Newspaper spoofing seems to have become a popular eco-satire tactic. The last few years, activist-prankster group The Yes Men have handed out spoof copies of both The New York Times and The New York Post to unsuspecting New Yorkers who were greeted with headlines like “Iraq War Ends” and “We’re Screwed.” Now, Greenpeace has gotten into the fake news act with a spoof version of USA Today!
Greenpeace’s paper isn’t as elaborate as The Yes Men’s efforts. In fact, the two-pager looks more like a leaflet than a newspaper, and the tagline above the USA Today logo — “kind of like the nation’s newspaper” — makes clear that the news isn’t “real.” That said, Greenpeace’s spoof paper — given out attendees of the North Pacific Fisheries Management Council Meeting earlier this week — draws attention to real environmental issues affecting oceans and the world’s fisheries.
Most of the headlines are extremely sarcastic. “Huge area too deep to bottom trawl protected from bottom trawling,” announces one, while another more hopeful headline reads “NOAA Habitat Conservation Division launches new initiative to actually conserve habitat.” The short articles basically point a finger at the North Pacific Fisheries Management Council — currently meeting to discuss whether any new protections are needed in the oceans it manages — and the National Marine Fisheries Service for not protecting the Bering Sea, which Greenpeace argues needs permanent protection in the form of marine reserves.
The Bering Sea is located between Alaska and Russia, and is home to polar bears, walruses, many bird species, and other wildlife — as well as salmon, pollock, and other fish populations that Greenpeace says are suffering from overfishing and bottom trawling.