Below was sent out as a statement to hundreds of news organizations.
"We've finally made it," says Andy Bichlbaum (aka Hingo Sembra) of the Yes Men. "We're officially part of the the Extreme Left-Wing Agenda.
"At least that's what you'll learn if you click through to the Google ads keyed to the phrase 'Yes Men' that have popped up overnight steering people to a fundraising page for the Chamber. Or if you received the email solicitation they sent out to their supporters, claiming 'we're under attack,' a message which also directs to a fundraising page.
"We can see why they might need those funds: after all, this year alone they've already spent a mind-boggling $50+ million on lobbying fees. But it's still pretty ironic that the Chamber would ask for money for its effort to punish criticism, given that they are so publicly opposed to frivolous lawsuits and publicly in support of free speech.
"The Chamber complains that we've misled the public. But the Chamber misleads the public every day when it claims to speak for 3 million business, effectively masquerading as a populist lobbying organization - when a closer look reveals it represents barely a tenth of that. In fact, the Chamber repeated that debatable number in the press release sent out announcing the lawsuit against us. Now that's chutzpa!
"Bragging about their size is only the tip of the iceberg, of course. Among many other things, the Chamber routinely undermines American democracy by spending millions to oppose sane climate legislation, health care reform, and employee free choice - not to mention so-called 'grassroots' campaigns to kill banking regulations on derivatives trading. That's right: the Chamber is lobbying to prop up the same system that left the American economy in a shambles.
"No wonder 63% of Americans distrust the news: powerful business lobbies and their massively funded PR campaigns are subverting the media every day, expensively and effectively, to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars a year. It's shameful that the Chamber has decided to lash out at a public interest group like ours for trying to push back and call attention to the Chamber's outrageous positions."