Government bailouts, sweeping layoffs, record foreclosures, and an economy crapped out beyond repair. Sound familiar?
It's the Reagan Recession all over again -- minus the Gipper, but still every bit as fun, thanks to some of the twisted minds that eased America's economic woes in 1982 with Off the Wall Street Journal.
Published every 26 years, the legendary parody returned this year for Tax Day, rechristened My Wall Street Journal in honor of Rupert Murdoch's ever-expanding media empire which now includes everything from MySpace to The Wall Street Journal.
Published by New York Press, My Wall Street Journal will be available beginning April 15, 2008. It will be sold for a cover price of $3.95 on Amazon.com, and in newsstands and bookstores in major cities.
Under the tagline, "We Distort, You Decide," the 24-page tabloid imagines a Wall Street Journal as conceived by the owner of The New York Post, British tabloid The Sun, and Star magazine. The result is a full-page spread of a bare-breasted Ann Coulter, a gossip section entitled "Page Sex," and headlines such as "Cleaning Lady Sees Virgin in Merrill-Lynch Q4 Loss."
Founding editor-in-chief and comedy genius Tony Hendra returns to the helm, along with a team of editors that includes fellow '82 veteran David Blum, Todd Hanson from The Onion, and Jeff Kreisler from Comedy Central's Indecision 2008. Rounding out the masthead is a who's-who of political humorists including Richard Belzer, Andy Borowitz, Terry Jones, Joe Queenan, and writers for The Daily Show, Saturday Night Live, and the Harvard Lampoon.
The seeds of My Wall Street Journal took root in 1982, when Blum, then a reporter for the Wall Street Journal, decided to lay waste to his business journalism career by parodying his own employer. Edited by Hendra, the former editor of Nation Lampoon and Spy Magazine, the debut issues featured contributions by a now-illustrious mix of media stars including Jeff Greenfield and Kurt Andersen. The parody, and a follow up issue, sold more than 650,000 copies and landed Hendra on the cover of Newsweek in 1983.
"Our initial idea was just to imagine the Journal as it exists in Murdoch's most feverish media-mogul fantasies," said Hendra. "The fact that our publication coincided with an economic apocalypse that has ruined thousands of felonious bankers is just a stroke of dumb luck on our part."
Highlights of My Wall Street Journal include:
Page 3 USA! - Conservative financial publication plus trashy London tabloid equals a naked Ann Coulter illustrated in classic Wall Street Journal stipple-style.
Centerfold - In a two-page advertorial spread, a bare-bottomed and very sorry Bare Sterns urges America, "Go ahead ... Spank us!"
Ads - Words of wisdom from a full-page Charles Schwab ad: "Chuck is Dead. Talk to Vinnie."
Obitcharies - Wishfully-thinking eulogies for the right's favorite bugaboos like actress Susan Sarandon and New York Times financial columnist Paul Krugman.
Abroad - Topping today's international news: "Muslims Cheer as Mad-Pig Disease Sweeps Europe."
Advertorializing and Marketainment - From Rupert Murdoch's world of unholy hybrid comes Mother Dow-Jones, the enviro-mag for Republicans!
Police blotter - A day in the life of the white-collar crime cops.
A spoof video of Rupert Murdoch enraged by the parody on YouTube.
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