New York Times Hoax: The YES MEN See Our Future

Wednesday, November 12th, 2008 | Contemporary Art, Pop Culture Notions, Power & Politics, Public Art/Interventions


Thankfully I got my hands on a hard copy of the document at the center of the elaborate hoax reported to have been staged by The Yes Men today in NYC and apparently across the county.

According to Steve Lambert -who responded to my email query addressed to the hoax website‘s owner registration on the WhoIs- told me that other groups involved in planning include: the Anti-Advertising Agency, CODEPINK, United for Peace and Justice, Not An Alternative, May First/People Link, Improv Everywhere, Evil Twin Publications, and Cultures of Resistance.

The Pranksters handed out thousand of fake New York Times in subway stations across the city and over 1.2 million copies nationwide.

The Yes Men is a group of performance artists that stages interventions of the mainstream media in order to expose and elucidate topics pertinent to social justice. Or in their words, the Yes Men takes pride in, “Impersonating big-time criminals in order to publicly humiliate them. Targets are leaders and big corporations who put profits ahead of everything else.”

The Yes Men’s fake NYtimes “special edition” is dated Saturday, July 4th, 2009 and features such headlines as IRAQ WAR ENDS and advertisements such as the one from Exxon Mobil that takes responsibility for the Iraq War. The issue is printed on genuine newsprint and it is remarkably detailed and well crafted.

For those who didn’t get to see the analog version of the hoax, I have scanned the whole damn thing for your viewing pleasure. There are hidden gems throughout.

View gallery by clicking below.


Download 14 page Hi-Res PDF (12 MB)  <CLICK HERE>


Visit the NYtimes Hoax Website Here


Read more about the prank here at City Room Blog

READ more in WIRED’s Blog

In 2006, The Yes Men famously duped the BBC into airing a live interview of their fictional Dow Chemical Representative. They did so with this hoax website:

Dow Chemical owns Union Carbide, the company responsible for the chemical spill in Bhopal, India that killed 8,000 people and has since sickened tens of thousands more. So, the Yes Men went on air with their fictional PR wonk from Dow Chemical proclaiming they would liquidate Union Carbide in order to :
-pay for reparations
-clean up the disaster site
-provide medical care for those effected

This prank sparked a world wide plunge of Dow Chemical stock and in turn forced an embarrassed Dow Chemical to issue an official press release stating in effect: We do not accept responsibility, we will not clean up the spill, we will not provide medical attention, we will not compensate the victims.

Let’s hope some day they will. The Human Element my ass.

See video below. Pure genius.