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Everyone's a Critic, Especially the Mafia

Oct. 27 2008, Published 7:07 a.m. ET

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LEGIT CRITICISM Fat Tony

Talk about a critical beatdown. When did "legitimate businessmen" decide to muscle in on Tom Shales's turf and branch out into TV criticism? Yesterday, the New York Sun's Jerry Capeci quoted from a 2004 FBI surveillance recording of several reputed mobsters offering their opinions of A&E's reality series Growing Up Gotti: "It's a soap opera, and the kids look like girls," said Ciro Perrone, supposedly of the Genovese family. "It's one of the most disgusting, insulting shows," according to John Yannucci, also allegedly with Genovese ties. Talk about an angry mob.

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This isn't the first time alleged mafiosi broke omertà to share off the cuff TV reviews. Back in 1998, Anthony Rotundo, alleged to have been a foot soldier for the DeCavalcante family, was recorded as asking, "Is that supposed to be us?" after watching HBO's The Sopranos. "Where do they get their information from?... Every show you watch, you pick up somebody. One week it was Corky. One week it was, well, from the beginning it was Albert G... What characters! Great acting!" Two guns up—way up!

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