Prince Charming vs. OBL


In 1986, a now-infamous Newsweek cover story included the claim that a single woman over 40 was "more likely to be killed by a terrorist" than to get married. In an equally stupid you-go-girl update this week, Newsweek retracts that claim and revises its old stats; the chance of a woman over 40 ever tying the knot was reported to be 2.6 percent in the '86 version, while, Newsweek reassures, "when the Census last crunched the numbers in 1996, a single woman at 40 had a 40.8 percent chance of eventually marrying." But as Maia Szalavitz points out over at, the marriage part of the marriage/death-by-terrorist scenario is the less bizarre half of the comparison. In 1985, the chances of getting zapped by a terrorist were, oh, about 1 in 1.6 million. In 2001, adds Szalavitz, the chance of dying in an American terror attack was .0012 percent. Marriage stats of that caliber only exist in the apocalyptic post-gay marriage world in James Dobson's head.