Iowa Newspaper Drops Brent Bozell’s Column After ‘Forced Ghostwriting’ Charge

An Iowa newspaper is now looking to replace Brent Bozell, the fiery conservative media watchdog who apparently has had someone write his columns and books for years.

The Quad-City Times announced over the weekend that it’s dropping the syndicated column from its pages on the heels of a scoop by journalist Jim Romenesko that Bozell has been claiming credit for someone else’s work.

Romenesko reported that Tim Graham, the media analysis director at the Bozell-founded Media Research Center, has been the one behind the words that have appeared under Bozell’s name. One ex-MRC employee, noting that Graham loathes the assignment, described the arrangement as “forced ghostwriting.”

The Creators Syndicate, the organization that syndicates the column, eventually announced that Bozell and Graham will share a byline going forward (although it denied the charge that Bozell hasn’t written his material)

But for the Quad-City Times, the revelation was a cue to move on. The newspaper is now in the market for another conservative columnist.

The column we’ve run for a decade under Bozell’s byline skewered reporters and media firms he condemned as “liberal,” regularly slamming them for being dishonest.
We disagreed with many of the columns Bozell presented as his own. We’d wince every time he damned the “mainstream” media. Our newspaper and many others in the so-called mainstream media send him a check every month. But we stuck with him in the interest of presenting diverse views on our Opinion page.
Bozell may have been comfortable representing others’ work as his own. We’re not.
The latest disclosure convinces us Bozell has no place on our print or web pages.
Now we’d like readers’ suggestions for a replacement. What conservative columnist would you like to see added to our pages?
We’re happy to spend on columnists who bring a wider perspective to readers.
But we can’t continue to publish anyone who willfully submits others’ work as his own.

Along with railing against dishonesty in the media, Bozell also had a penchant for calling journalists “lazy” in the columns that Graham wrote for him.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Kludt is a reporter for Talking Points Memo based in New York City, covering media and national affairs. Originally from South Dakota, Tom joined TPM as an intern in late-2011 and became a staff member during the 2012 election. He can be reached at tom@talkingpointsmemo.com.
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