The headlines read:
"Iraq War Ends"
"Nation Sets its Sights on Building Sane Economy"
"Ex-secretary Apologizes for WMD Scare"
And my personal favorite in the bogus business section: “Public Relations Industry Forecasts a Series of Massive Layoffs.”
Other articles tell readers that we have initiated a national healthcare program, have abolished corporated lobbying, and established a maximum wage for CEOs.
It's all the elaborate and expensive work of a bunch of pranksters -- clearly progressives with a sense of humor -- who printed and distributed free copies of the fake NYT at busy subway stops throughout the city. A group that calls itself the Yes Men took credit for the hoax:
"In an elaborate operation six months in the planning, 1.2 million papers were printed at six different presses and driven to prearranged pickup locations, where thousands of volunteers stood ready to pass them out on the street."
On a more serious note, one of the writers told Poynter.org the rationale behind the spoof:
"It's all about how at this point, we need to push harder than ever," said Bertha Suttner, one of the newspaper's writers. "We've got to make sure Obama and all the other Democrats do what we elected them to do. After eight, or maybe twenty-eight years of hell, we need to start imagining heaven."
The newspaper is dated July 4, 2009.