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New York Times Gets Spoofed; Gawker Blows the Cover

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So. freaking. cool. This morning, "liberal pranksters" as they're being called descended on New York to hand out a free future copy of the New York Times, dated July 4th 2009, full of headlines like "Iraq War Ends!", "USA Patriot Act Repealed", and "National Health Insurance Act Passes". There's also a website. We won't say who they are because it's more fun that way, but if you do a little research you can find for yourself.

For instance, Gawker totally ruined the party. Word is, once they posted the e-mail, the people behind the prank had to move the vans and effectively change plans. I spoke with a friend who helped hand out copies this morning, who heard another say "All they did was post the email that was sent out. Real impressive journalistic investigation there, guys." Ha!

Here's the story, from the Times itself:

In an elaborate hoax, pranksters distributed hundreds or possibly thousands of free copies of a spoof edition of The New York Times on Wednesday morning at busy subway stations around the city, including Grand Central Terminal, Washington and Union Squares, the 14th and 23rd Street stations along Eighth Avenue, and Pacific Street in Brooklyn, among others.

“I would say if you’ve got one, hold on to it,” Mr. Jones, a former Times reporter, said of the fake issue. “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.”

Get more at NYTimes; Gawker; and BuzzFeed.

Update: Gothamist has a video press release (woah! it IS the future!):


New York Times Special Edition Video News Release - Nov. 12, 2008 from H Schweppes on Vimeo.

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you're dead, Brian. i'm not letting you touch my print version of this paper.

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