Astrology is bullshit. But for some reason, many Americans still believe that astrologists have the ability to predict the future. The Los Angeles Times even ran a story back in October that reported earnestly about the predictions that some astrologists had for the 2016 presidential election. You can probably guess how that turned out.
Less than a month out from Election Day, the newspaper reported on an astrology convention with hundreds of participants. The International Society for Astrological Research’s conference in Costa Mesa, California featured at least half a dozen speakers who all made their emphatic predictions that Hillary Clinton was going to win.
“Unanimously, with varying levels of certainty, the astrologers predicted Clinton would win the presidency,” the LA Times proclaimed without a hint of skepticism.
“Hillary Clinton will win. I give it 100 percent,” American astrologer Edith Hathaway told the newspaper. Clinton didn’t win.
“It doesn’t bode well for Donald Trump,” said an astrologist from Serbia, Aleksandar Imsiragic. It boded very well for Trump, in fact.
Christeen Skinner, an astrologist from London, said that Clinton was definitely going to win, but she made sure to hedge, as all good bullshit artists do. Skinner said that “I just don’t see that inauguration taking place.” According to the Times, Skinner believed that there might be something like the flu that would hinder her ability to be at the inauguration.
Skinner is an astrologist who specializes in financial forecasts, so it only seems natural that she would be the one to hedge the most. When money is at stake, you have to make sure to provide a back door when you’re inevitably wrong about something.
But it’s still shocking to me that the Los Angeles Times would report on these astrologers without a single mention that they peddle in pseudo-scientific nonsense. This is, after all, a newspaper in the second biggest city in the United States—not a message board at the local co-op.
I suppose we can’t be too hard on them though. The astrologers were about as useful as Nate Silver in that way.