US Chamber of Commerce Responds to Yes Men Hoax

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The US Chamber of Commerce (the real one) issued a response to the fake press conference we reported on earlier, saying they will be “asking law enforcement authorities to investigate this event.”

The “irresponsible tactics” that the Yes Men used “are a foolish distraction from the serious effort by our nation to reduce greenhouse gases,” said Chamber Senior Vice President for Communications and Strategy Thomas J. Collamore said in the statement. “Public relations hoaxes undermine the genuine effort to find solutions on the challenge of climate change,” he added.

“The U.S. Chamber believes that strong climate legislation is compatible with the goals of improving our economy and creating jobs,” he said. “We continuously seek opportunities to engage in a constructive dialogue to achieve these goals.”

It’s not clear exactly what legal course the Chamber can pursue. Copyright infringement, for using their logo? Misrepresentation? Fraud? In any case, the seriousness with which they’re taking the prank far outweighs the seriousness with they’ve taken climate change for all these years—underscoring the point of today’s parody.

Notably, the press release the real Chamber sent out today repeats the claim that the group represents “more than 3 million businesses and organizations,” a figure that Josh Harkinson set straight last week. The Chamber was then forced to correct their number. The fake press release, however, says they have 300,000 members–a figure closer to their real membership total.

HERE ARE THE FACTS:

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As we wrote over the summer, traffic has been down at Mother Jones and a lot of sites with many people thinking news is less important now that Donald Trump is no longer president. But if you're reading this, you're not one of those people, and we're hoping we can rally support from folks like you who really get why our reporting matters right now. And that's how it's always worked: For 45 years now, a relatively small group of readers (compared to everyone we reach) who pitch in from time to time has allowed Mother Jones to do the type of journalism the moment demands and keep it free for everyone else.

Please pitch in with a donation during our fall fundraising drive if you can. We can't afford to come up short, and there's still a long way to go by November 5.

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