Weird. That’s what I thought when I read the New York Daily News piece headlined “EXCLUSIVE: Son of Colombo family mob boss now delivers pizza for Brooklyn pizzeria.” Weird that this is an “exclusive” story. Weird that this is treated as news even. But beyond the headline things got even weirder.
The article itself focuses on 60-year-old Lawrence Persico, one of the sons of imprisoned Colombo crime family boss Carmine “The Snake” Persico. Above the piece is a paparazzi-style photo of the “mob son” making a pizza delivery.
Calling it “yet another sign of the decline of the Mafia” the tabloid claims it has learned that Persico “is delivering pies for a Brooklyn pizzeria.”
This, apparently, isn’t what someone like Lawrence was supposed to do with his life. The piece is dripping with disrespect and ridicule. As the New York Daily News puts it, “He's a mob prince and a pauper.”
They go on to quote an anonymous (!) law enforcement source, who says, “My, how the mighty have fallen.” He then jokes, “I guess that’s how he gets his dough.”
The media have always had a weird relationship with the Mafia. On the one hand stories about violent mobsters help sell newspapers and increase viewer numbers. On the other hand everyone agrees most of these men are criminals who belong behind bars. Others, still, view mobsters as elite gangsters who deserve our respect and consider them being just a smidge away from behaving as law abiding citizens.
The New York Daily News and its anonymous (!) source echo this last sentiment especially. Apparently Lawrence Persico does not deserve any respect for turning his life around and away from crime. Apparently working legitimately as a pizza delivery guy is considered below their status. While all presidential candidates praise the hardworking American to win sympathy from voters, Persico is being blasted to shreds for being exactly that which they praise.
From reading the article it seems like both the reporter and the law enforcement source would prefer the “mob son” to go out and extort money from the pizza parlor instead. Or perhaps traffic cocaine and heroin under the counter. Anything, except the legitimate, mundane job of delivering pizzas to hungry customers.
Persico made some mistakes in his life, but is trying to turn it around. As he is doing so the New York Daily News has sent a photographer to his workplace to secretly snap a picture of him to publish alongside the article in which they ridicule him for working a job instead of going out robbing and killing for the Mafia.
They seem to consider the mobsters and their trade as something which is to be admired while they regard the law abiding working man as a sucker. Well, in response to such feelings we at Gangsters Inc. call on one of our favorite actors to set both the New York Daily News and its anonymous law enforcement source straight.
Take it home, Robert DeNiro:
Get the latest on organized crime and the Mafia at Gangsters Inc.'s news section.
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