Creating News?

Two unusual stories involving New Jersey are receiving coverage across the nation. The first centers on Francisco Nava, a Princeton University student who admitted e-mailing threats to himself and some friends, then faking an attack of himself. The other is about Max Weisberg and his efforts to get a Cherry Hill dry cleaner to reimburse him for a Santa Claus suit that was accidentally given to another customer.

In both cases, the principals managed to successfully create news that was widely covered by the media. Nava first wrote a column for the Princeton student newspaper criticizing the school for giving out free condoms and then fabricated the e-mail threats and attack. Weisberg decided the best way to confront the dry cleaner was to don a new Santa suit and go to the shop in person – after his wife’s public relations firm notified the news media.

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