Thursday, November 13, 2008
New York City woke up this morning to find that some committed satirists had delivered unto them a remarkably well-rendered facsimile of the New York Times, filled with earnest and hopeful headlines from the future -- specifically July 4, 2009 -- in which the Iraq War is over, Bush is indicted for treason, and columnist Thomas Friedman has confessed: "I have no business holding a pen, at least with intent to write." [UPDATE: According to Editor & Publisher, these fake copies of the NYT were distributed nationwide.]
Gawker has followed the trail of intelligence and concluded that the parody is the work of The Yes Men -- high-concept anti-consumerist pranksters whose work in the service of humanity is documented in their 2003 self-titled movie. Their basic stock in trade is to pose as corporate or government spokespersons, gain access to high-profile events, "make shocking denigrating comments about workers and consumers, and then point out what appears to be a lack of shock or anger in the response to their prank." Wikipedia documents many of their successful exploits.
Those of you who were unable to enjoy a print copy of the parody may head to their exacting and lovingly recreated parody of the Times' website, which contains the same content. I'm a little saddened by the fact that even in an ideal future, a much-needed system of congestion-pricing has not come to Manhattan, but I suppose one must remain somewhat realistic. Really, the only problem with the parody is that everyone knows that by July 4, 2009, the paper will probably owned by Rupert Murdoch, who will fill it with Drudge-baited dreck and advertisements for whores.