Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Wall Street Journal Spoof Hits Newsstands

...Hilarity Ensues

Richard Belzer was talking on AAR yesterday about My Wall Street Journal, a spoof that anticipates the decline of journalism at the real WSJ now that Rupert Murdoch owns the already quite conservative paper. From the Seattle Post-Intelligencer:
Murdoch 'parity' hits newsstands

A nude caricature of Anne Coulter, a not-so-subtle joke about John McCain and death taxes, as well as a few swipes at media baron Rupert Murdoch make up the highlights reel of a Wall Street Journal satire that was dropped on newsstands today.

Released to coincide with tax day, the newspaper parody titled My Wall Street Journal (a dig at Murdoch's ownership of MySpace, as well as the Journal) hit on the theme of media consolidation. In particular, Murdoch's ownership of Fox News, which the satire implied would have a detrimental and sensationalizing effect on the Journal's reporting.
No online version has yet been sighted, but the New York Times reports the WSJ sending employees out to buy up all copies before they get in the hands of the public.
It seems someone at The Wall Street Journal really likes a biting new parody of the paper — likes it enough, in fact, to leave at least one newsstand with no copies remaining for anyone else to buy.

It was not supposed to go on sale until this week, but some newsstands began selling it early. Last Thursday, Alexander Laurence was working at one such stand in Los Angeles, chatting with a customer, David Metz, when, both of them say, a man in a shirt with a Journal logo asked if anyone had seen a paper that looked sort of like The Journal.

“This guy comes by all the time to bring promotional stuff for The Wall Street Journal — bags, coin trays, stickers,” Mr. Laurence said.

Sure enough, they found what he was looking for. “He grabbed them all, said, ‘I need to buy all of these,’ ” Mr. Laurence said. “He had been going around to different stands, buying them.”

The man paid with a corporate American Express card. “At first he’s saying they have to make a correction or it’s not supposed to be out yet,” Mr. Metz said. “But then he said these are not published by The Wall Street Journal.”

A spokesman for The Journal, Robert H. Christie, declined to comment.

It looks like the spoofers expected just such a move. They were ready with yet another brilliant spoof, in the form of this YouTube vid showing Murdoch in a tirade against the paper spoof, and (he he) ordering that all copies of My WSJ be bought up and burnt.

'Murdoch' on YouTube

That spoof was good enough to fool the author of the above-cited Seattle PI article. But The Gawker saw right through it, as well as weighing in with some other important background:
Incidentally, the Murdoch imports at the Wall Street Journal continue to tread on the newspaper's delicate sensibilities. You'll remember Marcus Brauchli, the Journal's managing editor, had a speech ready to welcome his new overlords, but they never called on him. That was just the first humiliation.
Here's another very watchable YouTube vid discussing Murdoch's impact on 'journalism' in America so far, and the likely impact on the real WSJ. In case you don't click, I'll give you this brilliant characterization of Murdoch from Bill Moyers, "He is to propriety what the Marquis de Sade was to chastity. When it comes to money and power he's carnivorous; all appetite and no taste. He'll eat anything in his path." Keith Olbermann is none too pleased with Murdoch either.

Lamentably there is no online version of the spoof (yet), so the best I can provide is this image of the front page. This one looks to be a pretty effective antidote to Murdoch's corporate propaganda machine. The Wall Street Journal is dead. Long live My Wall Street Journal.
UPDATE: Huge hat-tip goes to Gary SF in comments. We now have a link to www.wsjparody.com (click the graphic above to go there.) You get a readable blow-up of part of the front page, and ordering info, NOT an online edition. We're breaking our unwritten unruly unrule about not promoting anything commercial for this because:
1) - It's brilliant satire.
2) - It puts a vital message in front of the American public, "your media is bought and paid for by giant corporations and can't be trusted."
3) - We can. It's at times like this that I most love being unruly.

Cross-posted to Ice Station Tango

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