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Rest In Peace?

WorldNetDaily lobbies to make an addition to the Clinton "death list," but tells only half the story.

By Terry Krepel
Posted 7/3/2000

It certainly sounds ominous: "A newspaper columnist critical of the Arkansas political machine was killed near his home in Pine Bluff after being struck by a pickup truck."

That's the lead paragraph of a June 13 WorldNetDaily story on Tony Moser, columnist for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. The story, written by Jon E. Dougherty, doesn't come right out and say so, but it heavily implies that Moser's death was not an accident, occurring days after he had written a column "naming names and leveling corruption charges against the state Democratic Party." The story also notes that Moser's sister was asked if Moser "had any enemies or had received any threats since beginning his weekly column for the Little Rock newspaper."

The same day, a column by Maralyn Lois Polak appeared that fanned the flames of foul play -- though police found that the driver broke no laws and won't be charged in Moser's death. "Though it makes me terribly sad, I am not surprised at his sudden, suspicious death," Polak wrote. "...I had occasionally joked with him about how he had avoided being dead meat on Clinton's enemies list. He felt he was simply too visible to be taken out. He might have been wrong." Polak adds: "He wasn't hiding from anyone. That's for sure -- they knew where to find him, walking in the middle of a road in Pine Bluff, Ark., at 10:10 p.m. on a Saturday night."

(Polak even sneaks in a gratuitous slap at President Clinton: "The president Tony Moser covered as a governor 'went for beauty pageant winners, TV news and weather girls, young lawyers looking for a, ahem, leg up.'" Apparently, hatred of Clinton is one of the prerequesites for working at WorldNetDaily.)

Heavy stuff. If this was all one had to go by, it might make a convincing addition to the so-called Clinton "death list," people with some connection to Bill and Hillary Clinton, however tangental, who have died in the past decade or so. The inference being, of course, that the Clintons have been quietly offing their political enemies.

The list, however, has been largely debunked. It's time to do the same for the death of Tony Moser.

Dougherty and Polak neglect to tell the complete truth about Tony Moser. Fortunately, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette did -- several of its writers had worked with Moser over the years.

And the sad truth is that Moser was an alcoholic. Though the Democrat-Gazette's stories don't explicitly say so, the clear implication is that Moser was intoxicated and walking down the middle of a dimly lit road when he was struck and killed. He had been arrested more than 20 times in the past decade for public drunkeness and had spent time in prison for driving while intoxicated. (Links are not available to the Democrat-Gazette stories.)

The writers who eulogized Moser on the pages of the Democrat-Gazette make copious mention of Moser's drinking. "Because he was a drunk, Tony couldn't hold a job," wrote Philip Martin on June 18. "He had been fired from this newspaper ... a number of times. Tony once told me he had been fired from the Democrat seven times, but that may have been hyperbole."

Martin also notes: "He often lurched down the middle of busy streets; more than once people who knew Tony rescued him from the middle of Cantrell Road or Markham Street."

"It was one thing to read Tony Moser in the paper, and another to be the cop who had to rassle the big lug out of the right-of-way again and again," wrote Paul Greenberg, head of the Democrat-Gazette's conservative editorial page and for whom Moser was writing his column as a freelancer when he died, on June 14.

The obituary that appeared on the front of the local news section June 13 summed it up: "Moser had talent, drive, confidence and ambition. He also could not stop drinking."

And that column in which Moser was "naming names and leveling corruption charges"? It was largely about events that had already occurred.

There is no conspiracy here -- just a man with a problem in the wrong place at the wrong time. Dougherty and Polak do WorldNetDaily's readers a disservice by telling only half the story in order to put the Clintons in the worst possible light. Of course, that seems to be WorldNetDaily's job.

If the death of Tony Moser makes the Clinton "death list," it deserves an equal listing debunking it.

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