18 Dec 2009

Ghost Blogging

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Blogging is surprisingly time consuming. It really does take a few hours to put out a respectable day’s worth of postings, and it has long been obvious to me that super-bloggers who deliver truckloads of articles daily without fail have to be relying on assistance.

There’s nothing wrong with having a support staff (if one’s blog’s revenues support that kind of thing), but in Andrew Sullivan’s case, there seems to be a certain inconsistency, even hypocrisy.

Lachlan Markay blows the whistle on Sullivan.

Remember all those blog posts from the Atlantic’s Andrew Sullivan bashing Sarah Palin for employing a ghostwriter? Well, it turns out many of those posts may have been written by…a ghostblogger! Apparently Sullivan’s busy schedule prevented him from writing everything on his site, so, without informing his readers, he employed a few ghostbloggers to write in his name.

Daily Dish readers were surely surprised at the announcement–posted by one of the ghostbloggers on Saturday–given Sullivan’s insistence that his “one-man blog” is “honest” and “personal”. They may have been a bit perturbed to learn, in Ace‘s words, that “half the blog isn’t personal to Sullivan at all, and all of it is dishonest.”

Wrote ghostblogger Patrick Appel,

    As always, it a pleasure to step in while Andrew gets some much needed rest. Guest-blogging is not all that different than my day-to-day activities on the Dish – 24 of the 50 posts currently on the front page were written by me. All the substantive posts are Andrew’s work, but it’s my and Chris’s job to read through the blogosphere and pick out the choicest bits. Andrew edits, approves, and spins what we find, but the illusion of an all-reading blogger is maintained by employing two extra sets of eyes.

“As always”? “24 of the 50 posts”? Ghostwritten posts were hardly an insignificant element of Sullivan’s blog.

Sullivan–or maybe his ghostbloggers–wrote numerous blockquote-style posts bashing Sarah Palin for using a ghostwriter named Lynn Vincent for her book, even referring to “Going Rogue” as “Lynn Vincent’s ‘book'”. Might we call the Daily Dish “Patrick Appel’s ‘blog'”?

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I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised by anything that prima donna does, but it seems outrageous all the same. People who earn a living blogging surely ought to be able to write their own material.

Most of us manage to work at a real job, look after our family and find a few hours to read and post every day. Without ghost writers.

Oh well, better a happy nonentity than a creepy celebrity who doesn’t even do his own writing…


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