How did Larry Flynt’s detective get a “different set of phone records” than ABC News had?

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From the WaPo:

How David Vitter Got Nabbed in Madam Scandal

In a Wednesday afternoon news conference, Hustler magazine publisher Larry Flynt gloated over taking credit for catching socially conservative Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) on the phone list of the D.C. Madam. But while he hinted that he has the goods on other members of Congress, he doesn’t – at least not yet.

As for Vitter, Dan Moldea, the gumshoe Washington-based reporter who moonlights as an investigator for Flynt, says his birthday was the magic date that led him to ensnare the Louisiana senator in the D.C. Madam scandal.

Moldea also had a different set of phone records than Brian Ross of ABC News, the reporter who had the exclusive market on the client list of Deborah Jeane Palfrey but who turned up very little in the way of scoop, in fact – a real dud as sex scandals go.

Moldea is working for Flynt — as he did in 1998 when Flynt successfully nailed Republicans leading the impeachment brigade against President Bill Clinton — to expose “hypocrites” on Palfrey’s client list. The gumshoe decided to take the phone records from Nov. 2000 to Jan. 2001 – records Ross did not have – because Moldea thought he’d try to snag some giddy new Bush administration officials fresh in town and ready to celebrate their newfound power.

Goodness knows Larry Flynt is feeling the love from the liberal doods over this, and that has to be something he’d pay a lot for. Larry Flynt is taking credit for exposing David Vitter’s disgusting hypocrisy, but the effectiveness of the Flynt self-promoting PR campaign on this issue relies in large part on the shame and social stigma associated with prostitution. Flynt is no hero and I don’t believe for a moment that mainstream media outlets would have ignored this story if they got the same access to the relevant phone records that Flynt mysteriously obtained exclusive access to.

–Ann Bartow

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