‘Times’ Staffers Helped Make Fake New York ‘Times’

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We mostly just wanted to do this post so we could Photoshop this image. Photo: Getty Images

We caught up with Steve Lambert, an artist who helped organize yesterday's amazingly elaborate fake New York Times prank, on the phone last night, as he was basking in the glow of a job well done. "Like all great ideas, it originated at a bar in Brooklyn," he said of the project, in which 1.2 million copies of a utopian version of the paper, headlined "Iraq War Ends," were distributed all across the city. "There were just a few people at the table, but we knew immediately the scale we wanted to work on, and that we'd have to tap on a lot of friends. It grew larger and larger." The project, which was inspired by the candidates' calls for change during the election, was financed by individual donors, took over a year to complete, he said, and involved thousands of people. Culture-jamming groups like the Yes Men, Code Pink, and Improv Everywhere claimed credit in a press release last night, but "they were just some of the more visible members of the group," said Lambert. Many of the people who worked on it were individual media professionals, including Times staffers. "There were a few people from the Times — we can't tell you who they are," he said. "They're respectable journalists." If you missed getting a fake paper, you'll have to settle with the Website; there probably won't be a second edition anytime soon. But stay tuned. "We have other things planned," said Lambert.