Twenty six years between issues. That’s the time that has elapsed since a group of young American journalists put out a parody of the Wall Street Journal called Off The Wall Street Journal.
It was a sell-out back in 1982, selling more than 650,000 copies, and earned its editor, Tony Hendra, a former editor of The National Lampoon and Spy Magazine, the cover of Newsweek.
Now he has done it again. Sparked by the take-over of the WSJ by Rupert Murdoch, Hendra and a new team of writers have put out a second issue, this one called My Wall Street Journal.
It’s selling fast on newsstands and bookstores in the US, even though its costs the equivalent of more than £2. That’s more than twice the price of a regular issue of the WSJ.
But a regular issue of the WSJ is not likely to carry such headlines as: Bush Abolishes Death and Taxes, Could Hillary Win As An African-American Man and Muslims Cheer as Mad-Pig Disease Sweeps Europe.
There is also a take-off of the Page Six gossip page in Murdoch’s other New York paper, The NY Post. It’s labelled Page Sex. The 24-page tabloid also has a double page advertorial of a bare-bottomed “Bare Sterns” – a take-off of the Wall Street company at the centre of the recent economic fall-off – urging Americans: ‘Go ahead – Spank Us.”
Murdoch himself is not spared. One story is headlined: British Royal Family Sold to International Ambassador of Money. Who’s that? The head of News Corp, of course , exacting revenge for the fact his forebears were transported to Australia on the orders of George III.
Buying the British Royal Family, in any event, says the cod newspaper, makes good business sense – and allows “Queen Wendy’ to be pictured on new British and Commonwealth currency.
The New York Times reported that in at least one city, Los Angeles, someone wearing a shirt with a WSJ logo on it bought every copy that was on sale at one newsstand – and paid for it with a WSJ credit card.
Hendra said: “Go ahead. We printed 350,000 copies. If they buy them all we could print more.”
If the cod paper is a sell out, it could make about a million dollars which as Hendra gleefully points out is about as much as Murdoch loses every week on the New York Post.”