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"Ghost Writing Screw-up" KPFA Up Front Ghost Writer Edwards-Tiekert PR Work Blows Up
by repost
Thursday Nov 22nd, 2012 10:39 AM
"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.
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For Tracy Rosenberg

Hi all,

Happy Thanksgiving.

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
problem.

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
bylined.

Crikey.

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.

Best,

Tracy
by listener
Thursday Nov 22nd, 2012 12:24 PM
What this was was an error by an editor at the Berkeley Daily Planet, who took a personal email and "published" it without permission. She has since taken it down at the request of the sender.

Don't people at Pacifica have better things to do that make up stories? Really, get a life!

For the record, here's what Margy Wilkinson has said about it.

--------
From Margy:

Greetings:

Recently I sent a letter of endorsement for the SaveKPFA slate to a personal email list. My letter was based on a similar letter by Brian Edwards-Tiekert, which I copied from and modified with his permission. One of the people on my personal list works at The Berkeley Daily Planet, and published the letter, attributed to me, without my knowledge or permission. I asked her to take it down, as it was never intended for publication as an article.

Margy
by Oh well!
Thursday Nov 22nd, 2012 2:45 PM
Fabulous fabulist redux
So the long and short of it is that Save KPFA doesn't represent listeners at all. They're just a front organization for a small group of employees that wants to work with no supervision and oversight whatsoever and has already brought the station to the brink of bankruptcy. They don't write their own materials, they don't think their own thoughts and they do whatever Tiekert tells them to do. Supported by listeners who have no idea what they are supporting. That's not democracy folks, it's a con job.
by Richard Phelps, former Chair KPFA LSB
Sunday Nov 25th, 2012 5:30 PM
Brian Edwards-Tiekert appears to have written an election pitch and Margy Wilkinson and other SaveKPFAers were sending it out with minor changes under their names to their lists. Honesty and transparency would demand that both authors names be listed. Trying to send something out as if it was your personal appeal for votes is just plain dishonest, if it was written by someone else.

The right way to use BET's pitch would be to send it out and say "here is something written by BET and I am sending it to you since I agree with it". That would be honest and transparent, which to me are very important ethics that correspond to Pacifica's Mission.