Gerald Posner Busted for Stealing From Our Sister Paper, Houston Press

Categories: News

Last time we wrote about Gerald Posner, we showed -- in excruciating detail -- how the disgraced South Beach author appears to have plagiarized at least 35 passages from dozens of sources in two books, Why America Slept and Secrets of the Kingdom.

posner2.jpg
photo by Bill Cooke
That story came a few weeks after we exposed 16 apparently stolen passages in his 2009 tome Miami Babylon, including at least one section taken from Miami New Times' own archives.

Now, Posner's sticky literary fingers seem to have got into other papers in the Village Voice chain as well.

Our sister paper in Texas, the Houston Press, published evidence this morning that Posner lifted a quote from one of its stories in a piece for the Daily Beast. (Posner, you'll recall, resigned from the Beast in February after Slate's Jack Shafer busted him for stealing from the Miami Herald.)

Craig Malisow, the Press reporter whose work was burgled, says Posner's crimes are an affront to hard-working journalists: "All Posner needed to do, in my case and many others, was take two seconds to type the name of the publication he got his information from. It's a slap in the face to any reporter who works for a living."

Here's the lifted quote as it appeared in Malisow's 2009 story about a controversial Houston doctor:

Tim Gorski, an OB-GYN and president of the Dallas/Fort Worth Council Against Health Fraud, is a bit less diplomatic. "He's selling hope at a high price," Gorski says.

But what about all those patients who credit Burzynski with saving their lives? Don't they count for anything?

"How many people are there who feel like [televangelist] Benny Hinn saved their lives?" he says, adding that "People who are dead do not get up and say, 'Burzynski did nothing for me.'" Also, Gorski says, bold and unproven claims are "a problem for cancer in particular, because as soon as you get cancer, you've got a big target on your back [for] quacks to come and get you."

 And here's Posner's unattributed remix, from a November 11, 2009 piece in the Daily Beast:

But what about those patients... who claim they were cured by Burzynski? Dr. Tim Gorski, a gynecologist and president of the Dallas/Fort Worth Council Against Health Fraud, believes that it is not much different than when somebody is "cured" by a televangelist or a faith healer. Burzynski is "selling hope at a high price" and "people who are dead do not get up and say, 'Burzynski did nothing for me.' [That's why it's] a problem for cancer in particular, because as soon as you get cancer, you've got a big target on your back [for] quacks to come and get you."

As Malisow notes, Posner threatened us with a lawsuit over our last story, claiming "tortious interference" with his business because we showed our evidence to his publishers. (That lawsuit still has yet to materialize, by the by.)

Malisow is not impressed:

Oddly, Posner wound up hiring attorney Mark Lane -- the grandaddy of JFK conspiracy theorists -- to threaten Miami New Times with a lawsuit for "tortious interference." See, Miami New Times claimed to find more instances of plagiarism in Posner's book, and the paper had the audacity to bring these claims to Posner's publisher.

That doesn't sound like tortious interference to me, but unlike Lane and Posner, I'm not an attorney. What does sound like tortious interference is a guy who repeatedly rips off other people's work and passes it off as his own. It's kind of funny that these two lawyers are able to find tortious interference when it comes to Posner's book-sale royalties, but when it comes to tortious interference with the truth, they couldn't care less.

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