Two years afterMiami New Times
exposed him as a
serial plagiarist, Gerald Posner is still getting gigs as an investigative
journalist. Last we heard of the disgraced Miami
Babylon author, he was lawyerin' for Afghan
President Hamid Karzai's brother Mahmood. That was
five months after we exposed numerous instances in which Posner had plagiarized
from other sources (including our own publication) for three of his published books, including Miami
Now Posner is back in
the limelight with a featured role in a program about
Colombian cocaine queen Griselda Blanco that aired last week on the
Biography Channel. Posner's appearance was a punch in the gut for Blanco family friend Cristian
Rios, who also participated in the 45-minute show, Gangsters:
America's Most Evil, and questions why Posner was given such a prominent spot.
"People watching the show will perceive Posner as an investigative journalist," Rios says. "But it has come to light that Posner is a person who likes to plagiarize. His reputation precedes him."
Had he known of Posner's involvement, he would not have granted an interview, Rios asserts.
Since her release from federal prison and subsequent deportation to Colombia in 2004, Blanco has lived in hiding. When the press or documentarians start sniffing for possible interviews with la madrina or her youngest son, Michael Corleone Blanco (who resides in Miami), it is Rios who usually responds to questions. I interviewed Rios extensively for a cover story about Michael ;and his arrest on a cocaine trafficking charge on May 12 of last year.
Rios agreed to be in the Bio Channel's Blanco episode to provide some balance to her story. In addition to Posner and Rios, Gangsters: America's Most Evil featured former Miami-Dade homicide detectives Al Singleton and Nelson Andreu, who led the criminal probe into dozens of murders allegedly ordered by the Godmother, as well as a former DEA agent who investigated Blanco's drug enterprise.
Biography's Griselda Blanco special doesn't cover any ground already addressed in Rakontur's Cocaine Cowboys and its sequel, Hustlin' With The Godmother. Although Biography had way more gruesome bloody images of the alleged violence Blanco wrought upon her enemies.
Rios claims that he originally signed an agreement to participate in an American Gangster episode which appears on Biography's sister channel, A&E. But after he had already done his interview, he learned that the former show had been scrapped for the one on Biography. Rios says he also didn't know Posner was being interviewed until the episode aired.
Posner did not return multiple messages seeking comment on his appearance.
He has already spliced together the seven minutes and 33 seconds of his Griselda air-time and uploaded it to YouTube. It mostly consists of hyperbolic platitudes about the Godmother, who gained a reputation as one of the fiercest narco-traffickers during Miami's Cocaine Cowboys heyday.
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For instance, Posner recounts an unconfirmed tale about Blanco's childhood that she kidnapped and murdered the son of a wealthy Colombian when she was 11. "Whether true or not, the key is that it became part of her legend," Posner intones.
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In another description of the Godmother, Posner declares: "I always viewed Griselda Blanco as a person who was willing to do anything, no matter how brutal, to keep her power. She was ruthless about that. If you asked her to spare your life or your family, she wasn't the likely one to say, 'Oh yeah, I'll give you a break.' She didn't have DNA for sympathy."
Rios notes that unlike the law enforcement officials who hounded Blanco, Posner never had any real direct contact with la madrina or apparently did any original reporting about her.
"I'm not trying to shit on the guy's hustle, but I don't believe Posner has ever written anything about Griselda," Rios says. "To come on the program, passing himself off as an authority because he watched Cocaine Cowboys and read something on Wikipedia or whatever sources he cited, is wrong."