Ramiro Burr, a longtime music writer and columnist at the San Antonio Express-News, has resigned from the paper in the face of "allegations that he hired a ghost writer to produce more than 100 stories and columns since 2001." Wow. Didn't it used to be that only journalism's upper crust muckety-mucks hired ghost writers for their columns, like when Mort Zuckerman got Harry "Mr. Tina Brown" Evans to work on his columns in US News & World Report? That sort of thing is expected amongst the elites. But the Latin music critic in San Antonio? Where's the amusing elitism in that? The ghost writer came forward only looking for bylines, and gave a binder full of proof of how he would crank out columns and then pass them on to Burr. And Burr's half-ass non-denial on his own blog makes him sound pretty guilty:
Burr said his departure from the Express-News was over editorial differences.
"For 18 years my syndicated music column has run in several newspapers and I have always claimed the rights to ownership of the column, all editorial decisions and the subsequent column revenues from those newspapers. The Express-News has never disputed those rights.
"I may have been a little overzealous, or overreached in trying to be the best reporter columnist I could be. For the past 20 years I have worked with university interns and always supported the philosophy of bringing others up behind me. I have no regrets for helping others, especially Latinos, with training and guidance to become journalists.
Journalists don't have ghost writers.