Jack Kelley's Christian journalist friends in Washington, D.C., are confronting the discredited star reporter formerly with USA Today in hopes of getting him to acknowledge publicly that he cannot vouch for the reliability of his reporting.
Several journalists contacted by Christianity Today say that Kelley, 43, seems to confuse what was fabricated and what was true in his reporting and they suggested to him that he seek professional counseling.
Journalist David Aikman, a close friend of Kelley's, told CT, Â "Kelley is shocked by USA Today's exposé and [he] should take time off to piece together his life." However, Aikman himself declined to characterize Kelley's reporting as fraudulent. Kelley would not speak to CT on the record. Kelley's Christian colleagues have responded personally to him concerning the preliminary report on Kelley's reporting that USA Today released a week ago. Their dilemma is how to support Kelley without losing their commitment to the truth.
Widespread deception alleged
Earlier this year, USA Today created a special investigative team to examine Kelley's stories since 1993. In their initial report, they found that Kelley had fabrications in at least eight major stories, plagiarized almost two dozen quotes or other materials from competing publications, and prepared scripts for several individuals posing as "sources" to mislead the investigators.
According to USA Today, Kelley during a discussion session at a convention of the Evangelical Press Association concocted a story about how he had taken a photo for his story of a young woman who had drowned at sea while fleeing Cuba. The account was different from other stories that he told about the origins of the picture, and in fact, the newspaper says that ...1