August 13 addendum: The Star-Tribunereports today that the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minn., and Bloomington police dispute Newsweek's contention that the mall is a center of teen prostitute recruitment. "In a statement, the mall said no law enforcement agency has ever contacted the mall or Bloomington police to discuss teen prostitution or solicitation, and no arrests have been made for teen prostitution. To deter pimps, the mall has a parental escort policy, two outreach programs and a substation of the Bloomington police."
Enthusiasts of the trendspotting genre will also want to see Daniel Radosh's feature on the subject, published in the April 1998 GQ.
Press Box thanks reader Chris Shea for the inspiration. Seen a bogus trend story? Send your tips to email@example.com.