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fakeNYT.jpgThe war in Iraq is over! Bush to face high treason charges, Universities to be Free, according to the gloriously fake New York Times. A team of people involved in the elaborate hoax distributed 200,000 copies of the paper – issue date July 4, 2009 – in locations throughout Manhattan this morning. I got one when I went to get coffee this morning. Gawker reports that the hoax is the work of The Yes Men, whose website leads to
The spoof isn’t as well-written or funny as The Onion or The Borowitz Report, and the joke soon wears thin. But it certainly is an ambitious project, and a strange one. My favorite headline in the fake business section declares: “Public Relations Industry Forecasts a Series of Massive Layoffs.”
“We want to maintain maximum mystery around this, for as long as possible – at least for a couple of days.” said a message from the group to collaborators. Silly people! Every blogger and person with a Facebook site hopes for a scoop! Nothing like this is going to stay secret for a couple of hours, let along a couple of days.
The hoaxsters went to the trouble of creating a companion website, where servers are apparently overloaded, and to print all the copies, which had to be expensive.
To their credit, the real NY Times has gamely tried to exhibit a sense of humor.