This New Bedford Website Accurately Predicted the 2020 Election Way Back in 2006
Back in the early 2000s, the internet was a brave new world, especially here on the SouthCoast.
One New Bedford-based website made a mark after the turn of the millennium but faded away before the decade was up – but not before it managed to accurately predict the 2020 presidential election all the way back in 2006.
SouthCoast247.com was a website that was part of SouthCoast Media Group, which also published the Standard-Times. The S-T had always been ahead of the curve digitally, as it was one of the first newspapers to launch its own website in the early 1990s.
However, the newspaper wasn’t hitting the younger demographic, so SouthCoast247.com was created to serve the 18-to-34-year-olds in the greater New Bedford and Fall River area.
SouthCoast247.com launched on October 4, 2004, covering the local music, arts and theater scene, along with articles on technology, sports, advice columns, dating columns, astrology and more. A slew of great writers, photographers and editors made the site something special, but by July 2009, SouthCoast247.com was no more.
I was recently telling a coworker about SouthCoast247.com, and they had no idea that the site had even existed. I started sending her links to the site on the Internet Wayback Machine at archive.org, which logs websites from various moments in time.
She began diving into all that great content (the links to download .mp3s from all the local bands of the time still work!) when she sent me a photo that really caught me off guard.
In the photo, which was published as part of the “Random Photos” section, we see two young men wearing aviator sunglasses, along with the caption, “In the year 2020, all will have to wear aviators to protect themselves against Republicans.”
Now, considering this photo was published in 2006, I’d say it was oddly prescient of what would happen in the 2020 presidential election. As you recall, that was the year Democrat Joe Biden – aviator sunglasses and all – toppled incumbent Republican President Donald Trump.
You couldn’t even say it was an educated guess, either; in 2006, Joe Biden was just a longtime senator from Delaware who hadn’t even served as vice president yet. He had run for president in 1988, but nobody in 2006 was thinking he might be doing so again decades later.
The aviator sunglasses hadn’t even become his trademark yet.
We reached out to Jamie (Depres) Silva, who had served as the editor for SouthCoast247.com, and she offered some insight into how that oddly correct prediction came to be.
“That photo is really funny,” she said. “It’s of my cousin Trevor and my friend Jarrett.”
Silva just that just a few weeks prior, she and Trevor had been invited to a friend’s party where the theme was “In the Year 2020.”
“We had forgotten that we were supposed to dress up, so we just grabbed a couple of pairs of aviators and made up a completely random joke that ‘In the year 2020, we’ll need to wear aviators to protect ourselves from Republicans,’” she said.
Silva said it was just a goof, and wasn’t any kind of commentary.
“It was all in good fun and no real political motivation behind it at the time,” she said. “I took the pic in Providence at Jarrett’s kickball game when I found the glasses randomly in my bag.”
So there you have it, SouthCoast247.com predicting the Joe Biden presidency appears to be nothing more than coincidence. After all, Biden himself probably thinks all that psychic stuff is just a bunch of malarkey.