‘Special’ New York Times Blankets Cities with Message of Hope and Change

by Art Fag City on November 13, 2008 Newswire


Many readers probably saw coverage using above screen capture and stunt yesterday on various blogs.  In short, a group of artists put together “an elaborate project in which 1.2 million copies of a “special edition” of the New York Times were distributed in cities across the U.S. by thousands of volunteers”.  In addition to the printed version, a pdf was made available as well as a fake website.

The attention grabbing “Iraq War Ends” headline is great of course, but a closer read brought me to my favorite portion of the magazine thus far:  Tom Friedman’s opinion column titled, The End of Experts. Friedman, author of The World is Flat, a wide eyed description of globalization insulting the intelligence thinking readers everywhere, and utterer of “[Arab world/Iraq] Suck. On. This.” writes the following,

The sudden outbreak of peace in Iraq has made me realize, among other things, one incontestable fact: I have no business holding a pen, at least with intent to write.

I know, you're thinking I'm going too far. I haven't always been wrong about everything. I recently made some sense on global warming and what we needed to do about it, for instance.

But to have been so completely and fundamentally wrong about so huge a disaster as what we have done to Iraq — and ourselves — is outrageous enough to prove that people like me have no business posing as wise men, and, more importantly, that The New York Times has no business continuing to provide me with a national platform.

Clearly this Special Edition NYTimes is Liberal America’s wish list.  I have to admit, I like it.

Meanwhile, an array of artists should be credited with this prank (not just the Yes Men) and are active in diverse range of groups.  They include: The Yes Men, 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.

I’d like to throw out a special shout out to Steve Lambert, who was working on this project while simultaneously administrating The Future of Online Adverstising, a show I curated for Add-Art last week.  He did an amazing job of managing both projects at once!

I’m listing a few relevant links to news coverage below with the note that Eyebeam is not on this list.  Their reblog has been inactive for days, which in light of this project, is a huge PR loss for them.   A lot of the artists involved have received financial support from them, and they should be letting everyone know this, while promoting the work themselves.

Wired Blog
Associated Press

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