Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Dear Associated Press: Let's talk about political celebrities and their ghost writers

Y'know, it was nice of you guys to assign Hilel Italie to write that story suggesting Sarah Palin doesn't have the brains to write her own book.

Shall we discuss the editorial process behind, say, Bill Clinton's My Life or Hillary Clinton's Living History? Between them, the Clintons employed enough ghosts to staff the day shift at Disney World's "Haunted Mansion" ride.

Having been a Washington, D.C., journalist since 1997, I can assure you that we "talk shop" often enough so that every writer inside the Beltway knows who's ghosting whom. No need to name names, but suffice it to say that once somebody has served in the Cabinet or been elected Senator, any book published under his name can be assumed to be, at best, a team effort in which the named author was the quarterback. (Or sometimes, as one hears in regard to the Clintons, the meddlesome team owner who insists on second-guessing the editorial quarterback.)

However, since the Associated Press has taken this sudden and keen interest in the subject of potential future presidents and their ghostwriters, perhaps you could be bothered to run down a disturbing theory that has troubled me for several months.

After I founded Authors Against Obama, a reader called to my attention Jack Cashill's theory that Dreams of My Father was ghost-written. Cashill offered abundant circumstantial evidence to support his theory, and perhaps the mighty AP could assign Hilel Italie to investigate this.

Or, as seems likely, perhaps not.

(Cross-posted at Hot Air Green Room.)

UPDATE: Allahpundit loves me! And Chris Matthews still hates Sarah Palin:


  1. Cashill's study of Dreams From My Father found striking similarities between the writing style, lenght of sentences, words use, and neautical imagry used by Bill Ayers. It should be pointed out that Bill Ayers was a Merchant seaman for a year or so when he was on the run, and made a couple of Atlantic voyages, 0bama on the other hand, was not even known to hang out at the beach. Needless to say, the AP (Anti-Palin) will not touch that subject with a ten foot pen.

  2. 'Dreams From My Father' was written by the Teleprompter. Barry got his early head-weaving practice shifting from right-left-right while reviewing the Teleprompter's weekly printouts.

    I'd like to know who ghost-wrote the Hawaiian "certificate of live birth." That would make for a few interesting discussions.

  3. I've seen an online article that claims that Ayers wrote Obama's book. The analysis compared word choice and sentence structure of Obama's book with other writings done by Ayers. Very, very similar.

  4. (Twilight Zone theme music)

  5. uh oh...
    new conspiracy theory to help wing-nuts sleep better...
    you guys never disappoint.
    The great thing about the upcoming fiction novel by Sarah Palin will be the disparity between her true voice and the learned tone the ghost-writer is getting paid to provide.
    They should sprinkle several " you betcha's" and
    "boy howdy's" to give an authentic moose flavoring to what is sure to read like a "little house on the prairie" fantasy with automatic weapons.
    Perhaps even some " winks" indicating the end of a run on sentence that leads nowhere?
    I've said it before, she is the Peggy Hill of American politics...

  6. From that clip, I think the hate in Tinglebell's heart is causing his flaxen (dyed) hair to fall out.

    He already looked like Hermie the Elf.

    Plese use the Tinglebell appellation for Chrissy as much as possible. I get a royalty.

  7. RSM...
    Man. I've got to speak French here - there just aren't words in English: Is Youngster faux? A farce, a poseur? His/her's/It's comments are always a droll pastiche of trite gharbazh... what the French refer to as "moronic." (They do, on occasion, use English.)

    Seriously - his posts are refreshingly amusing. Who writes his stuff? Please don't tell us it's the Teleprompter...

  8. Ghost writing? Well, that is common. In my limited writing experience (lawyer) all writers have an editor, at least. In technical cases lawyers do rely on techincal writers to write those portions of their briefs because that expert will have a better understanding of those technical issues and how they relate than the lawyer.

    In other writing, such as biography, the principal may have a good story to tell, but not the skill to put the story down so that a reader will find it interesting.

    Not particularly new or interesting, except in how desperately some are scraping the barrel to find something to hit Gov. Palin with.

    I suppose her detractors see her as some B-movie monster - "We hit her with everything we got and she won't stop coming at us!"