“New York Times” Says “Iraq War Ends”
“All the News We Hope to Print” is the slogan for this July 4, 2009, edition of the “New York Times” being distributed on the streets of New York City today, and of course, online. It’s one thing to take a progressive-lefty satirical style from the Onion school, hack up some NYT templates, and post an amusing website. But this joke is beyond elaborate — the newsprint edition is 14 pages long, mimics the NYT style and format exactly, and comes complete with satirical (color!) ads. Who says print is dead?
No telling who’s behind this little gem [UPDATE: Gawker notes it’s liberal prank group The Yes Men], but it’s suffused with post-Obama (or technically, pre-Obama) enthusiasm and schadenfreude. Fans of the genre will enjoy the abashed fictional mea culpa from real NYT columnist Thomas Friedman, the lead story on end of the Iraq war and return of American troops, the indictment of George Bush for treason, the repeal of the Patriot Act, the enactment of a “maximum wage law,” or the redirection of funds from nationalized oil companies to environmental rehabilitation, among others.
Lots of links from the hacked NYT site template don’t really work of course, but the online version still comes with several amusing Flash parody ads — I personally liked the DeBeers ad that promised a free prosthetic for an African child for every diamond purchased. There’s no claim of responsibility; the domain lookup info for the site seems bogus, but whoever put it together [see UPDATE above] invested at least a moderate chunk of change.
Overall, it’s a charming, amusing, utopian wet dream for hopeful liberals wrapped in a thin satirical bonbon. You can sense a certain level of earnestness lurking beneath the sarcasm, which makes it less Onion and more, say, McSweeney’s. One can’t help getting a little cynical in the face of this level of optimism, but hey, let’s save that for February.