November 12, 2008
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
“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 on to it. It will probably be a collector’s item.”
Think big and act collectively? I’d like to name some others who did that to great success. Hitler and the National Socialist Party, Lenin and later Stalin and the Russian Communist Party, Mao and the Chinese Communist Party, Castro and the Cuban Communists… I’ll stop my predictable list of state socialists who thought big and murdered millions in the name of “collectivism.”
“Massive referendum on change”? “We gave Obama a mandate”? Define massive. To me it means more then 52.7% of the votes. A lot more actually. Upwards of 65 or 70 percent at least. And who is we? Those who voted for him? That’s 66,354,771 people. Or 30.5% of the voting population. Is that really a mandate? Is that a massive referendum. Is it okay for 30.5% of the voting population to control the other 69.5%?
I wasn’t much of a fan of those groups mentioned who are involved in this project. This solidifies my dislike of them.