The News That Fits
Yesterday on the streets of New York pedestrians were surprised to receive a special edition of The New York Times, free of charge. The news on its pages seemed almost too good to be true. . . and it was. At least for now.
Dated July 4, 2009, the front page of this New York Times blared out in four-column headlines an end to the Iraq War; reported on an apology by Condoleeza Rice for WMD scare; and announced that oil companies had been nationalized to fund climate initiatives. Inside was coverage of the passage of the National Health Care Act, as well as the end of tortue and Gitmo. On the Editorial page Thomas Friedman came forth with his own mea culpa and a vow to put down his pen (and take up a screwdriver).
Though humorous, this special edition doesn’t quite qualify as parody. Its independent editors were not mocking the Times, only imitating its content and style, to make a serious point. Stay involved. A few paragraphs from embedded in their Editorial elaborate on this:
The dozens of volunteer citizens who produced this paper spent the last eight years dreaming of a better world for themselves, their friends, and any descendants they might end up having. Today, that better world, though still very far away, is finally possible — but only if millions of us demand it, and finally force our government to do its job.
It certainly won’t be easy. Even now, corporate representatives are swarming over Washington to get their agendas passed. The energy giants are demanding “clean coal,” nuclear power and offshore drilling. Military contractors are pushing the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. H.M.O.s and insurance companies are promoting bogus “reforms” so they can forestall universal health care. And they’re not about to take no for an answer.
But things are different this time. This time, we can hold accountable the politicians we put into office. And because everyone can now see that the “free market” has nothing to do with freedom, there is a huge opening to pass policies that can benefit all Americans, and that can make us truly free — free to pursue an education without debt, go on vacation every once in a while, keep healthy, and live without the crushing guilt of knowing what our tax dollars are doing abroad.
While the news reported in the 7/4/2009 edition may not qualify as “fit to print” in the legit paper, it is the news that fits the nation’s present mood. “Too good to be true, but not impossible to imagine” was one woman’s response to the paper. She reflected the majority sentiment of those who received the paper and, dare I say, of a lot of us who did not.
The audacity of hope is still riding high.
Leisurely Morning Read
Cut to the chase—Venetian Red recommends
Work for Change The Fine Print
The Gothamist—behind the Scenes at the Hoax