On Wednesday morning at busy subway stations and transport interchanges across major US cities, thousands of free copies of a spoof edition of The New York Times were distributed. The headline “IRAQ WAR ENDS” is said to have surprised commuters, though the piece on the indictment of Bush for treason is much better. The 14-page paper is dated July 4, 2009, and "imagines a liberal utopia of national health care, a rebuilt economy, progressive taxation, a national oil fund to study climate change, and other goals of progressive politics... the pranksters — who included a film promoter, three unnamed Times employees and Steven Lambert, an art professor — financed the paper with small online contributions and created the paper to urge President-elect Barack Obama to keep his campaign promises". It is said that Internet support were provided by the Yes Men, who were the subject of a 2004 documentary film, they issued a statement. They talk of "describing the gains brought about by eight months of progressive support and pressure, culminating in President Obama's "Yes we REALLY can" speech" and in a quote Bertha Suttner, one of the newspaper's writers. "We've got to make sure Obama and all the other Democrats do what we elected them to do. After eight, or maybe twenty-eight years of hell, we need to start imagining heaven."
Barack Obama was criticised way back by Hillary Clinton for being in the promises business. Early statements on the intent to close Guantanamo Bay fuel the expectation, there is in America a movement for change and they are firmly behind Obama. However, he is going to be pushed to deliver all the way. While a small stunt, this has gained the Yes Men and the authors of the spoof New York Times a lot of media coverage, this gets the ideas a wider audience and fuels expectations among all those groups that supported Obama. The big question is whether he can deliver 'heaven' for people like Suttner.