Seattle newspaper sabotaged by WTO foes

Michael Pollak mpollak at
Thu Nov 25 00:42:30 PST 1999

[Detournment extraordinaire! A very encouraging sign. Anybody know who's behind this?]

Seattle newspaper sabotaged by foes of next week's WTO meeting

Copyright © 1999 Nando Media

Copyright © 1999Associated Press


SEATTLE (November 24, 1999 8:32 p.m. EST -

Pranksters opposed to next week's meeting of the World Trade

Organization sabotaged copies of Wednesday's Seattle

Post-Intelligencer by adding a four-page "wrap" with fake stories

offering an anti-WTO spin.

"Boeing to move overseas" trumpeted the headline on the lead story,

which claimed the state's biggest employer is relocating to Indonesia.

Joe Hill, a union organizer who was executed by firing squad in Utah

early in the century, got the byline.

Other front-page headlines: "Clinton pledges help for poorest

nations," "Economists fear global epidemic of underpollution" and

"Monsanto patents food chain."

Letters to the editor included one headlined: "Having a conscience is

technical barrier to trade," reflecting protesters' concerns about the

WTO's authority to override laws of its 135 member nations if they

hinder trade.

The P-I's managing editor, Ken Bunting, said the fake editions got

into coin boxes on ferries and around Seattle and even into a few


The newspaper was concerned that the fraudulent front was so well

done, some readers might have thought it was the real deal - despite

the missing "r" in "Seattle Post-Intelligence."

The newspaper reported the guerrilla publishing effort to police.

The P-I has not yet determined how many papers got the wrap, but a

news release from "a group of media literacy activists called Wake

Up!" said thousands of copies of the "special supplement" were


The statement adds: "While a few of the articles are fictional ... the

underlying concerns are far too real."

Contact telephone numbers provided on the news release ring through to

fax machines or to a voice mailbox for a free fax and e-mail service.

More than 130 nations are expected to attend the trade talks,

including China and possibly Cuba. The meeting opens Tuesday.

Copyright © 1999 Nando Media

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