February 6, 2016

The Clintons rip off language, too

CNN - Hillary Clinton and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, combined to earn more than $153 million in paid speeches from 2001 until Hillary Clinton launched her presidential campaign last spring, a CNN analysis shows.

In total, the two gave 729 speeches from February 2001 until May, receiving an average payday of $210,795 for each address. The two also reported at least $7.7 million for at least 39 speeches to big banks, including Goldman Sachs and UBS, with Hillary Clinton, the Democratic 2016 front-runner, collecting at least $1.8 million for at least eight speeches to big banks.

Sam Smith - Accepting such sums for speeches is not only a form a legalized bribery in many instances, it is an grotesque insult to serious writers and their words. You could have paid 15,000 real writers $10,000 each for what the Clintons got.  The Clintons, of course, are not alone, just a dramatic example.

Furthermore, it is likely that many of the actual Clinton words weren't even written by them so that not only did they engage in grossly overpaid political jargon parading as thought, but they plagiarized to do so. Here is how it worked out when Hillary Clinton "wrote" a couple of books."

Things that happened to Barbara Feinman after becoming ghostwriter for "It Takes a Village"
-- She got no acknowledgement in the book by HR Clinton, contrary to what was stipulated in the contract
-- A reporter asked her how much she had written and she replied, "All I can say is they didn't pay me $120,000 to spell-check it."
-- The White House spread rumors that Feinman had been fired
-- Simon & Schuster refused to pay the last $30,000 of her fee. Asked why, Feinman was told that the White House didn't want her paid.

[Reported by William Triplett in Capital Style]

Wikipedia - The majority of [It Takes a Village] was reportedly written by ghostwriter Barbara Feinman. When the book was first announced in April 1995, The New York Times reported publisher Simon & Schuster as saying "The book will actually be written by Barbara Feinman, a journalism professor at Georgetown University in Washington. Ms. Feinman will conduct a series of interviews with Mrs. Clinton, who will help edit the resulting text."

Feinman spent seven months on the project and was paid $120,000 for her work. Feinman, however, was not mentioned anywhere in the book. Clinton's acknowledgment section began: "It takes a village to bring a book into the world, as everyone who has written one knows. Many people have helped me to complete this one, sometimes without even knowing it. They are so numerous that I will not even attempt to acknowledge them individually, for fear that I might leave one out."

During her promotional tour for the book, Clinton said, "I actually wrote the book ... I had to write my own book because I want to stand by every word." Clinton stated that Feinman assisted in interviews and did some editorial drafting of "connecting paragraphs", while Clinton herself wrote the final manuscript in longhand.

This led Feinman to complain at the time to Capitol Style magazine over the lack of acknowledgement. In 2001, The Wall Street Journal reported that "New York literary circles are buzzing with vitriol over Sen. Clinton's refusal, so far, to share credit with any writer who helps on her book." Later, in a 2002 article for The Writer's Chronicle, Barbara Feinman Todd (now using her married name) related that the project with Clinton had gone smoothly, producing drafts in a round-robin style. Feinman agrees that Clinton was involved with the project, but also states that, "Like any first lady, Mrs. Clinton had an extremely hectic schedule and writing a book without assistance would have been logistically impossible." Feinman reiterates that her only objection to the whole process was the lack of any acknowledgement

Greg Estervbrook, ESPN - Once again, Clinton is presented as the author of what is actually a ghosted book. . . This time around, the pages of "Living History" thank three people -- the much-admired former White House speech writer Alison Muscatine, veteran ghost Maryanne Vollers and researcher Ruby Shamir -- who are assumed to be the actual authors. But the cover and the frontispiece still boldly state, "by Hillary Rodham Clinton."

"Living History" is a 562-page book. A work of that length would take an average writer perhaps four years to produce; a highly proficient writer might finish in two years, if working on nothing else. Clinton signed the contract to "write" the book about two years ago. About the same time, she also was sworn in as a member of the United States Senate. Clinton took an oath to protect the Constitution and to serve the citizens of New York. So in the last two years Clinton has either been neglecting her duties as a United States Senator - that is, violating her oath -- in order to be the true author of "Living History," or she is claiming authorship of someone else's work. . .

If you didn't write something, and claimed to the world that you did, what you would be doing is lying. Wouldn't it be a nice gesture if United States senators did not lie?

Perhaps you're thinking, "But all people who reach the limelight lie about being authors." No, they don't. Consider that the previous book project of Maryanne Vollers, one of Hillary's ghosts, was about Jerri Nielsen, the doctor who had to be airlifted out of Antarctica. How was that book presented? As "Ice Bound: A Doctor's Incredible Battle for Survival at the South Pole" by Jerri Nielsen with Maryanne Vollers. No lying about the true author.

Consider that John McCain's autobiographical work, "Faith of My Fathers," proclaims on its cover "by Mark Salter, with John McCain." The true author's name is there for everyone to see, and this neither detracts from sales ("Faith of My Fathers" was a commercial success) nor causes anyone to think any less of McCain. Famous people who care about their honor, like McCain, freely acknowledge using ghostwriters -- this is called "honesty." Famous people with serious ego problems, or who don't care about their honor, lie about being authors.

Now suppose you were a college student, hired someone to write a thesis paper for you, then submitted the work as your own. Suppose, when caught, rather than confess, you indignantly insisted you were the true author. What would happen to you is that you'd be expelled. For you to lie about having written something would be considered inexcusable.

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