By Roberto Falcon
Is FBI agent, Joseph Pistone AKA Donnie Brasco, now considered a rat? This is a common thread amongst mob groups online, however, I don’t get how anyone can consider an FBI Agent a so called rat for doing his job! As for exaggerating what he did, I’ve seen dozens of interviews with the man and never does he come off as a self-aggrandizing asshole. Also, as far as the movie portrayed Lefty, Pistone had absolutely nothing to do with that. Most people don’t know how Hollywood works. I’ve done security on many movie and television shows and once a movie production company buys a story, it’s theirs to do with as they see fit and take creative license.
Most of the time the subject of the movie is not allowed on set, much less allowed to give input into how their or any other character is portrayed. Moreover, by the time any movie based on a factual character is made, the actual person is already twice removed from the project and if he or she is actually on the set of a movie it’s merely a formality. Believe me, if they think that they can start giving direction to anyone, they will be escorted off set.
As far as Pistone possibly embellishing his story as time goes on, so what. The man is trying to stay relevant in an era where the average 20 or 30 yr. old, the target audience that dictates what types of entertainment is most popular, grew up thinking of the Mafia as a joke. Long gone is the Italian stereotype of the Mafia that evoked an overwhelming fear and a very real presence of the mob. Think about it, when was the last time you watched a movie where LCN were the villains? Now it’s always either Russian or some type of terrorist. If LCN is mentioned at all, it’s as a joke or parody.
Now, imagine yourself as Pistone who risked his life and practically gave up his wife and children to live amongst men, who if he slipped up just once, would kill him on the spot. After giving up 6 years of his life the FBI made a huge deal about presenting him a $500 check as a reward for having his neck on a chopping block. Ironically because of his work and the feds who followed him, most wiseguys couldn’t turn rat fast enough to save themselves. Judging by the amount of cooperators living publicly, LCN now consists of a bunch of old men in Guinea T’s with funny nicknames who sit around and talk about the good old days basically harmless and without the power to hurt a fly.
However, when Pistone was undercover and even after, LCN was a very real threat. Can you really blame him for trying to keep his revenue stream going by slightly enhancing his story so this generation, who grew up thinking Mafia means a bunch of old guys in Jersey wearing polyester, is reminded of the very real danger he once put himself into just to do his job as a civil servant? I certainly can’t.
As far as Pistone saying he would have murdered someone because he liked Sonny so much, I’m going to have to see proof of that. Again, what’s wrong with saying something controversial to stay relevant? Celebrities do it all the time, and that’s what Pistone is now a celebrity trying to make a buck. At least he did something good once to deserve it, unlike some of these so called reformed wiseguys……give the guy a break! As for those that say Pistone is guilty of having Sonny Black murdered because he knew that he would get killed once it was revealed he was an agent, I say this… Sonny Black would’ve blown Pistone’s head off and put his body through a meat grinder mixed in some grain and fed him to his pigeons if he would’ve found out he was an agent and Lefty would’ve helped him and neither would’ve lost a minutes sleep over it….So get over it…
Comments or questions are welcome.