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Monday, August 28, 2006

"You've obviously mistaken me for someone who cares" 

This is a great story -- Oops: Impostor scams Louisiana officials.
I saw the Yes men documentary on TV recently and it was terrific -- they are completely plausible, totally corporate. And they only bullshit the bullshitters:
A man who pulled a hoax on Louisiana officials and 1,000 contractors by presenting himself as a federal housing official said Monday he intended to focus attention on a lack of affordable housing. "We basically go around impersonating bad institutes or institutes doing very bad things," said the man, who identified himself as Andy Bichlbaum, a 42-year-old former college teacher of video and media arts who lives in New York and Paris. "That would be HUD. At this moment, they're doing some really bad things."
Masquerading as Rene Oswin, an official at the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Bichlbaum followed Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco and New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin to the lectern Monday morning at the Pontchartrain Center in Kenner.
In a speech to attendees of the Gulf Coast Reconstruction and Hurricane Preparedness Summit, he laid out grandiose plans for HUD to reverse course.
. . . In his speech, Bichlbaum said the department's mission was to ensure affordable housing is available for those who need it. "This year, in New Orleans, I'm ashamed to say we have failed," he said. To change that, HUD would reverse its plans to demolish 5,000 units "of perfectly good public housing," with housing in the city in tight supply, he said. Former occupants have been "begging to move back in," he said. "We're going to help them to do that." . . . Bichlbaum said The Yes Men plan to release a movie about their exploits next year, but that commercial gain is not their goal. "The real reason we do it is what we're doing right now," he told a reporter. "You're paying attention to this issue of affordable housing and the absurd policies of HUD."
Now, do you think there is any chance that some local or national reporter will follow up on this story? Well, maybe -- now that the JonBenet Killer is no longer in the news...

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