President Obama’s poll numbers are in free-fall, but he still has at least one “citizen” who ardently defends him, in the letters section of your local paper.
We refer to one Ellie Light, who has published the same letting supporting Obama in at least 42 newspapers in 18 states–and claimed residence in most of those locations.
In fact, tracking Ms. Light’s letter-writing campaign has become something of a crusade for a few bloggers and independent-minded journalists. Among the MSM, Sabrina Eaton of the Cleveland Plain Dealer was one of the first to identify Light’s one-woman astroturf campaign. By her count, Ms. Light has published similar letters supporting Obama in more than a dozen publications. In most cases, she listed her residence as a city in the paper’s circulation area.
“It’s time for Americans to realize that governing is hard work, and that a president can’t just wave a magic wand and fix everything,” said a letter from alleged Philadelphian Ellie Light, that was published in the Jan. 19 edition of The Philadelphia Daily News.
A letter from Light in the Jan. 20 edition of the San Francisco Examiner concluded with an identical sentence, but with an address for Light all the way across the country in Daly City, California.
Variations of Light’s letter ran in Ohio’s Mansfield News Journal on Jan. 13, with Light claiming an address in Mansfield; in New Mexico’s Ruidoso News on Jan. 12, claiming an address in Three Rivers; in South Carolina’s The Sun News on Jan. 18, claiming an address in Myrtle Beach; and in the Daily News Leader of Staunton, Virginia on Jan. 15, claiming an address in Waynesboro. Her publications list includes other papers in Ohio, West Virginia, Maine, Michigan, Iowa, Pennsylvania and California, all claiming separate addresses.
Ms. Eaton also reports that Light sent her a similar missive in mid-January, about the time the letter writing campaign began. Light has also refused to answer questions from the Plain Dealer reporter about her publishing efforts and all those different residences.
Personally, I began to suspect that what’s going on here is a concerted effort on the part of some union, or perhaps on the part of ACORN to pass this off as “grass roots”. The fact is, I wouldn’t put it past any group supporting Obama , but it would certainly be interesting to trace back who is involved.
As an example; how is it that no mention is made in any of the articles on this subject of the postmark in which these letters were supposedly mailed? If they were E-mailed , how was it that nobody has looked at the mail headers which would clearly reveal the point of origin? Clearly, the attempt is being made on the part of someone or, likely, several someones that Obama has far more support than he really has. What is, after all, the Obama “grown government” campaign (which is always ongoing) but a bandwagon argument, writ large?
Patterico in the article Spook links, adds a crumb of info to this mess…
On an unrelated note, recall that recently, Glenn Greenwald flagged the fact that Obama’s pal (and head of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs) Cass Sunstein recently wrote this paper suggesting something sounding a lot like Astroturfing:
Sunstein advocates that the Government’s stealth infiltration should be accomplished by sending covert agents into “chat rooms, online social networks, or even real-space groups.” He also proposes that the Government make secret payments to so-called “independent” credible voices to bolster the Government’s messaging (on the ground that those who don’t believe government sources will be more inclined to listen to those who appear independent while secretly acting on behalf of the Government).
And there’s this, also; does anybody truly think that this is the only effort at presenting Obama as having more support than he actually does? There is, I fear, something uncomfortable in all of this, something alarmingly similar to the efforts of Joseph Goebbels, Hugo Chavez, Fidel Casto, and Stalin, to name but a few.
Cass Sunstein using the tactics of Joe Goebbels. Yeah, I guess that makes sense.
And, leave it to Greenwald to support such tactics.
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