Gannet Wisconsin Media acknowledged that they were duped by Obama astroturfer ‘Ellie Light’:
A woman named Ellie Light (if that is her real name) recently duped dozens of newspapers around the country, including some here in Wisconsin, into printing her letter praising President Barack Obama as if she were a local resident…
Since the Cleveland Plain Dealer broke the story Friday, Light’s bogus letter has been found in more than 60 papers and counting…
We apologize that this letter appeared on our Web site.
Thanks to Michelle Malkin for spotting the apology.
I expected The Huntsville Times to inform their readers that they were scammed by Ellie Light, so I looked through the Sunday and Monday editions for a note from the Editor or even a correction. Nothing.
Note to Times Editor Kevin Wendt – you know (or should know) about this issue – you owe it to your readers to tell them that you published a letter praising Obama that was sent to you under false pretenses.
Patterico reports that “Newspaper Editors Begin to Address Pro-Obama Astroturfing” and praises Mike Throne, the Editor of Ohio’s Chillicothe Gazette, who writes:
I’ve written several times on Astroturfing — a way of sending form political letters to multiple news outlets with a few key strokes — and authored a column on Jan. 17 on how the Gazette was bolstering Opinion page procedures to make sure the opinions submitted were true and accurate.
Yes, the irony of having a letter to the editor situation blow up in your face just days after saying the newspaper is following new procedures isn’t lost on me. It’s embarrassing and regrettable.
But if we hadn’t followed those procedures, I’d feel a lot worse.
In this case we did follow them and were lied to about the local nature of the opinion and the address used. In short, we were duped.
Come on, Huntsville Times – inform your readers.