Thursday, April 28, 2011

GE Returns Billions to Public, NOT

The Yes Men punk A.P.
Richard Metzger

Once again the heroically funny Yes Men (along with the anti-Tea party patriots of “US Uncut”) have punk’d the establishment. This time their victim was the Associated Press. From the press release:

USA Today, AP fall for US Uncut ploy; GE stock loses billions
Contact: Blair Fitzgibbon 202-503-6141, Duncan Meisel 512-657-9124, Carl Gibson 601-454-6443, The Yes Lab

Washington, DC - US Uncut, a burgeoning grassroots movement pressuring corporate tax cheats to pay their fair share, posted today a fake GE press release announcing that they would return their illegitimate (but legal) $3.2 billion tax refund, and that they would lobby to close the sort of corporate tax loopholes that had allowed them to skip taxes in the first place. Several major media outlets, including USA Today, ran the story as true. (Here is a link to the original USA Today story; here is the first article debunking the release.)

US Uncut quickly reacted with another release pretending to praise GE for this entirely unpredictable, unlikely, and in fact impossible act.

“At a time when working families are being asked to accept massive cuts nationwide, this action showed another way the world could work,” said US Uncut spokesperson Carl Gibson. “For a brief moment people believed that the biggest corporate tax dodger had a change of heart and actually did the right thing. But the only way anything like this is really going to happen is if we change the laws that allow corporate tax avoidance in the first place.”

In the period the hoax was believed, GE’s stock plunged by .6% (far more than the value of the supposed return), then quickly recovered as soon as it became apparent the press had been duped. “Obviously, GE can’t possibly be expected to do the right thing voluntarily; their stock would keep plunging,” noted Gibson. “That’s why we must change the law.”

“GE’s tax avoidance is unpatriotic, it’s undemocratic, it’s unfair,” said Andrew Boyd, a US Uncut spokesperson. “It might be legal, but that’s only because GE has used its money and lobbying influence to buy the loopholes they’re now taking advantage of.”

US Uncut developed the project with help from the Yes Lab.

US Uncut’s Andrew Boyd told MSNBC (partially owned by General Electric, of course): “It might be legal but it’s immoral.”

YES it is. The Yes Men guys are absolute geniuses. If you’re going to infiltrate capitalism, you have to do it all the way...

No comments: