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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16 thoughts on “Tavis Smiley Threatens to Shut Down Mo'Kelly

  1. 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%

  2. 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?

  3. 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.

  4. battchief on said:

    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.

  5. 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!

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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 🙂

  10. 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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