Once again, a NYT reporter has forgotten to Google.
You know Dana and Cory Foht, those cute 25-year-old Florida twins on the front page of today's NYT? The ones who've been sleeping in the trees in Central Park?
Well, that's Cory Foht on the left. It's his mugshot, courtesy of Florida's Collier Country Police Department from July 30, 2009. That's the day he got arrested on four felony counts, including drug posession and resisting arrest.
The charges have since been dropped, and The NYTPicker is currently exploring what may have been the circumstances behind that.
But one thing is clear: NYT reporter Colin Moynihan forgot to Google these Foht fellows before putting them in a story that landed them on the front page of the paper. Yet again, a NYT reporter has forgotten that classic journalism adage: if your mother says she loves you, check it out.
Cory Foht was arrested on four felony counts: possession of less than 20 grams of marijuana; possession and use of narcotic paraphernalia; destroying, fabricating or tampering with evidence, and resisting arrest without violence.
Translation: stoned, long-haired Florida dude allegedly tries to flush his stash and pipe down the toilet while cops pound on the bathroom door.
Cory's arrest was reported on the Naples News website. Want to see it? Just type the words Cory Foht into Google. It's the first link.
Now, Cory wasn't convicted of anything. That means he's innocent until proven guilty. Court records reveal that the charges were dropped earlier this year, so he's off the hook.
And the worst crime his twin brother Dana ever apparently committed was appearing in this 2005 music video, hitting on a voluptuous girl on a Florida beach and getting royally dissed.
Still -- when you're writing a page-one story about some Florida kids sleeping in Central Park trees, shouldn't you at least look up the guys you're writing about?
Seems to us a previous arrest record might be relevant here, especially since Moynihan's story addresses the fact that technically, it's a crime to sleep in Central Park.
We liked the story, by the way. We think the Fohts are probably great guys and we totally believe them about the YouTube video they're gonna edit together and make and stuff. Like, any day now. Meanwhile, don't bogart that joint.
UPDATE: A number of readers have objected to this item as being excessively nit-picky, basically because Cory Foht wasn't convicted of anything. Why, readers wondered, were we criticizing the NYT for failing to report something irrelevant to the story at hand?
We considered that point carefully before publishing the item. In the end, we decided that because Moynihan's story appeared on the front page -- and because it focused heavily on the criminal aspect of the Fohts' actions -- a previous felony arrest seemed worth knowing about. Employers typically require a job applicant to disclose an arrest record, with or without a conviction; why shouldn't reporters and newspapers care about them?
The inclusion of the arrest history wouldn't have detracted a bit from Moynihan's otherwise entertaining story, or from the Foht twins' reputations as cool tree-dwelling dudes. And it would have sent readers a signal that the NYT checks out the people it puts on page one, especially when they're unknowns. We find it odd that so many commenters are quick to defend the reader's right not to know.