American historian Daniel Boorstin coined the term in his 1962 book, The Image: A Guide to Pseudo-events in America.
“A pseudo‑event, then,” he explained, “is a happening that possesses the following characteristics:
- It is not spontaneous, but comes about because someone has planned, planted, or incited it.
- It is planted primarily (not always exclusively) for the immediate purpose of being reported or reproduced.
- Its relation to the underlying reality of the situation is ambiguous.
- Usually it is intended to be a self‑fulfilling prophecy.
Boorstin also gave us the expression “famous for being famous”.