Plagiarist At Large: Owen v. Posner

David Hershkovits

Look for fireworks tonight at the Miami Beach Botanical Gardens. That's where accused plagiarist Gerald Posner will be confronted by Frank Owen at a reading from Posner's book Miami Babylon. Following a string of accusations of plagiarism, Posner was dismissed from the Daily Beast after Slate, the Miami Herald and other publications found passages of their stories lifted by Posner. The latest example comes from Clubland, Owen's book about mobster and Madonna crony Chris Paciello's rise and fall in New York and Miami. Owen, a noted investigative journalist, was a long-time contributor to the Village Voice and currently writes for Playboy. I contacted him about Posner and this is what he said:

"The latest news is that Posner is going to read from Miami Babylon at the Miami Beach Botanical Gardens tonight which is only a couple of blocks from my apartment. I will be there, of course. Posner says he's going to apologize for 'inadvertently' plagiarizing Clubland. I'm gonna call him on his bullshit. Eight instances of plagiarism -- several of them whole paragraphs -- plus five stolen quotes. is not 'inadvertent.' Posner first tried to blame a Miami Beach policeman he interviewed about Paciello. He claimed the policeman had read Clubland and must have repeated quotes from the book to Posner and that's how bits of my book ended up in his book. Yeah, right? Then he tried to blame his wife Trisha and his two assistants who helped him on the book. Real classy. Blame the help. Now he's blaming a new system of 'trailing footnotes' he instigated for Miami Babylon. This is bullshit beyond belief. He's delusional if he thinks anybody buys this nonsense."

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