13 November 2008

Parody

Yesterday I received an e-mail notice (see below) about this version of The New York Times. Since the email looked sketchy I did not click through any of the links but deposited it directly in the spam bin. You can read reports on this clever political parody from the actual New York Times here and here. There is a report in The Guardian here. Apparently, the perpetrators are a diffuse group of co-conspirators, including The Yes Men.
__________

-----Original Message-----
From: send34-proxyantiwar@theyesmen.org [mailto:send34-proxyantiwar@theyesmen.org]
On Behalf Of New York Times Special Edition
Sent: Wednesday, November 12, 2008 6:17 PM
To: JJ's UofR e-mail
Subject: HUNDREDS CLAIM CREDIT FOR NEW YORK TIMES SPOOF

November 12, 2008
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: writers@nytimes-se.com

917-202-5479
718-208-0684
415-533-3961

"SPECIAL" NEW YORK TIMES BLANKETS CITIES WITH MESSAGE OF HOPE AND CHANGE

Thousands of volunteers behind elaborate operation

* PDF: http://www.nytimes-se.com/pdf
* Ongoing video releases: http://www.nytimes-se.com/video
* The New York Times responds: http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/11/12/
pranksters-spoof-the-times/

Hundreds of independent writers, artists, and activists are claiming credit for an elaborate project, 6 months in the making, in which 1.2 million copies of a "special edition" of the New York Times were distributed in cities across the U.S. by thousands of volunteers.

The papers, dated July 4th of next year, were headlined with long-awaited news: "IRAQ WAR ENDS". The edition, which bears the same look and feel as the real deal, includes stories describing what the future could hold: national health care, the abolition of corporate lobbying, a maximum wage for CEOs, etc. There was also a spoof site, at

http://www.nytimes-se.com/.

"Is this true? I wish it were true!" said one reader. "It can be true, if we demand it."

"We wanted to experience what it would look like, and feel like, to read headlines we really want to read. It's about what's possible, if we think big and act collectively," said Steve Lambert, one of the project's organizers and an editor of the paper.

"This election was a massive referendum on change. There's a lot of hope in the air, but there's a lot of uncertainty too. It's up to all of us now to make these headlines come true," said Beka Economopoulos, one of the project's organizers.

"It doesn't stop here. We gave Obama a mandate, but he'll need mandate after mandate after mandate to do what we elected him to do. He'll need a lot of support, and yes, a lot of pressure," said Andy Bichlbaum, another project organizer and editor of the paper.

The people behind the project are involved in a diverse range of groups, including The Yes Men, the Anti-Advertising Agency, CODEPINK, United for Peace and Justice, Not An Alternative, May First/People Link, Improv Everywhere, Evil Twin, and Cultures of Resistance.

In response to the spoof, the New York Times said only, "We are looking into it." Alex S. Jones, former Times reporter who is an authority on the history of the paper, says: "I would say if you've got one, hold onto it. It will probably be a collector's item."

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