Tito Sotto, Cayetano, and ghost writers-A A +A
Thursday, August 23, 2012
IN TACKLING charges that Sen. Tito Sotto and Sen. Pia Cayetano copied the work of other persons when Tito attacked and Pia defended the Reproductive Health Bill, they also wrestle with the dilemma: should they admit they used ghostwriters?
"Ghosts" usually stay in the dark. Non-disclosure supports the fiction that public officials, company executives, or bishops write their own speeches, articles, blogs, or tweets.
Most don't. Hobbled by lack of time or writing skill, public persons tap researchers, editors, and writers, usually covertly.
Presidents read speeches crafted by hordes of writers. Some chiefs of state don't understand the words they read. One even read "Turn the page"--maybe that was apocryphal or a joke but you get the drift.
Papal encyclicals are penned by "ghosts." A bishop can't be guilty of vanity if he taps priests to write his homily or speech.
Most public figures would like their audience to believe that thoughts and words said in forums or written in publications are theirs.
For that, they must sustain the pretense of having no "ghost." One CEO to this day doesn't admit that it was a "ghost" who plagiarized another person's work.
His writer, bound by loyalty or non-disclosure contract, has also kept his lips sealed.
Sotto has stuck to his defense that copying intellectual creation from the web is not wrong and won’t say his writer in hiding goofed.
Pia could use the same tack or blame her "ghost." Initially, for the, ah, fiasco, she alleged it was all research.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 23, 2012.