The parody of the New York Times that was launched today now seems to have gone viral. An unidentified spokesperson for the paper (i.e. the real New York Times, not the very realistic-looking spoof) has been quoted by the Jerusalem Post as saying that management “objects” to anyone attempting to “cloak their political views under the banner of the New York Times.”
From the Jerusalem Post
A group of pro-Palestinian sympathizers fanned out across New York City earlier on Tuesday and distributed thousands of parodied copies of The New York Times bearing headlines and stories that contradict what they claim to be the newspaper’s pro-Israel bias in its coverage of the Middle East conflict.
Commuters in the Big Apple could be forgiven for thinking that the “supplement” they were handed was an actual copy of the Grey Lady, since it uses the Times‘ famous masthead as well as the same headline fonts, page design, and layout.
The Jerusalem Post was unable to determine the identity of the individuals behind the initiative. The only response given was that the fake newspaper was the brainchild of followers of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement – an ad hoc alliance of pro-Palestinian activists seeking to punish Israel financially over its policies in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
“The most important thing about this is that, as one of the leading sources for news in the United States and in the world, The New York Times has a duty to its readers to provide fair, balanced, and fact-based coverage,” said an activist associated with the project. “This paper reflects that.”
“The paper includes the context and facts too often missing from The New York Times both in their reporting of facts on the ground in Israel and Palestine, and with regards to the growing solidarity movement with Palestine here in the United States,” the activist said.
When contacted by the Post, the activist repeatedly refused to specify which group financed the project.
“Any acts of violence by Palestinians against Israeli Jews always makes headlines in theTimes,” the activist said. “However, the paper fails to include the context of everyday state violence committed by Israel against Palestinians and the ongoing nonviolent Palestinian resistance to the occupation.”
A representative of the Times said the newspaper was aware of the campaign and voiced its objections.
“We’re extremely protective of our brand and other intellectual property and object to this group (or any group’s) attempt to cloak their political views under the banner of The New York Times,” a spokesperson for the newspaper told the Post. “We believe strongly that those advocating for political positions are best served by speaking openly, in their own voice.”
Why the jesters who launched the spoof chose Groundhog Day (which today is, of course) rather than perhaps the more traditional April Fool’s Day, I can’t offer an opinion on, but be that as it may, the online edition of their counterfeit bon mot can be found here. If you haven’t done so, please do check it out. It includes “news,” “editorials,” spoofed letters to the editor, and even ads.