by John Nichols
by John Nichols
And the Yes Men have struck again. On Wednesday, hundreds of thousands of copies of a fake edition of the New York Times were handed out in New York and Los Angeles. The front-page headline declares an end to the Iraq war and an admission from Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice that Iraq never had weapons of mass destruction. Other fake stories report the congressional passage of universal healthcare, the public ownership of oil giant ExxonMobil and the use of evangelical churches to house Iraqi refugees. The paper is said to come from the Yes Men, a group responsible for several hoaxes meant to highlight corporate and government complicity in unpunished crimes. One previous prank had a Yes Men member posing as a Dow Chemical spokesperson to announce responsibility for the Bhopal chemical disaster, forcing the company to remind the world it had done anything but. The Yes Men say the hoax resulted from a collaboration of many people, including a few New York Times staffers. Activist Jordan White was among those handing out copies of the fake newspaper in New York’s Times Square.
Jordan White: “Well, see, the thing about this is, is that, you know, we just got a new president elected. It’s a very big year, and it’s a big promotion for change and stuff like that. And, you know, it’s just the sort of thing of like, I don’t know, maybe that—could we achieve it? Maybe it’s so, maybe not. But it’s something to kind of look forward to.”
The paper also pokes fun at the New York Times editors, who apologize in a fake editorial for echoing the Bush administration’s faulty claims on Iraqi WMDs in the lead-up to the Iraq war. It also contains a fake resignation letter from columnist Thomas Friedman, who says he has no business to ever write again after vocally backing the US invasion of Iraq. The prank edition of the New York Times is available online at nytimes-se.com.
In the late stages of the presidential race, no other name was used more by the McCain-Palin campaign against Barack Obama than Bill Ayers. Ayers is a respected Chicago professor who was a member of the 1960s militant antiwar group the Weather Underground. In their first joint television interview, Ayers and his wife Bernardine Dohrn discuss the McCain campaign attacks, President-elect Obama, the Weather Underground, the legacy of 1960s social justice movements, and more. [includes rush transcript]
Bill Ayers, distinguished professor of education and a senior university scholar at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He is the author many books, including his 2001 memoir, Fugitive Days: Memoirs of an Antiwar Activist, which is being reissued this week.
Bernardine Dohrn, Associate Professor of Law at Northwestern University School of Law and the Director of Northwestern’s Children and Family Justice Center.
AMY GOODMAN: It’s been ten days since Senator Barack Obama won the election, cementing his path to become the country’s forty-fourth president and the first African American president in US history. Over the course of his almost two-year campaign, Obama came under attack on a number of fronts. But in the late stages of the presidential race, no other name was used more by the McCain-Palin campaign against Obama than Bill Ayers.
Bill Ayers is a respected Chicago professor who was a member of the 1960s militant antiwar group the Weather Underground. On Wednesday, more than a week after Obama beat John McCain in the election, Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin again brought up Obama’s alleged ties to Ayers in an interview on CNN.
GOV. SARAH PALIN: Well, I still am concerned about that association with Bill Ayers. And if anybody still wants to talk about it, I will, because this is an unrepentant domestic terrorist who had campaigned to blow up—to destroy our Pentagon and our US Capitol. That’s an association that still bothers me. And I think it’s still fair to talk about it. However, the campaign is over. That chapter is closed. Now is the time to move on and to, again, make sure that all of us are doing all that we can to progress as a nation, keep us secure, get the economy back on the right track. And many of us do have some ideas on how to do that, and hopefully, we’ll be able to put all that wisdom and experience to good use together.
WOLF BLITZER: So, looking back, you don’t regret that tough language during the campaign?