One of DC’s largest lobbying groups, the US Chamber of Commerce, has found itself as the butt of a prank. Yesterday, a group claiming to represent the Chamber called a press conference at the National Press Club. A few journalists, representing such prominent organizations as Reuters and CNN, showed up to here the stunning news that the Chamber was reversing its long-held stance on clean energy, which had been decidedly “pro-business” up to this point. Mid way through the press conference a man from the actual Chamber burst into the room and decried the proceedings as fraudulent. Fortunately for us, the whole incident was caught on film and found its way onto Youtube.
At this point, details of what actually happened are still a bit shady. It appears that a civic-minded comedy group, the Yes Men, staged the prank to call attention to the Chamber’s environmental stance. This group has held other, fake press conferences in the past, including delivering a fake key-note address on behalf of Exxon-Mobile at a major oil conference. At this point, the Chamber has stated that it is pursuing legal action against the Yes Men.
What do you all think? Harmless joke? Praise-worthy activism? Crime?