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Hoaxers print 1.2 copies of spoof NY Times

Liberal activists have printed a fake edition of the New York Times and handed out more than a million free copies to commuters.

The 14-page newspaper, which used the Times' iconic Gothic-style font, was distributed in cities across the US by more than 1,000 volunteers after being printed at presses all over the country.

Its front page, dated 4 July 2009, announced that the Iraq War was over. Articles inside called for a maximum wage for CEOs, free healthcare for all Americans and a recall for petrol cars.

According to the BBC, a group known as the Yes Men have claimed responsibility for the spoof, saying that they carried out the joke, along with several journalists – some of whom are thought to work at the paper itself – in order to encourage President Elect Barack Obama and the Democrats to stick to their election promises.

The paper put a twist on the New York Times' motto "All the news that's fit to print", with the statement, "All the news we hope to print".

It is thought that the prank, funded by online contributions, cost less than $100,000 (£66,666) to implement.

It also included a fake website, mimicking the look of the New York Times' real site.

Spoof adverts were even included in the hoax paper, including one for a diamond company in South Africa promising that a diamond purchase "will help fund the creation, fitting and maintenance of a prosthetic for an African whose hand was lost in one of the continent's brutal conflicts over diamonds", Wired reported.

A spokeswoman for the New York Times, Catherine Mathis, said: "This is obviously a fake issue of The Times. We are in the process of finding out more about it."

The New York Times was also parodied back as far back as 1978 and most recently in 1999, when Sir Richard Branson helped to print a spoof paper called I can't Believe It's Not The New York Times.


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