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"Ghost Writing Screw-up" KPFA Up Front Ghost Writer Edwards-Tiekert PR Work Blows Up
"Save KPFA" Up Front Host Brian Edwards-Tiekert was ghostwriting pr material for the election at KPFA and ended up exposing his own political and journalistic method of operation. His confidence and arrogance got the best of him again.
For Tracy Rosenberg
Well at least we're a little closer to understanding what happened in
this whole mess. Definitely not to be repeated.
The chair of the KPFA LSB had an endorsement email about who to vote
for in the listener election ghostwritten for her by staffer Brian
Edwards-Tiekert, who had written his own and allowed her to take his,
change a dozen words in it to make it look slightly different (mostly
inept homonym switches like "near-mortal" to "devastating") and send
it out under her own name as if it was a letter written by her to her
friends and without mentioning whose text she was actually using
anywhere in the letter. Among her friends list is apparently the
editor of the Berkeley Daily Planet who assumed the letter was written
by the person who signed it as "from Margy Wllkinson" and intended for
publication. Ms. Wilkinson allowed the publication under her byline or
at least, did nothing to stop it until I sent the email noting the
In the meantime, Edwards-Tiekert, knowing the ghostwritten endorsement
letter had been sent to many people as if it was written by them
(other members of Save KPFA may have done the same claiming the
endorsement letter was from them, we don't know), thought nothing of
sending the same letter for publication as an op-ed to the Fog City
Journal under his own byline, despite having already used it as a
ghostwritten letter for members of the LSB apparently unable to or
unwilling to write their own endorsement letters and pretending
Brian's was their own, even to the point of allowing it to be
published in a publication under their byline.
Opening Brian up of course, to obvious charges of plagiarism as the
ghostwritten endorsement letters are fakely authored and fakely
Seems to be we need some basic standards in play, including that
endorsement letters be written by the individuals who claim to write
them and we do not send materials for publication irresponsibly. We
also need some boundaries between the staff and listener elections
that do not allow staff members to ghostwrite endorsement notes that
are claimed to be written by listener-members and are not, and are
being sent out under false pretenses and without attribution.
Apologies to both publishers that got caught up in this mess (and I
think KPFA/Pacifica) should formally apologize to both for the bad
positions they were put in. There needs to some redress so these sorts
of incident do not recur.