Organized Crime and Punishment
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Bonus - Donnie Brasco Fighting the Bureaucracy

November 15, 2023
00:00 09:11
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Title:  Donnie Brasco Fighting the Bureaucracy

Original Publication Date: 11/15/2023

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Description: Today we have a brief episode on an interesting perspective on Donnie Brasco from the perspective of a 20 police veteran and former police leader, Frank Scalise. Did Donnie’s leadership in the FBI manage his uncover work correctly? What could have Donnie’s leadership done better in the aftermath of his groundbreaking investigation?

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Begin Transcript:

[00:00:00] Thank you for joining Mustache Chris and I on Organized Crime and Punishment, a history and crime podcast. Here is a teaser for upcoming episodes of Organized Crime and Punishment. If you like what you hear, look in the description for links to full podcast episodes. Become a friend of ours by subscribing to the show and following us on social media.

Tell a friend about Organized Crime and Punishment so your friends can become friends of ours. Forget about it. Hey friends of ours. Let's talk a little Donnie Brasco. Now as a retired cop with 20 with a 20 year career who spent another four years after that teaching leadership all over the U S and Canada, I've come into contact with a lot of law enforcement agencies.

Now honestly, these organizations are just chock full of good people who work hard and do their best, but any bureaucracy is like any other bureaucracy and mission drift is a real thing. [00:01:00] Now, so what does this have to do with Donnie Brasco? You might ask. Sadly, one of the most realistic scenes for me from a law enforcement perspective in the entire movie was the one in which a distracted leader gives Joe Pistone an award for his service in a very hurried fashion.

thIs guy gave up years of his life facing constant danger the entire time. And the FBI ceremony that honored him took less time than you're taking to watch this video. I don't know how accurate a portrayal that was to Pistone's actual experience. If you do, by the way, please share it in the comments.

But unfortunately this kind of bungling is all too common. In bureaucracies and in, in the law enforcement profession on the bureaucratic side as well, a thoughtful leader will make sure something like this doesn't happen to, to a valued employee. But anyway, it's probably the most realistic scene in a movie full of realistic scenes.

Now the best [00:02:00] scene. That's when Johnny Depp explains, forget about it. Do you know if that's accurate with the Joe Pistone award ceremony being super rushed in? I know for, I know he was, he became really jaded with the FBI. He left. At one point just cause he didn't feel appreciated. And he started having troubles with the officers above him, like telling him how to do his job.

And I was undercover for how many years, like I, the most successful undercover job, probably in American history. And you're telling me how to do things. And he just got fed up with it. If you actually listen to Joe Pistone talk, he has a very. I totally believe that he was that successful at playing a mob guy, cause he has a very kind of street, talk, working class type vibe to him.

He really does. You hear him talk and he, I know he's what, how old is he now? He's 70. You hear him talk though. And he sounds like [00:03:00] a guy you don't want to mess with. We we showed that video in the leadership course that I taught and as just as a a warning, as a don't do this sort of thing because it's such a simple thing to recognize people who do good work in a way that's meaningful and just the slapdashery way in that scene with With

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Meet Your Hosts
Meet Your Hosts
Steve Guerra is a historian and podcaster who hosts three different shows. He started with the History of the Papacy Podcast in 2013. In 2017, Steve began Beyond the Big Screen, a podcast that delves into the fascinating stories behind films through lively interviews. His newest show, Organized Crime and Punishment, takes a deep dive into the roots, evolution, and impact of organized crime across different cultures and countries.
Meet Your Hosts
Mustache Chris is the co-host of Organized Crime and Punishment. He is from the True North, born and bred in Toronto, Canada. Some say he bears a striking resemblance to Gambino Crime Family associate Chris Rosenberg, but we'll leave that up to you.
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