Huntsville Times gets scammed by Obama astroturfer

The Saturday Huntsville Times published a Letter to the Editor from “Ellie J. Light, Huntsville 35811″, who gushed about Obama and said that “governing is hard work”.

Turns out, “Ellie Light sure gets around” according to Sabrina Eaton of the Cleveland Plain Dealer “Obama has suspicious number of letter-writing fans named ‘Ellie Light’” (read the whole article – it’s instructive):

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…

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.

Ace at Ace of Spades says:

Whether Axelrod (did I mention? “the gold standard of astroturf campaigns”) is behind any of this, I don’t know (but he almost certainly is).

Create the illusion of a inevitability. Make people think they are almost alone in disapproving of Obama, so that they self-censor and won’t say they disapprove of Obama, and thereby make other people think they’re alone in that too.

PR, PR, PR. Spin, spin, spin. Alinsky, Alinsky, Alinsky.

It was always dishonest. Now it’s just pathetic.

Note to the editorial page of The Times:  the Plain Dealer article includes some suggestions on how to counteract leftist dirty tricks like this.  As always, we’re pleased to help you guys improve the paper when possible…

Seriously, it sucks to be taken advantage of – but had the newspapers done a better job of vetting Obama before the election you would have known about his campaign’s use of these tactics – and maybe even reported on it (however see John Edwards for an example of what the media willingly hides).

UPDATE:

Patterico has a round up, so far he’s counted letters in “42 publications in 18 states plus D.C.” by “Ellie Light”:

Think there might be some phony Astroturfing there?

7 thoughts on “Huntsville Times gets scammed by Obama astroturfer

  1. I wonder how this letter got selected for all these papers. Oh wait no I don’t, it shows that there are not as many prObama letters as they would like so they had to use this one to get their message out.

  2. Seriously, how does this happen? I’ve had dozens of LOEs published by newspapers across the country and EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM called and verified that I was who I said I was and the letter was mine.

  3. I was sure the Times requires a phone number for any letter published. Oh but wait, it was pro Obama so the Times need not have a reason for a number.

  4. I emailed Bob Ludwig, the publisher of the Huntsville Times, and asked if we would see anything in the Times explaining the Ellie Light letter. So far, studious silence.

  5. Pingback: About that letter from Ellie Light | flashpoint