A week ago, the world woke up to a stunningly well-crafted, and good-hearted, prank, as across the nation, fake copies of the New York Times were disseminated with hopeful headlines ("Iraq War Ends," "National Health Insurance Act Passes") festooning each page. The paper, which came with its own online facsimile, was the work of a group of high-concept hoaxers known as The Yes Men, who, with the support of like-minded collaborators (including, some believe, insiders at the New York Times itself), captured a share of national attention.
Over at BoingBoing, Xeni Jardin chats with some of the hoax's perpetrators in an interview previewed in the site's latest "TV Update." According to Steve Lambert of the Anti-Advertising Agency, the project -- which was a year in the works -- was not motivated by pie-in-the-sky politicizing, but with a grounded view on how to improve conditions: "It's full of things that could happen very easily...national healthcare, a few small legislative changes to make our economy sane. It's not rocket science, all we have to do is work."
Elsewhere, Yes Man Andy Bichlbaum discusses the one major piece of fallout from the activity: a cease and desist order from HSBC, over a satiric facsimile of their print advertising campaign. As Bichlbaum relates, the HSBC campaign has a certain empty-headed shallowness that made it ripe for mocking: "I think HSBC didn't like that we had improved their ad campaign since it proved that the original is so crappy."
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