Yes Men pwn Chamber of Commerce over climate change legislation

The Yes Men strike again. Posing as members of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, they held a press conference today to announce that the chamber would abandon its opposition to climate-change legislation now in Congress. Well, that would explain the sneaky spam press release I received this morning which pointed to "" instead of the actual website for the US Chamber of Commerce, at "" Wonder if any bloggers or reporters were done in by the emailed version of the Yes Men prank?

Here's a snip from Washington Post article about the meatspace hijinks today:

yesmen.jpg The event, complete with fake handouts on chamber letterhead, at least a couple of fake reporters, and a podium adorned with the chamber logo, broke up when a spokesman from the real chamber burst in. What followed was a spectacle not usually seen in the John Peter Zenger Room at the National Press Club: two men in business suits shouting at one another, each calling the other an impostor and demanding to see business cards.

"This guy is a fake! He's lying! This is a stunt that I've never seen before," said Eric Wohlschlegel, an official at the actual Chamber of Commerce, who said he'd heard about the hoax event from a reporter who'd mistakenly shown up at the chamber's headquarters.

The fake Chamber of Commerce official, who called himself "Hingo Sembra," did not give his real name to reporters, saying only that he represented a coalition of climate activists.

Pranksters stage Chamber of Commerce climate change event (Washington Post, via @tomzellerjr). Related coverage: GOOD, Roll Call, Talking Points Memo.


  1. Those wacky Yes Men! Always getting in trouble.

    I’ve known one of them for about 20 years, and he’s always been like that. He’s just managed to increase his level of prankiness from local to international.

    Can’t wait to see the new film about saving the world.

  2. brilliant! i love it! and the idea of the two guys yelling at each other, both calling the other an impostor and demanding to see business cards is TEH LULZ! ah, thank you for this, Yes Men. i love it when the rigid & stodgy get messed with.

  3. The fox news clip is hilarious.
    I like the way they only decied to cite reuters as the source when they realize it’s a hoax.

    This just in: fox admits to journalistic plagerism.

    1. It’s not actually plagiarism if they get the news from a wire that they have a paid subscription to access. That they didn’t indicate that the story came from the Reuters wire is somewhat unethical, it is not necessarily plagiarism. News broadcasters get stories from wires all the time, such as the Associated Press.

  4. I like to think that if Anonymous became a force for good, it would look something like the Yes Men. Only much, much more epic.

  5. ‘”Don’t know,” he said, apparently speaking as himself.’

    As if a real representative would know. Oh, wait, he would of course never admit or commit to anything at all. How silly of me.

  6. @Zikzak

    You appear to imply that Anonymous is not a force for good?

    I find your lack of faith…disturbing…

  7. Anonymous is not, has never been, and never will be a force for good. A few kids who don’t really understand it aside, the goal of anonymous is nothing other than self-amusement in as destructive and offensive a fashion as possible.

  8. I dont understand why people think anonymoose is or has ever been good, anonymous has always been amoral and self serving. Dont believe me? Visit 4chan, 711chan, 420chan, operatorchan and there you will see the real face of anonymous.

  9. Anonymous ranges the entire gamut of Good and Evil, Lawful and Chaotic. In a world where freedom of political expression is persecuted Anonymous holds open the door of freedom. Amongst those who would bear false witness, anonymous is simply a dodge to avoid the responsibility of facing those who you accuse. Any useful tool can be abused. Those who abuse something as important as anonymity risk providing those who would abuse its loss by providing an excuse to make it more difficult to maintain the privilege of Anonymity. It is one thing to speak anonymously, quite another to steal the identity of another. You only weaken your case amongst those not already decided when they must wonder if you have resorted to subterfuge because you don’t think your message can stand on it’s own merits.
    (Please excuse the rant. I feel the topic is important enough to state as more then a one liner. I even created an account just now so that I would not be posted as Anonymous.)

  10. Being known has its own limiting effects on freedom. I wonder how the Yes Men will deal with expanding recognition. In an age where people loose their jobs for comments on social networking sites, one must exercise some caution.

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