The NY Times gets got
There’s this collective of bigbrained culture jammers you’ve probably heard of called The Yes Men. They pull crazy elaborate shit like posing as spokespeople for the WTO, Dow Chemical, McDonald’s, and the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development — and they get away with it, causing a good amount of chaos in the process. This was their latest work:
A fake copy of today’s Times. 1.2 million copies of it. Distributed all over New York.
Gawker figured out how they pulled it off after getting access to an email that went out to interested parties last night:
TONIGHT - and especially, TOMORROW MORNING (WEDNESDAY) - a year of work involving dozens of collaborators comes to a head. Here’s the schedule:
** TOMORROW (WEDNESDAY) MORNING, 7am-11am: **
Take a break in your commute to pick up materials, then distribute them on the rest of your commute. (Or if you want to come back and refill, fantastic.)
Look for the white UHaul vans near:
- UNION SQUARE: probably near the northwest corner of Union Square Park
- COLUMBUS CIRCLE: probably on 56th St. between 8th and 9th Ave.
- GRAND CENTRAL: probably on 43rd St. between Vanderbilt and Madison, near west entrance of Grand Central Station.
- PENN STATION: probably on 33rd St. between 6th and 7th Ave., just NE of Penn Station
Locations will be confirmed and updated by text alert (sign up at http://becausewewantit.org) and email around 7am tomorrow.
** Also, TONIGHT, 5pm-8pm (if time is tight tomorrow or you just can’t wait): **
Look for a white UHaul van near the NORTHWEST CORNER OF UNION SQUARE PARK. You’ll pick up the materials and KEEP THEM SECRET until TOMORROW MORNING, when you can distribute them wherever you happen to be, or on your commute.
WATCH TEXT ALERTS FOR ANY LOCATION CHANGES (sign up at http://becausewewantit.org). We’ll also send another email around 5pm.
** THINGS TO BRING: **
- A bag that can hold a big bundle of printed matter - as much as you can carry. Think big canvas bags, big backpacks, rolling carts, etc.
- Warm clothes
- Friends (or we will team you up)
What will happen:
Something cool! You’ll receive materials and instructions when you arrive. NOTE: YOU DON’T KNOW WHO DID THIS. We want to maintain maximum mystery around this, for as long as possible - at least for a couple of days.
Tomorrow morning we’ll also have an online viral campaign - a quick click before you take off for work can make a big difference!
Thank you again for volunteering your time and energy!
See you soon,
The many secret people YOU DO NOT KNOW
Good on the Times for being such good ol’ boys about it though (and for anticipating the demand for these hotcakes on eBay):
Via the New York Times City Room Blog:
“I would say if you’ve got one, hold on to it. It will probably be a collector’s item. I’m just glad someone thinks The New York Times print edition is worthy of an elaborate hoax. A Web spoof would have been infinitely easier. But creating a print newspaper and handing it out at subway stations? That takes a lot of effort. I consider this a gigantic compliment to The Times.”
You can download a PDF of the fake paper on the accompanying fake website.