The Fake New York Times that blanketed America last month was an impressive stunt. A vast coalition of liberal groups and assorted artistic types came together, worked for months, and managed to pull off the writing, production, and distribution of a faux newspaper without word leaking out beforehand. The general public was impressed. So how to put the cap on this classic work? With some good old-fashioned public ideological squabbling by those involved. It's just like the 1970s! Is Greater Than has an interview with Anne Elizabeth Moore, who was involved in the paper's production but bailed out prior to distribution day due to ideological differences. It's interesting! It also includes the following complaints:
‘Cause the project turned out to be, ‘a couple guys in New York pulled some crazy prank,’ — that’s sort of inconsequential in my mind. At least as activism, although also as art. How does that shift any power structures or misconform to any notions of how the world operates?
A ton of stuff was cut — much of it the most engaged critical stuff. Maybe stuff that took on the Times too closely, out of fear, I don’t know. Perhaps coincidentally, most content by female contributors was cut.
I’d been really cautious from the beginning that my efforts — and the efforts of the many many people I brought on board this project — not be ultimately co-opted to further forward the brand of the Yes Men. I’ve personally had enough of my efforts going toward brand names I don’t actually believe in[.]
And so what happened, right, is that The Yes Men here first became the symbol that simply replaced the New York Times as the people in power. For a moment, the positions were reversed. Ho ho! It’s not the New York Times that has all the power, it’s these guys that look and act like the guys at the New York Times and live in the same city and have similar economic and racial and backgrounds. Which is a very disempowering way of thinking about power