Jaws dropped around Washington today as Reuters reported on a press release from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce announcing that high-profile defections had led to a reversal of their stance against the job-destroying global-warming bill.
Far more jaws dropped, however, in disbelief that Reuters could have fallen for such an obvious hoax. The press release is not on the Chamber’s website, but on a fake one. And who owns it? That happy band of anti-capitalist culture jammers, The Yes Men.
What amazes me is that this sort of fact-checking takes just a couple of mouse clicks. The Yes Men are not good at hiding their identity. In fact, here’s what happened when they tried to pull a stunt on libertarian groups a couple of years back and got rumbled.
All of which suggests that major news organizations are simply machines for regurgitating press releases, real or not, that accord with their view of where the world should be going. That’s what the Yes Men have exposed, not corporate pusillanimity (although there’s a fair amount of that around). For that, a reluctant doff of the flat cap to them, even if it wasn’t what they thought they were doing.