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Wall Street Journal’s parody paranoia proves that truth is stranger (and funnier) than fiction

Here’s a reason to get up this morning. A who’s who of New York satire—including Richard Belzer, Andy Borowitz, Tony Hendra, Joe Queenan and writers from The Daily Show, Saturday Night Live and The Onion—has, of late, created My Wall Street Journal, a parody of its sober namesake. The front-page headline? “Bush Abolishes Death, Taxes; Move Will Benefit McCain.”

And truth being stranger (and funnier) than fiction, The New York Times reports with considerable glee this morning:

It was not supposed to go on sale until this week, but some newsstands began selling it early. Last Thursday, Alexander Laurence was working at one such stand in Los Angeles, chatting with a customer, David Metz, when, both of them say, a man in a shirt with a Journal logo asked if anyone had seen a paper that looked sort of like the Journal.

“This guy comes by all the time to bring promotional stuff for The Wall Street Journal—bags, coin trays, stickers,” Mr. Laurence said.

Sure enough, they found what he was looking for. “He grabbed them all, said, ‘I need to buy all of these,’” Mr. Laurence said. “He had been going around to different stands, buying them.”

The man paid with a corporate American Express card. “At first he’s saying they have to make a correction or it’s not supposed to be out yet,” Mr. Metz said. “But then he said these are not published by The Wall Street Journal.”

A spokesman for the Journal, Robert H. Christie, declined to comment.

It’s a cliché, I know, but you couldn’t make it up.

My Wall Street Journal [New York Press]• A Funnier-Than-Usual Journal Gets Snapped Up Early [New York Times]

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