming year, bread, pasta and other
carb makers will organize and begin a massive
television ad campaign. Meanwhile, Americans will
go beyond the broad teachings of the Atkins diet
and focus specifically on something called the
The anti-carb thing went nuts. Luckily it’s
also burning out. Glycemic load, not so big.
Can any bread product beat the Atkins trend?
Tortillas are inching up on white bread as
America’s most consumed bread product.
Niacin finally gets it’s due.
Not yet. It lowers cholesterol. Ask your doctor.
Dr. Phil, scandal
I’d say selling millions of diet books while being
sort of fat qualifies as a scandal.
After his recent display (going from bashing Bush
with insights that confirmed the worst fears about
the President – on topics ranging from war to
taxes – to saying he’d likely vote for him again
in the next election), one could be forgiven for
referring to Paul O’Neill as Shallow Throat. At
this point, I’m not even sure the guy can still
get backstage passes to U2 concerts. That said,
this will be the year we learn the identity of
Deep Throat. (Exactly which Debbie did Dallas
will remain a mystery).
Still no Deep Throat. (Which, interestingly,
was the title of my college memoirs.)
Ashcroft will go after smut with everything he’s
got (suggestive phrasing entirely intentional).
Smut will win.
Ashcroft and the FCC are going after everything
from smut to hugs on Will and Grace. The winner isn’t
as clear as I had hoped.
Lionel Richie will finally have to answer questions
about how his daughter became once, twice, three
times a bimbo.
Worse. New album.
Every politician, religious leader or media
talking head with something to hide will attempt
(successfully) to make gay marriage (not Iraq, not
the deficit) the wedge issue of the year.
Pete Rose will not be reinstated. But he will
receive the Hair Club for Orangutan Award for the
worst mop in the history of organized sport.
Seeing his recent interviews made me nostalgic for
the days when Guillermo Vilas (he of sporting
history’s finest hair) roamed the courts of Roland
Garros. Vilas put it simply in a Sports
Illustrated interview: “I wash. I no dry. I no
comb. You like, no?” On the plus side, the Rose
controversy will motivate medical researchers to
complete a much-needed study that examines the
relationship between repeated head-first slides
and being a friggin’ dope.
No reinstatement. But the steroid scandal will make
Rose smell like a rose.
Sofia Coppola will win the Oscar for best
director. And the Frodo backers will be pissed,
She gets best original screenplay. All is
well in Middle Earth.
The Friends spinoff Joey will be
cancelled after fewer than 10 episodes and two
cameos by former friends.
It’s getting hurt in the ratings. Expect it
to be a one year show.
The Google IPO will be more frenzied than
predicted. By the end of the first day of trading,
Google will be worth more than $20 billion on
paper. And in the long run, we’ll be sorry for the
exuberance. But for the love of god, let’s
do it anyway.
First day marketcap: $27 billion. Current
marketcap: $48 billion.
Patriots. Super Bowl champs. Brady, MVP.
Saddam’s sentencing: Late October, Early November?
I got his sentencing confused with his hernia operation.
Businesses focused on the consumer side of the web
(B2C), including many whose business models had
been left for dead, will come roaring back.
Check with your local VC. The consumer web is back.
So is consumer created content. Dating sites are going
through the roof. Launch parties anyone?
Paul O’Neill will not be the last Bush insider to
spill beans on Iraq and tax cuts between now and
November. But the media will find it difficult to
run with the explosive story. Why? They were,
through their lack of investigation, part of the blur.
I’d say Richard Clarke qualifies.
One of the internet dating services will go public.
Damn. Not yet. But very, very soon.
No sign of the WMDs.
Sad, but true.
Colin Powell steps down (or up, depending on how
you look at it).
He did. But I thought it would be earlier.
There will be at least one celebrity/adult video
(a la the Paris Hilton show) released this year and
immediately available on the net. And it will have
been planned for marketing and publicity.
And it will work.
I keep searching.
JLo and PDiddy, together again.
If only it were so…
There will be a huge court case involving
the producers of a reality TV program.
Scarborough, O’Reilly: Engaged!
(an uncivil union?)
Sort of a joke. But the truth was even kinkier.