According to “fake new” expert Claire Wardle, satire or parody is one of the less harmful forms of fake news. So we shouldn’t be too hard on the pranksters who decided to publish an issue of Not the New York Times in October of 1978, nearly two months into a strike by pressmen that shut down the paper. According to the “real” New York Times,
The parody featured three full sections, 24 joke advertisements, 73 spoof articles and 155 fake news briefs, all meticulously edited to mimic The Times’s style. Even the thick curls of the font used on the front page and the neat spacing of the headlines exactly replicates those of the real paper.
While the “fake” newspaper mimicked the real newspaper in almost every way, there were plenty of cues that all was not right. For example, the slogan in the upper left corner was slightly modified to read, “All the News Not Fit to Print.”
It just goes to show that parody and satire have always been a way to blow off a little steam, and even make a point. Hopefully we can have a good laugh now and then, and not loose our sense of humor when the joke’s on us!