Political performance artists, The Yes Men, have taken credit for today's prank, in which they posed as Chamber of Commerce officials pushing for comprehensive climate change legislation. In a statement from the group offered hours after a fake press conference was held at the National Press Club and a fake press release was sent out under the Chamber's name, The Yes Men said the following:
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In a dramatic announcement at the National Press Club today, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce reversed its position on climate change policy, and promised to immediately cease lobbying against the Kerry-Boxer bill.
Within minutes of the announcement, it was revealed that the "Chamber spokesperson" was an impostor, and the press conference an elaborate hoax designed by activists to draw attention to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's fight against public interest on climate change. At the close of the news conference, real Chamber of Commerce spokesperson Eric Wohlschlegel barged into the room visibly rattled, and declared the event a fraud.
The stunt was pulled off by the Yes Men, the activists best known for posing as corporate executives in order to reveal how corporate greed negatively influences public policy. Recently, the Yes Men have focused their attention on the urgent need for action on climate change. Today they sought to reveal--and repeal--relentless corporate lobbying of elected officials aimed at derailing domestic climate legislation and a much-needed global climate accord.
At the end of [fake U.S. Chamber "representative" "Hingo Sembra"]'s remarks, Eric Wohlschlegel confronted Bichlbaum. In the stand-off, both accused the other of being a fraud and disrupting business as usual. The standoff ended with Wohlschlegel dispensing his business card to reporters in the room, and attempting to field a number of pointed questions about the Chamber's real stance on climate legislation currently in Congress, which the real Chamber opposes.
The video of the National Press Club affair was passed along to the Huffington Post late Monday afternoon. It is a must watch.
Read more at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/10/19/chamber-of-commerce-hoax_n_326069.html