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Fiction from The New York Times, courtesy the Yes Men 

The New York Times fictional newspaper from July 4, 2009
A prank edition of , published by the Yes Men, had me going a bit earlier today.
   After receiving a realistic looking release and knowing that 1·2 million copies had gone out in print, it was a heck of an expensive prank from the liberal group. But it worked.
   My first reaction on downloading the was: ‘Wishful thinking or a total departure from reality? Have the editors seen one too many Early Editions? Whatever the case, it’s an interesting ploy and bound to generate discussions about the confirmation of , optimism for the administration, the accusation that the new President is a quitter, that Jayson Blair was not the only journalist in a culture of creating fiction, that Republicans are humourless, and more.’
   Until, of course, I realize one of life’s little ironies: as I have been on my high horse about believing stuff over the internet, a pretty realistic prank got me pretty good as I got phished on to the spoof site.
   Here’s what the Yes Men had to say: ‘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 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.’
   With hindsight, it’s all 20-20: the email even says it came from the Yes Men and on closer inspection, the aren’t even The New York Times’, though they come darned close. Close enough for a non-NYT reader to be fooled.
   This edition goes on for 14 pp. including full-page advertisements.
   I take my hat off to the Yes Men: an expensive exercise, great exposure for their point of view, and a fantastic (albeit short-lived) way to get blogosphere discussions going.
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Entries from 2006 to the end of 2009 were done on the Blogger service. As of January 1, 2010, this blog has shifted to a Wordpress installation, with the latest posts here.
   With Blogger ceasing to support FTP publishing on May 1, I have decided to turn these older pages in to an archive, so you will no longer be able to enter comments. However, you can comment on entries posted after January 1, 2010.

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