Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Calculating the odds

An editor of mine and I were discussing the possibility of a New Yorker apology for the terrorist-fist-bump cover.

"I've been talking to a bunch of friends about this," he said. "They were all so sure that the New Yorker would issue an apology. I said, 'I'll give you three-to-one odds that they won't issue an apology... but you'll have to bet me like $5,000.'"

I tend to agree. An apology is extremely unlikely. There might (as my editor pointed out) be some quiet apologies to advertisers. Maybe even an off-the-record phone call to David Axlerod. (Or even the candidate himself.) But a public apology? I don't think so. (Especially since the Obama campaign isn't really calling for one.)

But it any one has five grand that they'd like to bet with, email, and I'll help broker this bet.

PS - Cover aside (which I didn't particularly care for) it's a pretty good issue. Ryan Lizza has an interesting piece on how Obama learned to be a political street fighter in Chicago. (I always knew, messianic fantasies aside, the man was incredibly shrewd. You don't take on -- and beat! -- the most calculating political machine in the Democratic party -- the Clintons -- without political street smarts.) And my old college pal, Ben Wallace-Wells, has a great theory-of-everything science piece. (Which I don't see online.)