Hurray for desktop publishing. A special spoof edition of the New York Times was distributed free on the streets of the Big Apple yesterday, dated “July 4th 2009″, filled with “all the news we hope to print”. The Iraq War is over, national health care has been introduced and all petrol cars have been recalled.
And apparently, the activists behind the spoof paper printed 1.2 million of the things.
The AP claims that a small group of creative individuals, including professional journalists, are behind it all, with the logistical support of the Yes Men. The idea was to show new Prezbama (and everyone else) what could be possible by next July. Whoever it was, the writing is great and detail is stunning, right down to the ads, and the fake website too. (They’re probably safe on parody rights, but may be forced to put a banner at the top saying “This is not the real NY Times“.) They haven’t quite got the design / typography perfect (there are probably copyright implications there too), but hey, when the joint is this good, who cares about a little sawdust on the floor?
The nom de plume H Schweppes registered the website and also has a Vimeo channel showing the papers coming off the press, and people’s reactions. As for how they paid for it, there seems to be a real ad on the back page for KBR. If that’s so, that’s very smart work (or maybe I just don’t get the joke).
In the meantime, you can download a pdf of the edition here.
Wonderful. Just one doubt left: why didn’t the NY Times think to do it itself? What a wonderful ad campaign that would have been…