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Taking responsibility for what you write

Original post made by Roz Rogoff on Jan 8, 2012

I write this blog under my own name, Rosalind Rogoff, as the San Ramon Observer. My opinions are mine, not someone else's. Likewise Tom Cushings writes his views in his "Raucous Caucus," blog and Tim Hunt is blogging now in the Pleasanton Weekly.

Newspapers publish commentaries and blogs to attract readers who become regular followers of our blogs. The Editors of the San Ramon Express do not edit my blogs other than to correct typos or bad links. I'm able to write my own opinions and anyone who wants to respond can challenge them.

I might change my mind about something I wrote. I have modified my positions on some issues, but to claim, "I never wrote them. I didn't read them, and I didn't know what was in them," about my blogs, would be a cop out of the lowest form.

If I'm not writing my blogs, who is? Did one of my cats sneak into my office and type them up when I wasn't looking? If my name is on my blogs, but I didn't write them, I should at least know what someone is passing off under my byline.

Ron Paul published and sold several Newsletters under his byline and now claims he never read them. Fifteen years ago, Paul told the [Web Link Dallas Morning News] that he wrote the Newsletters, but the quotes were taken out of context. Now he says he didn't write the Newsletters and didn't know what was in them. He can't even get his story about the stories straight.

I'm a contract Instructional Designer and Technical Writer. For six years I wrote and updated Jump*Start Crystal Reports training materials for Hammerman and Associates, Inc. I was paid a fee for writing these books and Howard Hammerman used them in his training classes and sold them on his website to corporate trainers and individuals. Hammerman received a lot of favorable comments on these books and made a nice income from selling them.

When I wrote the materials I would email Howard Hammerman my drafts and he would go through them and email me fixes and suggestions. He also had one of his top trainers go through them and one of his Crystal Reports developers test all of my workshops. When all of the edits and updates were completed he published the books with his company's name and logo on them.

I would not have expected Howard Hammerman to accept anything I sent him without reading and approving it first. Yet Ron Paul is defending himself against charges of racism in his Newsletters with, "I never read them. I didn't know what was in them." This man allowed his name to be put on several Newsletters but didn't bother to find out what they said. Doesn't anyone else find this admission disturbing in a candidate for President of the United States?

I know Paul believes in individual freedom to do whatever you want, but if he's making money on a product produced by someone else, shouldn't he at least care what is being published in his name? This isn't an acceptable excuse for what he now claims to disown.

If he had taken appropriate responsibility for the work he contracted out at the time, he would not have to repudiate what he could have and should have edited out of the Newsletters before distributing them to subscribers. If I was a subscriber back then, I'd feel cheated now that Ron Paul is claiming he had nothing to do with newsletters I thought he had written, or at the very least, reviewed before being sent out.

If I wrote training materials for a business that nobody bothered to check for accuracy and/or content, and later some purchaser complained they were full of errors or offensive stereotypes, should anyone accept the publisher's excuse, "I didn't read them and didn't know what was in them." Doesn't that say more about Ron Paul than any political attacks, and why aren't Paul's supporters questioning this attitude?

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