As the New Times reports, Gerald Posner has hired Rush to Judgment author Mark Lane to write a slightly oddball letter regarding allegations of plagiarism that have been lodged against the famous author.
Aside from the gimmicky (self-promoting?) JFK connection, here's the key graf on the possible legal claims:
Ok, no libel or slander claims, just a tough tortious interference allegation that will be very hard to prove (putting aside the question of damages).
"Most egregious was the email letter dated May 5, 2010, from Tim Elfrink, your staff writer for Miami New Times to Mr. Posner's publisher, Random House, making exaggerated charges of plagiarism and seeking to know what the publisher was going to do about it. That letter and other actions constitute tortious interference with a business relationship, tortious interference with a contractual relationship, intentional infliction of emotional distress and negligent infliction of emotional distress. A leading relevant case, Gerber v Keyes, was decided by a Florida appellate court and New York State ruled in a similar fashion in Wegman v Dairylea Cooperative, Inc."
"Mr. Posner is prepared to file a complaint and seek immediate discovery as to the basis and support for the campaign to destroy his opportunity to work in his profession," Lane's letter said.
Ironically, Posner will have to establish something close to bad intent for those claims to stick, even as his principle defense against charges of plagiarism has been the lack of that very intent.
Some media wags have focused (mockingly) on the final graf by the authors:
"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.Come on, folks, let's not exaggerate -- Judith Miller did not technically work for the CIA.
(BTW, our own Bill Cooke took that rockin' photo!)