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.

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is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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