Thursday, August 31, 2006

We love fake flaks!

Spare Change News doesn't endorse crazy activists unless we employ them, and we aren't going to start either.

BUT, being journalists we have a soft spot in our hearts for The Yes Men.

These plucky tricksters impersonate company and government flaks, saying at press conferences and on television exactly what that particular agency or company would never ever ever never say!

For instance, they once gave a speech in front of European industrialists posing as representatives of the WTO, proclaiming the United States Civil War a waste of money, considering the influx of slave labor from third-world countries. They also revealed a gold suit that was allegedly designed to allow managers to manage from the comfort of their costume. It included a pop-up monitor screen that resembled a very particular element of male anatomy. They were taken seriously by the conference, and it wasn't until days later that the WTO found out about the dupe.

Earlier this week, The Yes Men struck again, this time in New Orleans, impersonating a flak for the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and telling the gathered summit for "Gulf Coast Reconstruction and Hurricane Preparedness," that HUD wasn't going to tear down any public housing, and that they had reached an agreement with Wal-Mart to withdraw from low-income neighborhoods, in deference to local businesses, among other things.

HUD wasn't too happy with this. "We are destroying those homes for good reason," HUD spokesperson Donna White said. "It is terribly sad that some people can't understand that. That lack of understanding speaks for the low level of government education in this country."

Readers, what do you think? Cruel hoax or appropriate satire?

Spare Change News reserves its opinion, but admits to a certain thrill when hearing The Yes Men's impersonation of public relations flunkies. We wish all flaks would be as forthcoming.

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