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article imageCodePink Has A Sense Of Humor And An Air Of Ignorance

By Nikki Weingartner     Apr 8, 2008 in Politics
Amidst the practical jokes and pranks that are a part of many April Fool’s fanatics, CodePink joined the ranks by posting on its website that the Marines had caved to protesters and were leaving Berkeley, California.
The fanatical anti-war group thought it, too, would have some April Fool’s fun and play a prank on the country. According to a article, CodePink announced on its website on the evening of March 31, 2008 that
“Marine Recruiting Center Leaving Berkeley: Agreement Reached with Landlord, City, and Protesters”, the owner and landlord of the Marine recruiting center, "has reached an amicable agreement with the Marines to redeploy from Berkeley"
The website also stated that a news conference would be held at noon on April 1, 2008.
On Tuesday, April Fool’s Day, CodePink proceeded with a news conference in faux pink Marine fashion, announcing that the Marines were moving out.
Sadly, a Marine, who did not give his name, showed up to the recruiting center holding a sign that read “I thought Berkeley wouldn’t judge me” as a result of the hoax. He thought they were leaving town.
In a phone conversation, Mr. Shamszad, the building’s landlord said:
"Someone is in la-la land here. There's a lease involved here. We live in a society where contracts are a big deal. These people are my tenants and I'm a professional. Once they have a lease, unless they break the rules, you can't get them out."
The lease is contractually binding through December 2009.
Gunnery Sgt Pauline Franklin, from the Marine Recruiting Command in Washington, D.C. confirmed that business was as usual for the Marines in Berkeley and there were no plans for them to move out.
There seemed to be very little support for CodePink’s joking ways, according to Robin Lakoff, a professor at the University of California at Berkeley who believes the prank was less than a show of seriousness, stating
“If you want to be taken seriously as an organization of serious protest, then you don’t play jokes---even on April Fool’s Day”
Even the Berkeley Mayor, Tom Bates, called the stunt harmful, criticizing it by saying
"I think they have hurt their credibility with this farce"
In Defense of its actions, CodePink’s co-founder, Medea Benjamin believes that it was all in good fun and is part of their “sense of humor” and “keeps them going”.
She is hopeful that her group’s joke will manifest itself into the hearts of the country and move people to action, saying
"We've got a topsy turvy world and if more people got out and joined us this wouldn't be an April Fools' joke. (It) would be reality," she said. "The Marines would be gone from Berkeley, the war would be over, there would be impeachment of Bush and Cheney and we'd be upholding our Constitution."
CodePink prides itself on its sense of humor, as well as its anti-war intent and action. According to the news report, CodePink’s history of fabricating information is one that is CommonPlace (CodePink).
Not only did they falsely quote the landlord, CodePink also made up quotes from a civilian Marine Corps employee stating that the Berkeley office was a waste of taxpayer money.
CodePink also distributed a fabricated letter on Tuesday from the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, John Conyers, saying that he was going to begin impeachment proceedings on Bush and Cheney. Its salutation was “April Fools”.
Last year, they distributed a false news release about Backwater.
A sense of humor? I’m not seeing the joke.
More about Code pink, Berkeley, Hoax
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