Extra! Extra! Lies!
Oh, to live in a progressive paradise.
On Wednesday, Nov. 12, pranksters handed out thousands of fake copies of the New York Times with the front-page headline "Iraq War Ends" to commuters at several busy New York subway stations.
The paper, which is dated July 4, 2009, also includes stories with headers like "Maximum Wage Law Succeeds," "Nation Sets Its Sights on Building Sane Economy" and "Ex-Secretary Apologizes for W.M.D. Scare."
The elaborate ruse was carried out by three unnamed Times employees, a film promoter and an art professor. Notorious left-wing hoax squad The Yes Men also provided software and Internet support for the paper's accompanying spoof web page, which looks like the Times' site. The paper was meant to encourage politicians nationwide to push for a more liberal agenda.
If only the headlines were more than just empty words.
At first, it was satisfying to marvel at the pranksters' ability to pull this thing off. The Associated Press reports copies of the paper were given out in Los Angeles, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Chicago and Washington, D.C. The Yes Men's website estimates that more than a million copies were distributed. That's pretty impressive circulation.
But why should things like bringing our troops home, passing a progressive income tax system and providing universal health care be limited to a spurious newspaper? These are real options for our nation's future that should be put on the table, not just dismissed as liberal propaganda. If only the headlines were more than just empty words. If only the false hope was an actual edition of the New York Times.