Know When to Fold ‘Em

Claudine Gay speaks after being named Harvard University president on December 15, 2022. (Photo by Erin Clark/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)


Don’t worry, this “news”letter isn’t about Jeffrey Epstein. But given recent developments, I think the Epstein story could be useful for an uncomfortably plausible thought experiment. Consider the following hypothetical (and it’s just a hypothetical—plucked from the headlines, as they used to say about Law & Order).

Imagine Jeffrey Epstein invited lots of important people to his house, on his plane, and—almost—to his creepy Sex Dungeon Island. (I was going to make a Scooby Doo joke about how he would have gotten away with it, too, if not for those meddling kids. But, ick.) Anyway, let’s assume Epstein hadn’t been thwarted and he and his darkest-timeline version of Fantasy Island were still up and running. More important people came to the island. More gross, illegal, and evil stuff ensued. Oh, and let’s assume that all of the guests were Democrats or famous liberals. 

Let’s say this goes on for a good while until, finally, one of the following scenarios unfolds:

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