Monday, October 19, 2009

Prank Pops Balloon of Chamber of Commerce

It's a good guess it wasn't a six year old boy with a helium balloon. He's too busy making fools out of the media. Probably, it was the intrepid and hilarious Yes Men who are behind today's fake press release punking the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

The Chamber is now under the antediluvian leadership of Thomas Donohue, who richly deserves all the punking he gets. Donohue has put at risk the entire organization (not to mention the entire planet) by vigorously opposing any meaningful regulation of carbon emissions to save the world from global warming. Already, Nike, Apple, Levi Strauss and several utility companies (!) have quit the Chamber over his mis-leadership.

Today, Reuters, the New York Times, the Washington Post, and any number of other news organizations that snag off of them or use Google News, dutifully reported that the Chamber of Commerce was reversing its position on global warming. An improbable 'spokesman' for the Chamber said:
"We at the Chamber have tried to keep climate science from interfering with business. But without a stable climate, there will be no business. We need business more than we need relentlessly higher returns."
The good news that the C. of C. was joining the 21st century also was announced from a podium at the once-prestigious National Press Club:
Environmental activists held a hoax press conference Monday morning, pretending to be the business group -- and pretending to announce that the chamber was dropping its opposition to climate-change legislation now in Congress.

The event, complete with fake handouts on chamber letterhead, at least a couple of fake reporters, and a podium adorned with the chamber logo, broke up when a spokesman from the real chamber burst in.

What followed was a spectacle not usually seen in the John Peter Zenger Room at the National Press Club: two men in business suits shouting at one another, each calling the other an impostor and demanding to see business cards.

"This guy is a fake! He's lying! This is a stunt that I've never seen before," said Eric Wohlschlegel, an official at the actual Chamber of Commerce, who said he'd heard about the hoax event from a reporter who'd mistakenly shown up at the chamber's headquarters.
Almost surely this was the Yes Men in action, again. They pulled a very similar "identity correction" stunt a few years ago by announcing that Dow Chemical and its wholly owned subsidiary, Union Carbide, were reversing 20 years of ignoring the worst chemical spill disaster in history, and would fully compensate more than a hundred thousand injured survivors and relatives of about 15,000 left dead by the U.S. company. The prank served to remind the world of Bophal, and put the U.S. company into the embarrassing position of having to announce to the world that it still refused to do the right thing by the people it killed and injured.
The hoax ran twice on BBC World and was picked up by the major news wires before the BBC determined that no man named Jude Finisterra worked at Dow and he was an imposter. The company was forced to remind the world it did not take responsibility for the disaster and said there was no compensation fund set-up for the victims.
Today, we're guessing it was the Yes Men who forced the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to admit that it favors profits over people by opposing all meaningful steps to halt global warming. Donohue and his puppets did a very good job of it, too.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Greater Pensacolas chamber are the no men. No ED, no outsiders, no where other than downtown- no GOB no help!