Accuracy in Media

The Wall Street Journal lead editorial of January 18 charged that pornographer Larry Flynt, the publisher of Hustler magazine, had launched “a blackmail campaign designed to intimidate” United States Senators “into giving the President a pass.” Noting that Flynt had already publicized dirt he had dug up about the private lives of two members of the House, Bob Livingston of Louisiana and Bob Barr of Georgia, the Journal asked, “Who can doubt that Senators, if they vote the wrong way, will be next?”

The Journal said, “One Dan Moldea has appeared from almost nowhere to volunteer as the source of Mr. Flynt?s dirt.” Moldea had told the Washington Times a few days earlier, (quote) “We have a lot of these guys dead bang, and the evidence is clear. But they haven?t been going on TV or on the floor of Congress, shooting their mouths off, trying to take the moral high ground against Clinton. And as a consequence, we?re throwing it back in the river. We?re concentrating on people who have been very visible on this.”

Dan Moldea did not appear from almost nowhere. A year ago he published a book about the death of former White House deputy counsel Vincent Foster. When he began working on the book, he came to Accuracy in Media for help. We knew that he had been associated with the far-left Institute for Policy Studies several years ago, but he assured us that he had no axe to grind and that he would be guided by the evidence. We took him at his word. We gave him copies of the many reports we had written about the case and either loaned him or told him where to get books that covered the evidence in great detail.

We knew that if he was an honest reporter he would reach the same conclusion that every honest reporter or independent investigator who had studied the case thoroughly had reached. That is that Foster did not commit suicide in the park where his body was found. As Moldea?s investigation progressed, we heard reports that he was telling the U.S. Park Police officers who had botched the official investigation that he was on their side. When we asked him about this, he said he had to tell them that to get them to talk.

But when his book came out, we found that it was nothing but a defense of the findings of the official investigations. It didn?t provide answers to any of the serious questions that AIM and others had raised about those findings. Moldea got some information from the police that cast strong doubt on claims made by the official investigators, but he buried it in the endnotes where few readers would see it.

But we were surprised to find Moldea working for Larry Flynt in his scheme to find dirt about Republican members of Congress that could be used to help Clinton hang on to the presidency. Regnery, a conservative house, had been conned into publishing Moldea?s whitewash of the Foster investigations, and we had been conned into helping him. But we didn?t think he would stoop to helping a porn publisher intimidate members of Congress.




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