THE STORY, HEADLINED “Drunk, shirtless Florida man arrested after shoveling spaghetti in his mouth at Olive Garden,” hit the website of southwest Florida’s NBC-Channel 2 at 11:13am on April 8 this year.

The mugshot revealed a scraped and bruised 32-year-old man named Ben Padgett. His long brown hair, beard, and penetrating eyes caused some readers to compare him to Jesus Christ. He was, in reality, just another name, another face, another Florida Man in what has become one of journalism’s darkest and most lucrative cottage industries.

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