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The Yes Men are at it again. This time Canada’s climate record is its target, and ammunition came in the form of false press releases announcing coffee-spewing carbon emission reduction goals,staged press conferences and even responses attacking the first false release. That’s an impressive lasagna of meta-layers.

Last night on Connect with Mark Kelley, Yes Men members Whitney Black and Andy Bichlbaum (if those are your real names) appeared via grainy webcam feed.

“Canada…should be considered complicit in genocide,” said Bichlbaum, linking the Alberta tar sands to deaths in the developing world said by some to be caused directly by global warming.

But the fun really began when Kelley proposed that the Yes Men’s pranks and subterfuge could not work without the resulting media coverage, whether outing the prank or falling for it.

“You collaborate with us and we collaborate with you…journalists like you who want to carry the news about Canada’s criminality,” said Bichlbaum, his expression dripping with snark. “…You’re definitely helping us out and we thank you…and many people in the media of course are accomplices—knowingly or not.”

Bichlbaum and Black must be trained in theatre improvisation, since earlier in the interview Bichlbaum said (twice) that their message was “not about the media.” I’m not sure if they were trying to convince viewers or themselves, but I will suggest that coverage of their pranks is not indicative of widespread or active collaboration with their cause. If so, that would imply that we all love Nickelback.

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About the author

Jonathan Ore was the Chief Copy Editor for the Spring 2010 issue of the Ryerson Review of Journalism.

1 comment
  1. Maybe our federal genornmevt leaders should take a closer look at our armed Forces and stop wasting money on needless g8 summits and such. As long as we have union leaders making more than the factory workers that they are supposed to be helping, as long as Geo’s of major company’s make millions for doing nothing and the hard working employees see little done for them we will have this inequity. It is not lowering the public sectors wages but raising the private sector. We must demand that our banks,our factory’s and other institutes in the private sector start to realize that they are holding their workers hostage and treating them as slaves. Power to the people

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