By: Wayne Robins
Satire or sacrilege? That’s what the local chattering class has been talking about since The Vancouver Sun in British Columbia became victim of an old-media hacking. Guerrilla Media (GM), self-described Vancouver-based media critics, printed 20,000 four-page copies of a bogus front section of the Sun and snuck their well-designed Feb. 21 fake into the hands of regular Sun readers via street hawkers and vending boxes, with GM taking credit in a same-day release.
“The counterfeit edition contained an exact replica of The Vancouver Sun trademark and logo,” Dennis Skulsky, president and publisher of the Sun, told readers two days later. Skulsky described the act as “malicious” and “slanderous,” and said, “A sign of when the line is crossed … is when perpetrators remain invisible behind anonymous names.”
The names may be fictitious, but GM’s Web site publishes its street address, phone number, and e-mail address, so it is hardly invisible. The group’s statement, signed by one “Noam de Plume,” said the parody was published to illuminate the Sun‘s alleged Liberal Party bias. “In Canada, Liberals are traditionally centrists,” GM told E&P in an e-mail message. “The B.C. Liberals are hard right.”
Earlier, the group said the parody was the result of its analysis of the Sun‘s coverage of the province’s budget deficits under two different parties.