Sunday, January 24, 2010

Who is Ellie Light?

Thanks to regular reader Jill for sending me a link to this curious story being uncovered by Patterico and Co., after an observant reporter at the Cleveland Plain Dealer initially noticed something odd: a woman has had identical pro-Obama letters to the editor published in papers all over the country. One of the things that's strange is that in each letter Ellie claims to live in the newspaper's local area.

Ellie's letters have been published in "at least 62 publications in 29 states and the District of Columbia; national publications and a Yahoo link; and 2 foreign publications."

Ellie might have been acting on her own, but the story doesn't stop with Ellie: Patterico, DRJ, and their readers have found even more examples of this strange letter-writing campaign. For example, who is Mark Spivey? Who are Gloria Elle and Jan Chen? Gloria and Jan have had identical letters published in Seattle and Baltimore, for starters.

And who are Jen Park, Lars Deerman, and John F. Scott? Again, identical letters, different cities.

As Patterico notes in a post at Hot Air, Obama administration official Cass Sunstein explicitly advocates this kind of "astroturfing."

This story doesn't look like it will stop any time soon. It will be fascinating to learn who or what entity is behind this organized national campaign to influence public opinion via letters to the editor.

Update: Here's a summary of the reporting as of this evening.

January 26th Update: The Ellie Light aspect of the mystery is solved, at least to some extent...


Blogger jau said...


8:52 AM  

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