Hey guys, the New York Times Editorial Board here. As you know, many companies and websites are known to pull fun pranks on their home pages on April Fools Day. And yesterday was no different! Google Maps let you play Pac-Man, Uber announced a new fake ride-sharing service for boats, and Dominoes unveiled a new self-driving robot pizza delivery service. Hilarious stuff! Naturally, we at the old Gray Lady wanted in on the goofs. But in retrospect, we now realize it was a bad idea to say that the Freedom Tower tipped over.
Our bad. We didn’t think that one through.
We now understand how shocking that front-page story would have seemed without any indication it was just some April Fools Day silliness. The crazy thing is, everyone thought it was a hilarious idea in the week leading up to April 1st. There was literally not a single display of hesitation around the office, and we employ over 1,000 writers alone! It seems we just got so lost in the zany fun of photoshopping New York’s tallest building comically tumbling to the ground that we neglected to consider how many people might not find it amusing. You can understand that, right?
It’s amazing how group-think can really take over with this sort of thing. One moment Maureen Dowd is pitching a half-idea about the Freedom Tower going flaccid like a penis, the next we’re jumping up and down on our desks like apes, laughing our asses off at David Brooks’ impression of a big dumb Freedom Tower tipping over. We’re ashamed to say it, but we even planned a whole social media campaign asking people to send us videos of their best versions of a dance we called the “The Freedom Tower Lean.” Pretty tone deaf, and we see that now.
In our defense, if our readers had actually read the article they would have understood that it was a harmless gag the moment they got to part about how “the building was knocked over by a powerful sneeze from the Statue of Liberty” or that Mayor de Blasio was “reaching out to the old man from Pixar’s Up to help right the building with his balloons.” Turns out people rarely read past the headline these days. You live, you learn.
Anyway, we hope you can find it in your hearts to forgive us, the true fools of April.