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‘Ellie Light’ – Astroturfing For Obama

From the Cleveland Plain Dealer:

Obama has suspicious number of letter-writing fans named ‘Ellie Light’

By Sabrina Eaton, The Plain Dealer
January 22, 2010

Ellie Light sure gets around.

In recent weeks, 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.

“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.

Light – who e-mailed an identical missive to this reporter on Jan. 16 without listing a hometown – would not answer e-mailed questions about the address discrepancies in newspapers that ran her letter, or her identity, although she did say she wasn’t a former co-worker of this reporter’s who had a similar name.

“I do not write as a representative of any organization,” she said in an e-mail. “The letter I wrote was motivated by surprise and wonderment at the absence of any media support for our President, who won a record-breaking election by a landslide less than 18 months ago, and now, seems to be abandoned by all, supposedly for the infantile reason that he couldn’t make all of Bush’s errors disappear in one day.”

University of Missouri journalism professor Tom Rosenstiel, co-author of a textbook on journalistic values titled “The Elements of Journalism,” reacted with surprise and wonderment upon learning of Light’s widespread publication under multiple addresses.

He said newspapers might be able to avoid similar situations in the future by requesting street addresses and home telephone numbers from would-be correspondents, and verifying that those addresses and phone numbers exist.

"Just because it is inconvenient for us in the news business to find out who people are doesn’t mean it isn’t important anymore,” Rosenstiel said. “It is not OK for people to have multiple identities. This is something that people in the news business and in the business of printing “letters to the editor” need to be aware of.”

Patterico’s Pontifications has subsequently discovered that Ms. Light’s letter has appeared in at least 42 publications in 18 states, plus the District of Columbia – as of this hour.

Mr. Axelrod has taught her/them his ‘astro-turfing’ technique very well.

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Saturday, January 23rd, 2010. Comments are currently closed.

44 Responses to “‘Ellie Light’ – Astroturfing For Obama”

  1. proreason

    This is interesting.

    Did the 42 publications collaborate? that’s hard to believe.

    Or did they all find Ellie’s missive so compelling that they couldn’t resist publishing it? That seems more believable.

    Have you ever written to a newspaper? It’s almost impossible to get a letter published that espouses conservative values.

    But we know it can’t be liberal bias.

    The newspapers have judged themselves to be totally objective.

    So this will have to remain a mystery.

  2. lunaticcringeradio

    well you know progressive socialists think us conservatives aren’t smart enough to catch on to tricks like that, and they know the very media outlets they are writing to will ignore the findings.

  3. mr_bill

    Didn’t her supervisers tell her that she is supposed to change her name from one publication to the next, lest somebody with an internet connection and a reasonable sense of journalistic inquisitiveness put two and two together.

  4. take_no_prisoners

    My money is on Ellie Light being a pseudonym for Michelle Obama!

  5. GL0120

    Great article in Drudge about this!
    Sounds like Obama’s publicity machine kicked into overdrive for this one.
    Ellie hit the democrat’s talking points right on the head but she declined to provide a phone number so that a reporter from the Cleveland Plain Dealer could interview her.
    I guess eloquence only goes so far.

  6. kk

    There is no way “Ellie Light” is from Three Rivers, NM

    There is literally nothing in Three Rivers. It’s 30 miles from the nearest town.

  7. Alan_Speakman

    This is all too reminiscent of the astroturfing of over 200 pro-ObamaCare newspaper articles within 24 hours, which occurred last April by “Families USA”, which works closely with ACORN and SEIU. Oh, I wonder who’s behind this one, I really do. NOT.

  8. JaneLovesJesus

    “Ellie Axelrod” is right about this: Papers are eager to print blather that support their template. Too bad some basic, basic verification is oh so hard & time-consuming.

    Come on, now, bloggers! Show ‘em how it’s done! Who’s going to be the first to reveal Ellie’s real identity? Seems newsworthy to me.

  9. EllieLight

    My name is Ellie Light, and I am an individual amazed at the lack of support offered for President Obama, especially by people of his own party, by people who worked very hard to elect him. By design, this email will land in the in-boxes of Obama’s opponents, and I’ve got to hand you one thing. You guys know a thing or two about loyalty. When President Bush became unpopular for his decisions, you guys stood by him. When Trent Lott and Delay told the pro-lifers and school-prayer folks to put a cork in it, because “now is not the time,” you did as you were told. And no sarcasm intended, because it was good for the GOP to show some loyalty. We Dems appear to have zero. Take the Guantanamo decision. Obama promised he’d close it. What about the prisoners? Do we ship ‘em back to their country of origin? Do we force them on a particular US state? Anyone with a brain would realize that there are many steps between stating the intention of closing it, and sending the prisoners on thier way. But count on us Dems to start calling “Liar, Liar.” Oh, and of course, we Democrats are the same people who complain about the growing power of the Executive Branch, pointing out that ever since Nixon, the President’s war-making power, and over-reaching Executive privilege have increased. But yet, we Democrats complain the loudest that the President lacks what it takes do the things he promised, at least not fast enough. You know. Do them right now. Before my coffee gets cold and I have to change the TV station. Speaking of TV, that “put the cameras in the health care debate” attack was another self-defeating move. As if it were the President’s decision alone to muscle past Congress and force the cameras into their faces. The President can promise to do something, but what with the world collapsing around us and all, it might take a little time to work through each promise. But I think it makes us Democrats feel independent and enlightened to deliver up stinging critiques of Obama’s every action. It shows the world that we are not blind followers. As if it were a point of embarrassment to stand by a President in a tough moment. Sheesh. Trash Obama so you can burnish your credentials as a Peace Activist. Trash Obama so you can sound like a Genuine Liberal. What Priorities. Heaven forbid that a person set aside their timetable and allow a new President to get his bearings. So I’m not surprised with you guys, the folks who stay up late finding something sinister in everything Obama says and does. You’re just carrying out your beliefs. It’s like church. I’m mostly just shocked with my own kind, because, unless we Democrats learn a bit about loyalty, about a unified front, you Tea Partiers will all enjoy front row seats to kiss the feet of Queen Sarah on the White House lawn in January 2013.

    • ptat

      You go , Ellie girl! (LA girl?) Very deep stuff, young lady! You are so, like, wow, and stuff!

    • Liberals Demise

      Better the Sarahs’ feet than the closet muslims’ ass……..at any time!!

      Go back to your mushroom farm.
      BTW…..how many times “DID YOU” vote for dingleBarry?

    • proreason

      Ellie, so glad you joined this website.

      I haven’t been able to find any Obama Bucks yet.

      Where can I get some?

    • mr_bill

      Ellie, sounds like you have a party full of people who like to change the rules whenever it suits them (or sell out their own [white] grandmother for political gain). And you can’t figure out where the lack of ‘loyalty’ comes from? Really?! Thanks for the laugh.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      Mark Antony came to mind….but only in how much unlike his speech is to Smellie’s words.

      “Allow a new president to get his bearings”????

      But, he was the best thing to happen to the presidency since Easter on the White House Lawn. Or maybe even Easter itself, according to some. He had all the answers, although, to be fair, he knew none of the questions. Such is the trademark of a classic liar and cheat.

      Your timetable to allow a president to “get his bearnigs” is how long exactly? Or is it that you expect a few years of “upheaval” which, when considering the Fourth Reich (AKA Obama administration) will last a thousand years or more, right?

      My god, Smellie. You make more excuses for this pathetic example of “leadership” than a hack golfer with a hangover. You’ve clearly let your grip on reality loose and it’s all over the place, peeing on the furniture and digging holes in the rosebed.

      Yup, stinging critiques of Obama are absolutely correct. He’s a socialist/fascist and desires nothing more than to have people like you fall into lock step with the mantra that he’s right and everyone else is wrong. Hope your loyalty to him will win you a place in the royal bedchamber. You deserve it.

    • Steve

      And, for the record, this really is Ellie Light herself.

    • jobeth

      Steve…I know you can’t actually tell us, but I would love to know where she lives now..lol

    • Steve

      The IP of her comment traces back to the Reston, VA area.

      (Which is odd, since she/it/they claims to live in Massachusetts on her Yahoo profile.)

    • Liberals Demise

      “ODD” indeed!!

      Must be multi (ACORN) stational………State wise!!

    • jobeth

      Why isn’t it surprising that ‘she’ is from the DC area.

      The lefty shenanigans in DC just never end. They just get ‘curiouser and curiouser’.

      If this was in a work of fiction we would complain it was too far out there to be plausible.

      We really do have a bunch of adolescents in DC.

      Thanks Steve

    • tranquil.night

      “By design, this email will land in the in-boxes of Obama’s opponents”

      So was this poster posting the email, or are they the emailer?

      Either way, Axelrod, we’re in your head and we’re not planning to move out until you’ve moved out of our White House.

      The students of history know you better than you know yourself.

    • Confucius

      Before Ellie Light posted, she had to have registered an e-mail address.

      Can you trace the e-mail address? Better yet, can you tell us what it is?

  10. sheehanjihad

    To Smellie Blight…spammer extraordinaire….your attempt to play the public is too little, too late. We have seen the man behind the curtain….and we are here to give him back a heart, a brain, and courage. It seems he needs them a lot more than we do. We are still in Kansas, and the left is still in Oz. Toto just pissed on your parade, and your attempts to seem genuine are just as false as your fearless leader’s attempts to seem like a leader. Ellie…er…David. Give it up. You lost.

  11. sheehanjihad

    To Smellie Blight…spammer extraordinaire….your attempt to play the public is too little, too late. We have seen the man behind the curtain….and we are here to give him back a heart, a brain, and courage. It seems he needs them a lot more than we do. We are still in Kansas, and the left is still in Oz. Toto just pissed on your parade, and your attempts to seem genuine are just as false as your fearless leader’s attempts to seem like a President. Ellie…er…David. Give it up. You lost.

  12. VMAN

    It seems Ellie Light doesn’t have the guts to respond to the truth about him or her. Another thing Ellie PLEASE don’t call yourself a Democrat. I know Democrats. John McCain is a Democrat and you’re no Democrat.

  13. proreason

    Ellie’s friends are coming out of the woodworks:

    http://patterico.com/2010/01/2.....ma-letter/

    Of course this seems trivial and humorous, but consider…unemployment rising, massive government takeovers in progress, terrorists mounting their attacks…..and they choose to spend their time managing letter-writing campaigns.

    That’s what you get with a Community Organizer. They will do what they know how to do.

  14. Confucius

    It looks like Obama’s people are reading S&L.

    Who knew they could read?

    • jobeth

      Pay attention WH and minions…you just might learn something.

      If nothing else…you just might learn “We The People” actually does have meaning!

  15. jobeth

    This ‘Ellie’ thing fits the profile for the left.

    Need ‘grassroots’ letters to the editor? (that don’t materialize from real people)

    Why, just create them. (however…they should try being a little more creative by at least giving all the letters their own separate authors)

    Hey…it worked for voting! They didn’t have enough votes so they just created them…ie the dead, Micky Mouse…etc.

    More indication ACORN is behind ‘Ellie’

  16. Steve

    I suspect that this whole ‘Ellie Light’ letter writing campaign was an Organizing For America production.

    Remember all the heat that OFA has been getting over the last couple of weeks — even before the Coakley loss?

    They are trying to prove their effectiveness with this kind of damage control, I suspect.

    They have to hold on to their funding and their phony-baloney jobs.

    • jobeth

      “They are trying to prove their effectiveness with this kind of damage control ”

      If it is OFA, they have only managed to further prove their ineptitude with this stunt.

      Whoever is behind this has only generated laughter AT themselves. They are only exposing their idiocy

  17. tranquil.night

    smellie responded to us:

    In a Sunday morning e-mail to The Plain Dealer, Light denied speculation that she’s actually President Obama, his wife, Michelle, or National Security Council member Samantha Power.

    “I’m flattered, and I must give the Tea Partiers credit for even knowing who [Power] is,” Light’s e-mail said. “But what I want to point out is that, if I were a person trying to imply this huge groundswell of support for our beleaguered president, then I would have signed the letter with different names. However, as you may have noticed, my main point is that absence of support for the president.

    “If my letter were boilerplate [White House senior adviser David] Axelrod dribble, as has been suggested by your new fan club, it would not have been published.”

    Hmm..

    • Steve

      “Axelrod dribble”

      Typically sub-literate Obama supporter.

      (And I always found the suggestion that she/he/it/they is/are Samantha Power laughable.)

    • jobeth

      Hmm, is right…She still fails to answer why she “lives” in so many places at once.

      She hasn’t convinced me. Try again Ellie.

    • tranquil.night

      Usually I take defensive maneuvers such like self-deprecation as a sign of hitting a nerve. Your OFA thesis is probably solid, Steve.

      Either way the phenomenon is unsurprising and the Ellies’ criticism of their own base even less so; the right and left are engaged in an ideological battle and we’re winning because we’re articulating our values and why they work. Now the left’s coalition is falling apart, and so the Ellies and Ellie copycats are the incensed diehard ideologues that are trying to guilt their own party back into line.

      Anyone still working for Organizing for America at this point has to be a die-hard Obamanaught.

      “She still fails to answer why she ‘lives’ in so many places at once.” – Yep

      Malkin again has another must-read perspective on smellie: http://michellemalkin.com/2010.....residency/ That woman is a loaded pistol.

      “When Obama’s Soros-funded, Big Labor-directed, K Street-organized goons engage in classic projection and you need a glib way to call out the pot calling the kettle black, just snap back: Who is Ellie Light?”

    • jobeth

      TN…start watching and listening to the peppering of certain words that conservs have been calling for, ie ‘common sense’ etc, in the ‘talking points’ of the left now. Gibbs included that in his Sunday interview with Wallace on Fox.

      I’ve been seeing an uptick of their cloaking their own positions in conservative position statements .

      I suppose they hope to confuse the lazy that they own those words and phrases…by using the verbiage, all the while continuing to further their own agenda…stealthily.

      When that happens…we know we are winning and they are against the ropes. We can’t let up.

  18. jobeth

    Speaking of OFA…

    I noticed the first two bullet points on their “About” page tend to prove out your position Steve.

    “*Joining grassroots OFA campaigns to support the President’s agenda. Online, on the phone, on doorsteps and in town halls in communities across the country, we’re building the bottom-up support that makes real change possible.

    “*Spreading the word to friends and neighbors about the President’s approach on the big issues facing our nation, like health care, energy and education. Nothing is more powerful than your voice in your community. ”

    http://www.barackobama.com/learn/about_ofa.php

  19. NoNeoCommies

    I always have to remind myself that the leftist Astroturfers are really unimaginative and particularly lazy.
    Taking a set of talking points or a sample letter and not changing at least a few words or the sentence order after you did not even have to write it is major lameness.

    They have become dependent on a complicit (and ignorant/lazy) media to never look closely or investigate in the least anything that they agree with.

  20. U NO HOO

    Ellie: The light of the sun. From the name Alice, Eleanor, Ella, Ellen and Helen. Also used as independent names.


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