The Fake New York Times

If you were lucky enough, you might have been able to get your hands on one of the approximately 1.2 million fake copies of the New York Times that were handed out today, mostly in NY and LA. Otherwise, like me, you'll have to try and buy a copy on eBay.

The paper, dated July 4, 2009, declared "IRAQ WAR ENDS" on its front page. Articles inside described the repeal of the Patriot Act, and the indictment of Bush on high treason, among other things. There was also an accompanying website.

The size of the print run was impressive. Must have cost a lot of money. The Yes Men are taking credit for it.

The NY Times, on their City Room blog, quoted Alex Jones, author of a history of the family that controls The Times, as saying, "I consider this a gigantic compliment to The Times."

Also from the City Room blog:

There is a history of spoofs and parodies of The Times. Probably the best-known is one unveiled two months into the 1978 newspaper strike. A whole cast of characters took part in that parody, including the journalist Carl Bernstein, the author Christopher Cerf, the humorist Tony Hendra and the Paris Review editor George Plimpton.

And for April Fool’s Day in 1999, the British business executive Richard Branson printed 100,000 copies of a parody titled “I Can’t Believe It’s Not The New York Times.” Also that year, a 27-year-old Princeton alumnus named Matthew Polly, operating a “guerrilla press” known as Hard Eight Publishing, published a 32-page spoof of the newspaper.

Links: Yahoo!, BBC


Posted on Wed Nov 12, 2008


When I heard about this, I had the same thought as you, Alex: where did the Yes Men get the money for a million-plus print run?

If there's that kind of money in satirical hoaxing, I've been doing something wrong.
Posted by Cranky Media Guy  on  Thu Nov 13, 2008  at  01:48 AM
I was about to day advertising space... till I realized what the 'adverts' actually said! (That was a nice touch.)
Posted by outeast  on  Thu Nov 13, 2008  at  04:14 AM
All the money Yes Men make is plowed back into R&D;and production!
Posted by floormaster squeeze  on  Thu Nov 13, 2008  at  07:41 AM
Yeah, this joke is impressive just from the logistics of it all, much less anything else.
Posted by Accipiter  on  Thu Nov 13, 2008  at  01:37 PM
Several news sources are reporting that the Yes Men just fronted this hoax. It was bankrolled by a lot of different people who wanted to make a point.
Posted by floormaster squeeze  on  Thu Nov 13, 2008  at  03:20 PM
...probably more accurate than anything the Times would publish on it's own...
Posted by Christopher  in  Warm, sunny Florida...  on  Fri Nov 14, 2008  at  04:10 AM
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