Is there an ethical distinction between ghostwriting and speechwriting?
November 17, 2009
Media blogger Dan Kennedy writes that he doesn’t think the Boston Globe “did enough to make sure that the four Democratic candidates for U.S. senator actually wrote their op-eds in Sunday’s paper.”
I realize that I’m holding a candidate’s written words to a higher standard than I am spoken words. But the role of speechwriters is well-established, and the very fact that a candidate has to speak the words changes the equation. A ghostwritten op-ed, in contrast, might never even be seen by the candidate—we simply have no way of knowing.
Does he have a point? Or perhaps you agree with the commenter to Kennedy’s blog, who wrote, “Dan, you sound like the parson who read Gulliver’s Travels and announced that he didn’t believe half of it. The op-ed page is full signed articles written by staff people for elected officials.”