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Whitewashing Willey

WorldNetDaily writer Art Moore plugs Kathleen Willey's book while ignoring her history of lies and contradictory stories -- the same service he provides for convicted felon Peter Paul.

By Terry Krepel
Posted 12/13/2007

Are you someone with a need to bash people named Clinton, but you need a right-wing mouthpiece who is willing -- nay, eager -- to whitewash or, better, ignore altogether any credibility-damaging details about your past? Art Moore is your go-to guy.

As a WorldNetDaily news editor, Moore doesn't care that you have a history of lying, telling contradictory stories or even if you're a convicted felon. If you're willing to trash the Clintons, that's good enough for him and WND.

Moore has written four articles -- on Sept. 5, Nov. 5, Nov. 7, and Nov. 27 -- that directly promote claims made in a new book by Kathleen Willey, who has long accused President Clinton of groping her in 1993 (and a fifth article, on Sept. 9, purporting to offer corroborating, though circumstantial, evidence). In all of them, Moore presents Willey's accusations as unquestioned fact. In only one of them is any claim challenged -- the Nov. 7 article, in which private investigator Jack Palladino is permitted to respond to an allegation that he purportedly admitted, and even then, in true WND style, right-wing radio host and Willey supporter Melanie Morgan is given the last word to contradict Palladino's denial.

Nowhere in these articles does Moore breathe a word about Willey's history of contradictory claims and outright lies:

As Media Matters has noted, a report by independent counsel Robert Ray found that "Willey's Testimony to the Grand Jury About the Alleged Incident Differed Materially from Her Deposition Testimony Given in Jones v. Clinton," noting that Willey "said at her deposition ... that [Clinton] did not fondle her." Ray also found that Willey contradicted herself on whether she had told others about the alleged incident, and asserted that Willey gave false information to the FBI. Ray concluded:

Linda Tripp's testimony that Willey had a previous romantic interest in President Clinton (and appeared to view his alleged advances positively) departed from Willey's testimony. Tripp's cooperation with this Office in the Lewinsky investigation ultimately yielded evidence about President Clinton's conduct with Monica Lewinsky that was contrary to the President's testimony. Thus, evidence supplied by Linda Tripp regarding Willey that was consistent with President Clinton's testimony would likely be favorably received by a jury.

Even assuming Willey's testimony was truthful about the incident with President Clinton, her testimony at trial would be subject to further challenge based on the differences between her deposition and grand jury statements, as well as her acknowledgement of false statements to the Office of the Independent Counsel. Concerns about the probative effect of Willey's testimony would likely be sufficient to negate a conclusion that "the person [charged] probably will be found guilty by an unbiased trier of fact."

In short, there was insufficient evidence to prove to a jury beyond a reasonable doubt that President Clinton's testimony regarding Kathleen Willey was false. Accordingly, the Independent Counsel declined prosecution and the investigation of potential criminal wrongdoing relating to Willey's allegations is now closed.

In the book "The Hunting of the President," Gene Lyons and Joe Conason elaborated:

As Tripp testified in vivid detail, Willey's sudden claims of indignation didn't remotely resemble the truth about her feelings toward Clinton in 1993. Not only had she been "happy" after the president allegedly feverish embrace in the Oval Office, but she and Tripp had been scheming together for months to stage her seduction of him. Tripp claimed her marriage to Ed Willey was loveless, on the verge of divorce. She wanted to move to Washington and have an affair with Clinton. "Kathleen [felt] that it had the potential to be a relationship that would be agreeable to the two of them." (Tripp's portrait of Willey was corroborated in sworn testimony by Harolyn Cardozo, another friend of Willey's and wife of Michael Cardozo, a Washington attorney and the former director of the President's Legal Expense Trust. Cardozo recalled Willey boasting that she might become "the next Judith Exner" [one of President Kennedy's mistresses] and pondering how to advance the relationship. We've got to get Hillary out of town!" Cardozo recalled her saying, only half in jest.)

Well before the Oval Office incident, Willey had taken Tripp on as her secret romantic adviser, calling to chat in the evenings about her obsession with the president. Tripp admitted encouraged the infatuation because in her view both Clinton and Willey were stuck "in not very good marriages, and it just seemed to be as consenting adults. She also enjoyed the intrigue, helping Willey gain access to the president's daily schedule so the pretty matron could arrange to bump into him, always dolled up "to catch his eye."


After she had finally met with Clinton alone in the Oval Office, Willey had hurried to find Tripp, and met her coming upstairs in an elevator. Right away Tripp noticed her usually immaculate friend's fed face, bare lips, and mussed hair. "Do you have a lipstick" Come down with me." Flushed and breathless, Willey dragged her outside to a parking lot and told her about Clinton's ardent, "forceful," embrace in graphic terms. Willey praised him, Tripp recalled , as a "great kisser," and said she had kissed him back despite her fear that someone would walk in on them.


But as she and Tripp argued over the telephone many months later, Willey kept insisting that Clinton had subjected her to an unwanted mauling. [pp. 287-8]

Lyons and Conason go on to note that Willey even tried to get a job in Clinton's 1996 re-election campaign only to turn down the one she was offered because the salary of $30,000 was too low.

Further, the book itself contains at least one clearly false claim, as Media Matters detailed. In suggesting that the death of her husband (on the day of her alleged encounter with Clinton) was a Clinton hit job "not unlike Vincent Foster," Willey claimed that the medical examiner provided a "full report" in which the medical examiner "suggested that he [Ed Willey] held the gun with both hands but pulled the trigger with his right." Willey adds: "That's exactly how Vince Foster is said to have killed himself." In fact, the claim that Foster was left-handed, while the gun was found in his right hand was advanced by none other than Christopher Ruddy, then working for Richard Mellon Scaife's Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Ruddy later acknowledged that the claim that Foster was left-handed was a "factual error."

All of this casts a pall over any claim Willey makes. But you won't see Art Moore bringing this up. Why? Because WND had a hand in getting Willey's book published.

Willey's book was ostensibly published by World Ahead Publishing; early copies, at least, have the World Ahead logo on its spine, and the World Ahead website page for the book describes it as being published by "World Ahead Media," as opposed to the WND Books imprint -- a partnership with World Ahead (Aaron Klein's gimmicky book, for instance, is described on the World Ahead website as being published by WND Books). Moore's early WND articles promoting Willey's book described it as being published "by World Ahead Publishing, WND Books' partner."

But strangely, Moore's Nov. 27 article and and an unbylined Nov. 30 article described Willey's book as being "published by WND Books, an imprint of World Ahead Publishing."

Further, in an Nov. 28 interview on Pacifica Radio's "Midweek Politics," Willey said: "As far as WorldNetDaily is concerned, I don't have a problem with what they have published in the past. You know, they gave me the opportunity to write my book."

What happened? Did World Ahead decide it no longer wanted its name to be sullied by this book, given its factual inaccuracies and Willey's credibility problems, and would rather that WND take responsibility for it? After all, WND has been the book's biggest promoter. This also raises the question of just where the line is between WND and World Ahead. Are they so tightly integrated that a book can be arbitrarily moved from one imprint to another just a month after it was published?

Such lack of transparency is the way WND operates; indeed, ConWebWatch has revealed details WND itself has refused to make public about its financial backers and the lawsuit it faces from a supporter of Al Gore who claims WND libeled him.

As WND operates with a lack of candor and a desire to hide information -- odd behavior for something claiming to be a news organization to take -- so does its reporter Art Moore, who has, in addition to his whitewashing of Willey, endeavored to put the felonious past of Peter Paul -- who is accusing the Clintons of campaign-finance violations -- in the most positive light possible, at least when he's not ignoring them completely.

As ConWebWatch has detailed, Moore has tried to bury the fact that Paul is awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty to a $25 million stock fraud scheme by benignly claiming only that Paul was "violating Securities and Exchange Commission regulations on the trading of his stock." Moore similarly tried to whitewash Paul's previous felony record prior to his stock fraud scheme. Moore also falsely claimed that "the Clinton Justice Department had him jailed while he was in Brazil and then extradicted [sic] to the United States"; in fact, the original indictment against Paul was not issued until June 2001, and he was arrested in Brazil in August 2001 -- both occurring long after President Clinton left office.

Moore's fawning reporting on Paul's claims continues. An Oct. 2 article touting Paul's latest hobby horse -- a videotape a July 2000 phone call that purportedly shows Hillary Clinton "taking an active role in the production of the fundraiser" that Paul put together for her 2000 Senate campaign -- sycophantically calls Paul a "business mogul" yet doesn't mention a thing about the business ruined by his st0ck fraud scheme, which ostensibly caused him to flee to Brazil in the first place. Moore further fails to note a conflict of interest: the U.S. Justice Foundation, which is currently representing Paul, has previously represented WND in various actions, as ConWebWatch has noted.

An Oct. 22 article touting a film based on Paul's allegations unsurprisingly failed to mention Paul's criminal history. Moore repeated Paul's laughable assertion that "the film is not being 'directed by any right-wing group. It's not intended to have any ideological or political message at all, other than confirming what Machiavelli notices in Renaissance Italy, that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.' " In fact, a co-producer of the film is Douglas Cogan, better known to his Free Republic buddies as "Doug from Upland." Contradicting Paul's claim that the film has no "ideological or political message," Cogan certainly expressed one -- or at least a case a venomous hatred of Hillary -- in a Free Republic post promoting a screening of the film:

Dartmouth will be a great venue. It was the recent scene of a Democrat debate. Peter Paul went to school there. Hillary went there for a Winter Carnival blind date and got ditched. Her date got stinking drunk (perhaps a good move considering the blind date).


This should really be fun. It would be a nice touch if I could see a protester get tazed.

A short clip of the film posted before its release repeats Paul's assertion that the Clintons "made sure" he "was kept in a Brazilian prison -- as previously noted, an utterly false claim.

If the film didn't have an "ideological or political message" in the form of bashing the Clintons, would WND be so enthusiastically promoting it and so actively whitewashing the person doing the bashing? Not likely.

Further, the Equal Justice Foundation of America (website not functional as of this writing), which helped finance the film, appears to be little more than a proxy by which Paul can attack the Clintons. The foundation's leader, James Nesfield, purchased the remains of the company Paul pleaded guilty to defrauding, Stan Lee Media, and is trying to turn it into a moneymaker by suing Marvel Comics and legendary superhero comic creator Stan Lee himself (who's no longer involved with the company), claiming that the company owns a piece of the rights to comic characters created or owned by Lee and Marvel.

WorldNetDaily has a long association with documented liars and convicted felons. Besides Paul and Willey, WND has published a book by Aaron Tonken, whom Paul worked with on the fundraiser and is currently serving a prison sentence in a separate case of defrauding celebrities, as well as books by authors with a history of making dubious claims.

Moore and WorldNetDaily has turned to liars and felons to attack the Clintons without giving anyone a reason why readers should believe them beyond the fact that they're peddling dirt on people that WND clearly despise. Wouldn't a real journalist -- unlike Moore, who is content to merely regurgitate whatever these criminals spout without verifying their claims -- explain why documented liars and criminals are suddenly trustworthy now?

WorldNetDaily employs several writers -- Bob Unruh and Aaron Klein among them -- who follow in the same template of trashing those they hate while whitewashing those they favor. Why should anything it publishes be trusted?

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