Yesterday, 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”. Surprised commuters happily accepted the free copies, thinking they were legitimate.
The edition, which bears the same look and feel as the real New York Times, includes stories describing what the future could hold: national health care, the abolition of corporate lobbying, a maximum wage for CEOs and more. There is also a spoof site, at http://www.nytimes-se.com/.
Steve Lambert, one of the project’s organizers and an editor of the paper said: “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,”
In response to the spoof, Catherine J. Mathis, a Times spokeswoman, said: “This is obviously a fake issue of The Times. We are in the process of finding out more about it.”
This elaborate hoax was 6 months in the making by 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.
The Fake Paper Edition: