I guess no one told him about the Internet. An upstate New York man has achieved fame for his misguided attempt to do precisely the opposite — buying roughly 1,000 copies of his local newspaper in order to cover up his drunk-driving arrest.
Joseph Talbot, a bank executive in Wayne County, New York, was arrested on December 29 for driving under the influence. During his arrest, he reportedly complained that his mugshot would also appear in the local paper, the Times of Wayne County, which routinely publishes details on DUI arrests, including booking photos, as part of its police blotter feature.
In fact, Talbot was so concerned about this happening, he initially resisted being fingerprinted or photographed, incurring additional criminal charges before he was fingerprinted and photographed anyway.
Unable to prevent the newspaper from publishing his mugshot, Talbot did the next best thing — touring as many local newsstands as he could early the next morning and buying up all the available papers at a cost of $1.25 per copy.
Despite some obvious flaws in his plan, Talbot was apparently quite determined, asking one seller whether the printer distributes more copies when they sell out. He obviously intended to return and buy them all as well — fortunately for him this proved unnecessary.
Now about those logical flaws — and there are a few. First, the majority of the newspaper’s circulation is delivered directly to subscribers’ doorsteps. Mass petty theft was beyond even Talbot’s abilities, or perhapsm he figured another arrest would defeat the purpose.
Then there’s the fact that the Times of Wayne County, like virtually every other newspaper in the country and indeed the world, also publishes online, including the police blotter.The horrible, beautiful irony of all this, of course, is that by making himself into a viral news story, Talbot has managed to not only publicize his original infraction far beyond his wildest nightmares, but made himself look like a right idiot at the same time.