False reports: Still, reports of Pepsi-tampering continued to bubble up all over. Kessler, trying to stop the epidemic in its tracks, called a press conference in Washington to insist that "the notion of a nationwide tampering of Diet Pepsi is unfounded." And while he conceded that any product is vulnerable to tampering, Kessler suggested that "the complaints of the past week follow the classic pattern" of copycat hoaxes. By the weekend, the Associated Press counted more than 50 tampering claims-and more than a dozen arrests for allegedly filing false reports. Some complainants were obviously pranksters, while others seemed to be trying to cash in on spurious injury claims. A few seemed only to want the attention of the news media-a paltry kind of fame. "You feel sad that people are driven to this kind of behavior," Kessler said. Sad or silly, the whole affair was one more demonstration of America's long fascination with get-rich-quick litigation-and the new vogue for victim chic as well.