Saturday, January 23, 2010

Astroturfers 'R' Us

From the website of The Cleveland Plain Dealer:

In recent weeks, [Ellie] Light has published virtually identical “Letters to the Editor” in support of President Barack Obama in more than a dozen newspapers. Every letter claimed a different residence for Light that happened to be in the newspaper’s circulation area.

And at last count, Patterico and his intrepid commenters have documented letters from "Ellie Light" in at least 41 publications throughout 17 states.

If that woman is on the up-and-up, we have an example of an Obama supporter who has five times as many houses as John McCain! (Hat-tip to Patterico for inspiring that paraphrased snark)

All kidding aside, it's worth noting that my hometown newspaper, The Aberdeen American News, will not publish any letter to the editor unless it contains a mailing address and telephone number for verification purposes. It seems now that any newspaper of integrity should follow that rule at an absolute minimum.

Update: As of January 24, make that 47 newspapers in at least 23 different states. Patterico and the gang are tireless in sniffing this thing out. Good work, everyone!

Update: More delicious goodness from Patterico. The hits just keep on coming!

...the latest count for Ellie Light’s letter. It has appeared in at least 62 publications in 29 states and the District of Columbia; national publications and a Yahoo link; and 2 foreign publications

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