Guv's hidden message crosses the pond

Readers of The Independent in Great Britain will get their own report tomorrow on Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's email finger sent to state assemblyman Tom Ammiano, with whom the governor recently had a falling out. Los Angeles-based reporter Guy Adams reporting:

A vertical reading of the first left-hand letter in each of the seven lines of the main body of the email suggests that the former Kindergarten Cop actor, who is due to leave office next year, was passing on an altogether less statesmanlike message. It reads: "F-U-C-K-Y-O-U."

The Governor's press secretary, Aaron McLear, insisted yesterday that it was simply a "weird coincidence" that the email had acrostically spelled out an obscenity. He claimed that the sheer volume of the vetoes that Mr Schwarzenegger has been forced to pass in recent years meant "something like this was bound to happen."

In recent months, Mr McLear noted, the left-hand margin of the Governor's veto emails has spelled out such harmless words as "poet" and "soap". That's as may be. But the claim met with a healthy dose of scepticism: the words cited by McLear are four letters long, a length relatively likely to crop up at random. The mathematical probability of the seven-letter phrase "fuck you" doing the same is 26 to the power of seven – or about 8,031,810,176 – to one.


A spokesman for Mr Ammiano said that he was neither fazed nor offended by it: "Kudos to the governor for his creative use of coincidence."

The New York Times also carried a piece on this latest California political amusement.

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