Tavis Smiley Threatens to Shut Down Mo’Kelly

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  • Ironically, the very vocal and opinionated Tavis Smiley is threatening to sue fellow media personality Mo’Kelly if he does not stop talking about him.

    Smiley was a guest on Kelly’s podcast recently, where Kelly challenged him about his ideas on poverty.

    However, Smiley was not pleased with Kelly’s remarks and in response decided he wanted his former employee to be unable to mention his name again.

    Smiley’s representation from Browning & Browning law offices sent Kelly a “cease and desist” letter the next day, asking that Kelly end any form of communication about their client whether it’s via his blog, his podcast, or even Twitter.

    Morris W. O’Kelly (Mo’Kelly) has been very vocal against Smiley’s and Cornel West’s national anti-poverty campaign called the “Poverty Manifesto Lecture Series.”

    Kelly defends his stance saying, “I took issue with his process. We all have a moral imperative to reduce poverty and I accept that. But Tavis has no plan, no program, no would-be law that he’s pushing. His premise does not validate his process and that’s what I was arguing about.”

    Despite receiving the letter, Kelly does not plan on discontinuing his conversations about Smiley, claiming that Smiley is “super-sensitive.”

    His lawyers are also claiming that Kelly violated a privacy agreement he signed when he was employed as a producer on Smiley’s TV show from 2005 to 2010.

    However Kelly denies this, saying, “I have a podcast available to everyone to hear and review. There was no privileged or proprietary information divulged and everything discussed on the air was factually accurate and readily available to the public.”

    Going on to say, “Smiley has made himself considerably wealthy over the years criticizing public figures. Smiley is not in any way comfortable with being criticized, although he, too, is a public figure. I highlighted the glaring contradiction given the methodology of his ‘poverty tour.”

    Smiley has not released a statement on the report.

    (Photo Credit: PR)

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    25 thoughts on “Tavis Smiley Threatens to Shut Down Mo’Kelly

    1. Tavis needs to just put his foot in MK’s _ _ _ “on first sight”. This fool’s commenting on Tavis making paper ($$$$) with his jealous AZZ. Tavis should’ve NEVER given this “broke” MF a job in the first place. I heard MK on some “broke down” AM station months ago sounding like sh_ _. Trying to use big words (like he’s Albert Einstein II ). He was talking down to the audience & mentioned that he went to Georgetown Univ. like every other second. One caller said they saw him riding the Metro (he acknowledged it). Stop riding Tavis’ nuts & develop/engage in your own form of advocacy. Until then, just STFU !!!

    2. Both of these guys have a good message, their heart is in the right place. Both men argue good points. It doesn’t have to be “either, or,” “black or white,” “right or wrong.” They can disagree on secondary issues and come together on the major ones. There must be solidarity, there must be a leader that everyone can stand behind and support, put egos aside, take action and get things done. Things will never change or get better if people are at odds with one another. These two men could come together, they could set the example for men with differing views, to still work together and solve the problems at hand. I would emplore them to find a way to reconcile and set the example for others in the black community, show some leadership… and people will follow. Embrace collectivism for your cause, prioritize what’s most important and find a way to work together… these could be the first steps to something great.

    3. I’d like to know why people, such as Tavis Smiley and Cornel West, are not holding the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) accountable for championing our agenda. (BTW, what is our agenda?) Why aren’t they working with the CBC to craft legistlation? Why are some of us calling for the President to do something, when we have a group in Congress empowered to help create and enact law? What’s the CBC’s plan/strategy for addressing poverty? What’s the CBC’s plan/strategy for addressing education, etc.? The NRA didn’t work with the President to enact Stand Your Ground laws across this nation. They worked with state legislatures to this. Additionally, they ensure their voices are heard and their agendas are pushed by various Congressmen. I have yet to understand why we continue to give the CBC a free pass.

    4. i think tavis smiley is a hypocrite. why doesn’t he address the fact that he received money from mortgage lenders to push predatory loans to minorities.

    5. what a shame black people hating on other blacks, we got spike hating on tyler perry movies, we got
      spike hating on all movies, that are out as we speak, we got blacks just hating each other, its really a shame, we got blacks killing young black teenagers,,,we got congress having meetings on how they
      can get our black president out of office, having private lunches, on how to get rid of him,, we have black men hating our black women,, wow I can go on and on,,but what good would it do,,, we have whites killing un-armed teenagers, with the stand your ground law, and getting away with it,,
      so why are we doing it, because we don’t wanna deal with our real feelings, we wanna down ourselves because that is what we where taught, to disrespect each other, and treat each other badly
      no matter what the situation would be,, we where taught that way, to put each other down, and destroy each other.so that is the bottom line, we don’t know any other way!, we have reality shows that show us, how black woman treat each other, and we don’t realize that we all suffer the same
      indignities, that is the bottom line. so just know that this is nothing new, its been going on for years
      we have black men abusing our black women,, it goes on and on, we don’t stick up for each other
      and it is sad, and very disappointing. so when your putting your own people down remember what
      DOCTOR KIng always said, the people down south will always stick together, but the people up north they will not and will never stick together. its all in our history. GOd bless you and Stay encouraged and stay wise and stay blessed,,

        • In reply to lady day,NO I Did not just come to that realization,, I was just making my own opinion,
          and stating what is happening, I don’t hate ,, hate is to strong of a word, so I don’t use that word
          I was just talking about current events, that our happening in all communities, so don’t think for one
          minute I’m hating on Tavis or spike or Cornell west, I respect all of them.so don’t tell me that Iam hating on anybody, times are different and everybody has there own opinion,, as Well As Tavis and Cornell west and spike, and Tyler Perry, thank GOD for all of them. see you took everything out of context, and read into something that was not there. I’ came from a two parent home, so hate was not used in our home. I didn’t come from a single parent home. so I was raised to respect everyone’s opinion, and comments and disagreements ,,, that is what the country was built on. so think about the word for hate for a minute, I’m a black woman born and raised in Detroit Michigan. and to tell you the truth that is what is happening in our country today, rather you wanna believe it or not,,, its called being real, and nobody likes anyone who is being real, or telling the truth,,
          GOd bless you thanks for listening, stay encouraged stay wise, and stay blessed,,

    6. I agree with Mr. Kelly 100% he dishes it out but can’t take it. How about him and West stop name calling and give the Obama administration some insight on a course of action. And stop making big money talking loud and saying nothing. Make us believe your so called passion is 100%

    7. Wow, this is sad indeed. Tavis is so arrogant— and to think all over the first black president. I want to hear the audio of Mo’Kelly and Tavis on the show. Does anyone know where I can find it on the web?

    8. I have always thought that Tavas was a pompous, arrogant, self-centered blowhard. Mo’Kelly is right. If Tavis is so passionate about the poor then step away from the podium and book signing table and get busy bring about change.

      Mr. Smiley, freedom of speech doesn’t only apply when the person speaking is saying what you want to hear. Shame on you for trying to take away Mo’Kelly’s right to express his opinion about your views on poverty.

    9. Smiley and West are not the greatest advocates in the world, granted. But at least the word poverty crosses their lips. It ain’t crossin’ the presidents, nor Rev. (I’ll Never Be Critical of the President) Al’s, not Jesse’s, no one’s.

      All the African-American puntits I see on tv are talkin’ ’bout Obama and the middle class. Poverty is STILL a major constraint on the African-American community, even if we’d rather not consider it; even if it’s being swept off the table and under the rug.

      http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/13/opinion/blow-the-meaning-of-minority.html?hpw

      http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-12-12/mcdonald-s-8-25-man-and-8-75-million-ceo-shows-pay-gap.html

    10. Nothing worse than a man who can’t take a punch! Tavis Smiley is such a disappointment to the African American community. When you make a decision to back a loser, take it like a man and move on. With all the folks you have bashed over the years, it is, indeed, time for you to take some bashing. You will live. Stop whining. If you believe in your poverty tour focus on IT not on those who disagree!

    11. Oh Tavis. What is it w/you and Dr. West? It really takes away from your “poor peoples” stomps & tours when you start this whining. Ok…so what Mo’Kelly is talking about you. Um….did you not speak ill about President Obama not attending your summit/panel? Even though Mrs. Obama (a perfect stand-in if there ever was one) came and represented? How many folks did you throw under the bus…over the bus…put in the bus and drove off a cliff, while you were on the TJMS? So, forgive us all if we’re taking this less than seriously. Pull your big boy drawers up and keep it moving. Let it go and let it be.

    12. Tavis needs to get a life. It is all about him. Tavis needs to remember ….people who live in glass houses should not throw stones.

    13. Tavis want to make a name for himself in the future. Tavis is all about himself, I wish we would really start helping people. WE TALK TOO MUCH AND DO TOO LITTLE

    14. Give Tavis credit. He chose a position in 2008 and has stuck with it – although it has backfired on him. He knew being a black media personality would only go so far and tried to move to the “center” by opposing Pres. Obama. I thought it was just a publicity stunt but he has remained consistent. Fortunately, I never cared for his brand of self-centered advocacy, so I never bought the book :-)

    15. Mr Smiley can certainly dish it, but can’t take it. According to his thinking, President Obama should be sueing the pants off of his envious behind. Tavis, both you and Cornel West are becoming very irrevelant and must continue to make noises to get attention. It would do you good to use that energy to help the “black Community” that you love so dearly to take a long look at itself and quit expecting the President to wave a magic wand and change what is really wrong with it’s approach towards uplifting itself by getting its’ priorities in order. Help each other to help oneself. Please go after the members of Congress that hold the reigns to the road to poverty. You didn’t break President Obama’s spirit and it would do you good to take a very long look at yourself in the mirror and see who is looking back at you. According to the Michael Jackson’s song “let’s start with the man in the mirror” You have worn out your effectiveness. Do yourself a favor and take a rest for the next 4 yours.

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