PBS Talk Show Host Tavis Smiley Tangles with KFI’s Mo ‘Kelly

In his latest Journal-isms column, Richard Prince retraces some contentious recent chronology involving Tavis Smiley and Mo ‘Kelly (a.k.a. Morris W. O’Kelly, pictured).

Kelly, who once worked for Smiley, has been accusing Smiley of using a national poverty-focused outreach tour as a means of personal grandstanding. The feud went public and got nastier last week when The Wave newspaper’s Betty Pleasant reported that Smiley had sent Kelly a cease-and-desist letter. From Prince’s item:

Smiley publicly remained silent, but the story by Pleasant gained steam as its message was repeated on at least two black-oriented websites, the black entertainment outlet EUR Web and radio host Tom Joyner‘s Black America Web.

Then, on Sunday, EUR Web published an “open letter” to Smiley from Najee Ali, director of Los Angeles-based Project Islamic HOPE (Helping Oppressed People Everywhere), siding with O’Kelly.

Today, Kelly continued his campaign against Smiley’s “foolishness” via Roland Martin‘s segment on Joyner’s national radio show. Smiley’s attorneys are claiming that Kelly’s actions are in violation of a confidentiality agreement the latter signed upon leaving Smiley’s employ in the fall of 2010.

Much more in the Prince item, including statements to the columnist from both sides.

[Photo courtesy KFI AM 640]

@hollywoodspin rhorgan@gmail.com Richard Horgan is co-editor of Fishbowl.