Making Up A News Story, Legally

Most businesses have their “heroes”. They’re the trend-setters who lay the
foundation for the rest to follow.

In the publicity business, the real trend-setters are the Press Agents. They’re the
people who literally “create” news stories.

They’re people like George Evans. His company was hired to take a relatively
unknown Vegas lounge singer called Frank Sinatra and try to make him into a star.
Evans hired a dozen girls, at $5 each, to jump and scream “Oh Frankie, Oh Frankie”
and toss flowers at the stage. They met and practiced in the basement at the
Paramount Casino where Sinatra was performing.

Jack Keller, Evan’s West Coast partner explains what happened:

“We hired girls to scream when he sexily rolled a note. The dozen girls we hired to
scream an swoon did exactly as we told them. But hundreds more we didn’t hire
screamed even louder. Others squealed, howled, kissed his pictures with their
lipsticked lips, and kept him a prisoner in his dressing room between shows at the
Paramount. It was wild, crazy, completely out of control.”

And it continued to be for many years. Sinatra was now an established star thanks
to a “media campaign” that only cost the promoters a total of $60 paid to a handful
of women to act crazy.

Press Agent Alan Abel staked his claim to fame came in 1962 when he formed The
Society for Indecency to Naked Animals (SINA). They produced a handful of “experts”
who claimed that it was degrading to animals to be forced to expose themselves in
public. SINA sported their own newsletter, board of directors and theme song.
Members received membership cards and free patterns for animal garments. More details please tarot cards Lomamatkat

It may sound like a joke, but it sold. In their heyday, SINA claimed to have 40,000
members and claimed an income of $400,000. Their president, G. Clifford Prout, Jr.
did a national media tour. The prestigious San Francisco Chronicle ran a series of
humorous but “legitimate” front page stories on the group.

Later on a few of the Chronicle executives admitted they realized the entire thing
was a hoax, knowing that anything that had Abel’s name on it was probably a scam,
but they said the story was so entertaining and good that they ran it anyway. They
never admitted being duped, although they eventually ran a story exposing
president G. Clifford Prout as being Buck Henry, a comedy writer for “The Gary
Moore Show”, but not before “Prout” appeared on “The Tonight Show (with Johnny
Carson)”, “The Today Show” and “The Tomorrow Show”.

Abel explains, “I realized that Buck or I could walk into any television studio with a
drawing of a horse wearing Bermuda shorts under our arm, and go right on the air,
whether television or radio and practically stop the show. The network news
programs were all interested in these “moral maniacs” who wanted to clothe

But the greatest promotional scam ever pulled over on the press may well have been
orchestrated by Joey Skaggs.

It all began with a simple, inconspicuous ad in the Village Voice. He explained later
that the entire hoax was perpetrated to prove how the press rarely actually checks
the facts on stories they run. The ad read:

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