Organizers from becausewewantit.org, linked to the famed Yes Men, handed out a million copies of a hoaxed special edition of the New York Times last week. Dated for July 4, 2009, articles in the paper boasted dozens of new initiatives including the adoption of national health care, free universities, the abolition of corporate lobbying, a maximum wage for C.E.O.s, and, of course, the end of the war in Iraq. All of these stories can be viewed online at www.nytimes-se.com.
In an amazing effort six months in the making, 1.2 million papers were
printed at six different presses and driven to prearranged pickup
locations, where thousands of volunteers passed them out on street
corners and in subway stations. Groups involved included the
Anti-Advertising Agency, CODEPINK,United for Peace and Justice, Not An
Alternative, May First/PeopleLink, Improv Everywhere, Evil Twin, and
Cultures of Resistance.
"It doesn't stop here. We gave Obama a mandate, but he'll need mandate after mandate after mandate to do what we elected him to do. He'll need a lot of support, and yes, a lot of pressure," said Yes Man (and RS contributor) Andy Bichlbaum about the project.
In response to the prank, the New York Times said only, "We are looking into it." If you happened to pick up a copy, organizers recommend you hold on to it, as it may become a collector's item.