NY TIMES SPECIAL EDITION
A week after the historic presidential election that brought Barack Obama to the White House, Not An Alternative joined The Yes Men, artist Steve Lambert, and hundreds of independent writers, artists, and activists in an elaborate project, six months in the making, to release a "special edition" of the New York Times in cities across the U.S.
The papers, dated July 4th of next year, were headlined with long-awaited news: "IRAQ WAR ENDS". The edition, which bears the same look and feel as the real deal, includes stories describing what the future could hold, if we forced Obama to be the president we'd elected him to be: national health care, the abolition of corporate lobbying, a maximum wage for CEOs, etc.
"Is this true? I wish it were true!" said one reader. "It can be true, if we demand it."
"We wanted to experience what it would look like, and feel like, to read headlines we really want to read. It's about what's possible, if we think big and act collectively," said Steve Lambert, one of the project's organizers and an editor of the paper.
In response to the spoof, the New York Times said only, "We are looking into it." Alex S. Jones, former Times reporter who is an authority on the history of the paper, says: "I would say if you've got one, hold on to it. It will probably be a collector's item."
Bringing the much needed "good news" to a war weary public required the collaboration of hundreds of activists and volunteers, including the Anti-Advertising Agency, CODEPINK, United for Peace and Justice, Not An Alternative, May First/People Link, Improv Everywhere, Evil Twin, and Cultures of Resistance.
NY POST TELLS THE TRUTH
New York's favorite tabloid got a face-lift of sorts one day before the city hosted a major UN summit on climate change. Distributed by over 2000 volunteers throughout New York City, an eco-conscious but otherwise pitch-perfect replica of the New York Post, created by a coalition of activists, including the Yes Men and other Not An Alternative partners, was handed out across the city as a wake-up call to action on climate change.
Although the 32-page Post is a fake, everything in it is 100% true, with all facts carefully checked by a team of editors and climate change experts. The cover story ("We're Screwed") reports the frightening conclusions of a blue-ribbon panel of scientists commissioned by the mayor's office to determine the potential effects of climate change on the City. That report was released in February of this year, but received very little press at the time. Other lead articles describe the Pentagon's alarmed response to global warming ("Clear & Present Disaster"), the U.S. government's sadly minuscule response to the crisis ("Congress Cops Out on Climate"), China's alternative energy program ("China's Green Leap Forward Overtakes U.S."), and how if the US doesn't quickly pass a strong climate bill, the crucial Copenhagen climate talks in December could be a "Flopenhagen."
The paper made its debut on the same week that Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon was to push 100 world leaders to make serious commitments to reduce carbon emissions in the lead-up to the Copenhagen climate conference in December 2009. Ban has said that the world has "less than 10 years to halt (the) global rise in greenhouse gas emissions if we are to avoid catastrophic consequences for people and the planet," adding that Copenhagen is a "once-in-a-generation opportunity."