Gerald Posner, Miami Beach author and admitted plagiarist, announced today that he's hired a lawyer to defend him against Miami New Times' stories about his literary thefts.
His choice of attorney is turning some heads in New York: Mark Lane is famous for authoring -- almost a half century ago -- Rush to Judgment, the book that popularized the "grassy knoll" theory absolving Lee Harvey Oswald of guilt in the JFK assassination.
Posner's own best-seller and Pulitzer finalist, Case Closed, sought to refute the theories at the heart of Lane's book."Although I'm convinced Lee Harvey Oswald assassinated President Kennedy, I've always believed that had Mark Lane represented Oswald, he would have won an acquittal," Posner says in a press release. "That's why Mark Lane was the obvious choice as my own attorney."Lane, in a letter, charges New Times with "vulgar and threatening attacks" and says that Posner is "prepared to file a complaint."
However no lawsuit has been filed. Here's editor Chuck Strouse's comments on the situation:
"We're delighted to have Mr. Lane, an 83-year-old Jonestown survivor, involved. We clearly have nothing against Mr. Posner, though we despise his admitted serial plagiarism. New details on this egregious literary theft -- which is crystal clear -- will be published soon."
In addition to scolding New Times for reporting on Posner's habit of lifting text from other authors, Lane ends his press release today with an intriguing aside. New Times should be focusing its energies on the CIA's attempts to infiltrate newsrooms around the country, Lane says. Really. Here's the excerpt:
"I do have one further suggestion. Since the issue of the search for the truth may be of interest to you and since, as you must know, a committee of the United States Senate years ago and then again more recently, concluded that the CIA, the FBI and other intelligence agencies have assets pretending to be journalists embedded in the major news media, that might be a subject that could attract your attention. Unlike the Posner affair in which no one was harmed, it is that use of the media and the publishing houses that is a threat to our democracy and impedes our right to a free press pursuant to the unambiguous mandate of the First Amendment. That is a campaign that many of us could support, endorse and relish. Our country needs muckraking journalists who can recognize muck worth raking when they see it."