The Napa Valley Register was the first newspaper to promote Kylie Kilpatrick’s story that her son had donated $74.80 from his allowance to pay off school lunch debts that his classmates owned. The story, written by reporter Jennifer Huffman, was published on June 8, 2019.
Napa third-grader Ryan Kyote, who paid off his classmates' hot lunch debt using this allowance, has caught the attention of U.S. Senator Kamala Harris. We broke this story last month. Click here to read Ryan's story: https://t.co/SisH2xVGbI https://t.co/DeEaoPdv1Z
— Napa Valley Register (@NapaRegister) July 3, 2019
Without this story being written by an established media outlet, it never would’ve been picked up by a larger national audience, never would’ve led to Governor Newsom taking an interest in it, and never would’ve led to the profit making scheme that Kylie Kirkpatrick had doctored up by coaching her son to lie.
I have contacted Ms. Huffman twice about this story and have not gotten a reply.
Jennifer Huffman appears to be gainfully employed at the NVR, and actively tweets out content, but seems to have no interest in reporting the truth.
I want to hear your biz news! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org https://t.co/nArdrvQe01
— Jᴇɴɴɪғᴇʀ Hᴜғғᴍᴀɴ (@NVRHuffman) December 6, 2019
Then this happened today.
Go and read the comments on their Facebook page to see what the general public thinks about this woman. You will not find a single supporter amongst them. There is something very wrong with the state of the media when an entire community knows the truth, but the newspaper of record chooses not to report it.
But after we took an interest in this story they could no longer avoid it. The problem is that their story is one sided, contains lies, and doesn’t ask Kylie legitimate questions that reporters should ask.
First of all, the cover photo they chose to use was intentionally done so to discredit the blog’s work. We have two websites – Turtleboysports.com and TBDailyNews.com. Turtleboy is for foul language and TB Daily News is for more professionally done investigative pieces. Most stories we publish a Turtleboy version and a TB Daily News version, but we only share TB Daily News on Facebook.
For the Kylie stories we only published actual content and research on TB Daily News. However, we have 25-30,000 people who go directly to Turtleboysports.com every day on the app, so we use that site to direct readers to the TB Daily News blogs for people who don’t use Facebook. The headline used on the Turtleboy blog they screenshotted used the term “crotch fruit,” as a joke, but that article didn’t contain anything more than a link to the real story on TBDN. If they wanted to be honest they would’ve screenshotted TBDN, not the Turtleboy article. This was intentionally done to make us look juvenile.
Kyote’s story went national and led to a series of celebrity appearances for Ryan, including a segment on “Access Hollywood” and photos with Gov. Newsom as he signed a bill preventing schools from refusing service to children because of their debts, known as “lunch shaming.” (Ryan’s then-school, West Park Elementary, says it already had this policy when Ryan paid off the debt.)
They’re admitting that they were aware that the school didn’t allow kids to be lunch shamed, which they should’ve investigated. But they didn’t. Instead they promoted the story and helped legitimize her campaign, leading to this.
Earlier this year, Ryan Kyote used his allowance to help pay down his classmates' food service bills.
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) October 14, 2019
Kirkpatrick absolutely denies fabricating the original story or that she and the family have profited from their fame.
“In fact, we’ve lost a lot of money over it,” she said Friday, saying that many (though not all) of the public appearances by Kyote, now 10, have been paid out of her own pocket.
At this point the reporter should’ve asked Kylie to show them how much money she’s lost. Show us receipts for plane tickets and hotels that you paid out of pocket, despite the fact that you never seem to be at work.
She blamed Kearney’s crusade on a group of parents who she says are jealous of Kyote’s fame and resentful because some people who saw the national stories assumed that West Park engaged in lunch shaming, which it did not.
She’s claiming that she never accused West Park Elementary of lunch shaming. That is a lie. She accused the district multiple times on social media of not “lifting a finger to eliminate” lunch debt.
She also said that she herself witnessed kids going back to Ryan’s lunch table empty handed (why was she in school during lunch hours?) because they were being denied food due to lunch debts.
People who assumed that the school was participating in lunch shaming did so because Kylie explicitly said that.
I also have screenshots of conversations Kylie has had with members of the community who asked her to stop trashing the school because of all the national backlash they were getting. They’ve asked me not to share them because they fear her, and it would give it away that they were a source. This community lives in fear of Kylie Kilpatrick, and for good reason. In the text messages Kylie readily admits that she knows it’s not true, but suggests that it doesn’t matter because the cause she’s fighting for is virtuous.
Dozens of people attempted to contact the Napa Register after the story was first written. However, they took the article down on their Facebook page because the people who criticized her “hated” Kylie, and “gathered to attack her in a vicious and inappropriate manner.”
In other words, instead of reporting the news, they chose to protect Kylie from legitimate criticism that would debunk their feel good, clickbait story.
After the Register first wrote about Kyote’s donation in June, a number of parents contacted the newspaper to complain about Kirkpatrick, saying she was not telling the truth or that she was portraying the school in a negative light. Several complained that they had been harassed by Kirkpatrick over this and other issues, some going as far as to file for restraining orders. Both in interviews with the Register and in court papers, Kirkpatrick has consistently denied harassing anyone, and in fact said she and her son were themselves the victims of a campaign of harassment.
Wait until you see what we produce this week to debunk this lie. The Register has this information too, they just chose not to print it. Here’s their reason why.
The Register was never able to find any evidence that the original story about the lunch donation was not true and Kirkpatrick has consistently said that the money came from his bank account. There was a related gofundme account at the time, saying it was going to pay off lunch debt, which many critics had cited as evidence that the money came from donations, not from Kyote’s bank account. Kirkpatrick explains that by saying she had attempted to raise money to pay off all of West Park’s lunch debt—totaling around $800—but the effort never took hold.
What she told the Register on Friday was consistent with what she told Register reporter Jennifer Huffman before the original June story ran. She said Friday that the gofundme account raised about $100, which they donated to classes at other schools.
Stop right there. A real reporter at this point asks questions like:
- What schools?
- Do you have receipts?
- Why didn’t you mention the GoFundMe? Isn’t that misleading?
But they have once again chosen to accept her story at face value without asking these simple, relevant questions.
Kearney, a former teacher from Worcester, did not return emails seeking comment and two phone numbers listed for him in Massachusetts did not work.
This is a lie. My email is listed on every blog I publish. I have not received a single email, but I have sent two.
I called Sean Scully, the author of this story, after it was published and left a message. He has not gotten back to me.
He also pointed out that Kirkpatrick’s website featured a donation button, inviting readers to donate to “enable us to pay down school lunch debt accounts.” Kirkpatrick does not, however, run a non-profit organization. Kirkpatrick denied doing anything nefarious, however, calling the posts “trash talk.” The shoes, she said, were not donated by Nike but paid for out of her pocket. She said she twice ordered the wrong sizes and tried to sell them online before Nike agreed to give her refunds.
Again, did they ask for any sort of documentation? Because according to Nike the shoes were a gift.
The donate tab on the website was a built-in part of the template and she did not actively solicit donations, she said. “As soon as (Kearney) called it to my attention, I deleted it,” she said.
She didn’t solicit donations? Another easily disprovable, previously documented lie. It was right on the website she created to profit off of her son’s activism.
PayPal accounts have to be linked to a bank account, so she had to go out of her way to do this. I have a PayPal button on my pages, which I had to manually input using a code. Kylie would’ve had to do the same. You can’t create a website that automatically links to a bank account you own. That’s not how the Internet works, and the NVR just took her at her word.
Kylie actively guided people towards it when they asked.
The PayPal link says that the money goes to pay down school lunch debts, but yet she also said it goes to her “son’s” bank account.
The reporter takes Kylie’s word at face value, while actively attempting to discredit our work.
The posts are often couched in rude and demeaning terms, such as referring to Kyote as Kirkpatrick’s “Crotch Fruit.”
Kylie also set me up for some more lies I will be able to debunk in the coming week.
Kirkpatrick denied having harassed fellow parents, though she admitted she had gone through a rough legal period more than a decade ago as a result of a pain killer addiction. That experience, she said, has motivated her to live a better life.
Kylie has harassed many parents, and I have receipts. Perhaps the Napa Valley Register should listen to people in their community so they don’t have to seek out blogs from Massachusetts to report the truth.
She said she has been reading the Turtleboy posts, but has largely declined to respond. Instead, she said, she’s focusing on protecting Kyote from the controversy as much as possible.
But Kylie did respond by making up baseless lies about me.
All lies. Just like this one:
She said she has received threats and harassment online as a result of the posts.
No one has threatened her. Did the NVR ask to see screenshots of these threats? Of course not. That would require actual effort.
P.S. Someone from Napa contacted me today, who I am not currently at liberty to disclose, but let’s just say Kylie isn’t going to like how this ends.
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