November 12, 2008

War Over? Colbert-Worthy Street Action!

Today New Yorkers were treated to street theatre on a grand scale. An action initiated by those wild & crazy folks, The Yes Men spread like wild fire to the troops in email invitations courtesy of UFPJ, Code Pink and other anti-war groups.
Activists armed with faux NY Times newspapers, (A-1 through A-14) gleefully handed the impeccably detailed mock up to workers, students and tourists in the early hours of the business day.
By noon close to 100,000 copies of the paper had been presented to the unsuspecting folks of uptown, downtown, east and west Manhattan (it was also distributed in Los Angeles) causing quite a bit of confusion and a whole lot of "What the f*ck?". There was an op-ed from Thomas J. Friedman which asked if we've entered "The End of the Experts?" era and even “ads” such as a full page one from ExxonMobil proclaiming “Peace can also be lucrative!” Yeah!
Here's the report from NYC In

New York Times Announces End of War

November 12, 2008
* PDF:
* For video updates:
* Contact: mailto: writers@n

Early this morning, commuters nationwide were delighted to find out that while they were sleeping, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan had come to an end.

If, that is, they happened to read a "special edition" of today's New York Times.

In an elaborate operation six months in the planning, 1.2 million papers were printed at six different presses and driven to prearranged pickup locations, where thousands of volunteers stood ready to pass them out on the street.

Articles in the paper announce dozens of new initiatives including the establishment of national health care, the abolition of corporate lobbying, a maximum wage for C.E.O.s, and, of course, the end of the war.

The paper, an exact replica of The New York Times, includes International, National, New York, and Business sections, as well as editorials, corrections, and a number of advertisements, including a recall notice for all cars that run on gasoline. There is also a timeline describing the gains brought about by eight months of progressive support and pressure, culminating in President Obama's "Yes we REALLY can" speech. (The paper is post-dated July 4, 2009.)

"It's all about how at this point, we need to push harder than ever," said Bertha Suttner, one of the newspaper's writers. "We've got to make sure Obama and all the other Democrats do what we elected them to do. After eight, or maybe twenty-eight years of hell, we need to start imagining heaven."

Not all readers reacted favorably. "The thing I disagree with is how they did it," said Stuart Carlyle, who received a paper in Grand Central Station while commuting to his Wall Street brokerage. "I'm all for freedom of speech, but they should have started their own paper."

And here is a link where you can see the front page of the thing. Be sure to ppoke around because some of the links work. included an animated De Beers advertisement promising to donate a prosthetic hand to an African.

Breaking NEWS!!! This just in from Guardian, UK:

Pranksters distribute fake New York Times declaring 'Iraq war over'

The Yes Men identified as the team behind the joke pages

At the crack of dawn this morning, in New York, jokers took to the streets to distribute across the city a fake copy of the New York Times, which carried the eye-catching headline "Iraq war ends".

The papers, which bore a remarkable likeness to the real Grey Lady, were dated July 4, 2009, and carried other fictional headlines: "Ex-Secretary apologizes [sic] for WMD scare" and "Maximum wage law succeeds".

But who, why and when? Seems like a lot of effort just for a jape. Gawker has the story behind this morning's wheeze.

It claims that the whole thing was organised by established liberal pranksters The Yes Men, who used a website they own,, to rally the many collaborators needed to pull off the prank. According to Gawker, they have even set up a website.

1 comment:

stuigi said...

That may be a cute stunt passing out all those faux newspapers, but as PINK as it is, It sure aint GREEN