Streisand Effect Derails Man's Analog Plan To Buy Up All The Newspapers Detailing His DWI Arrest
from the oops dept
The concept of buying up all the newspapers in town to avoid some embarrassing story or picture of oneself is old humor. The concept, featured in sitcoms of yester-yore, relies on a couple of things: newspapers being the single source of a story or photo and for news stories to not travel quickly nor beyond the insular community in which they occurred. Because of that, the joke doesn't really work in a hyperconnected world with digital media.
This was a lesson painfully learned by Joseph Talbot of Newark, it seems. Talbot, an otherwise apparently well-respected businessman, was arrested recently for driving while intoxicated. Understandably, he was embarrassed upon learning that news of his arrest had been written up in the local newspaper. His solution was to deploy the sitcom-level chicanery previously discussed.
Several Newark store clerks told the Times of Wayne County they saw Talbot buy hundreds of copies of the newspaper over the weekend, said Ron Holdraker, the editor and owner of newspaper. He estimated Talbot purchased somewhere between 900 and 1,000 copies of the paper from at least eight locations.
Holdraker, who graduated from Syracuse University in 1974, said the newspapers cost about $1.25 each, meaning Talbot would have spent at least $1,125 to buy the papers.
And that's roughly when the Streisand Effect took over. Talbot may now be wondering how much it costs to buy up all the internets, because the once-mundane and localized story of his arrest in the community newspaper has instead become a far more widespread story about his attempt to cover it up, featured across many websites. Spending over a thousand dollars to buy up the local papers is one thing. Trying to silence all of these internet sites would likely be far more expensive. Our own price tag, for instance, is a hundred million and one dollars, and we're likely to be on the cheap end of things.
Look, there's no joy in understanding that Talbot's emarrassment has multiplied because of his admittedly hilarious attempt at a coverup, but the world does need to understand that attempts to hide information in this manner will only result in it being further spread.