Former Daily Beast reporter Gerald Posner — who stepped down from the position after admitting to plagiarism — is prepping a lawsuit against the Miami New Times over recent stories the paper published about Posner. The Miami New Times just so happens to be one of the papers from which Posner lifted his work.
Posner has picked quite an interesting choice for an attorney: Mark Lane, the author of Rush to Judgment, which is perhaps best known for laying out the “grassy knoll” theory regarding President John F. Kennedy’s assassination. Posner later wrote Case Closed, a book that attempted to shoot down Lane’s theories and assertions.
So, why the threat of a lawsuit? Posner is accusing the Miami New Times of propagating “vulgar and threatening attacks” against him and adds that “I have consistently opposed bullies even when they attack colleagues with whom I disagree.” He also offers the paper a bit of unsolicited advice: They should leave him alone and focus instead on how the CIA is, like, makin’ shit tough for journalists, maaaan. Here, let me adjust your tinfoil hat as you read this excerpt from the letter Lane sent editor Chuck Strouse on Posner’s behalf:
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.
The Wrap reports that an official suit has yet to be filed, leaving everything in the “much-publicized threat” stage of the process.