Ed Driscoll

Ellie Light -- The New Greg Packer

The legacy media has one man in the street it invariably turns to whenever it needs a quote from a “disinterested” observer — and apparently, the Lightworker has one person he turns to when he needs an “objective” opinion of how he’s doing. Meet Ellie Light. As Patterico notes,  “Someone appears to be doing a little Astroturfing for Obama”:

In recent days, a letter defending Obama has appeared in dozens of newspapers throughout the country — all signed by an “Ellie Light.” In the letters, which all use identical language, Ms. Light explains that Obama never promised to fix all our problems quickly or painlessly. She declares:

Today, the president is being attacked as if he’d promised that our problems would wash off in the morning. He never did. 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.

Editors all over the country found Light’s message strangely compelling. It was reprinted at The Politico; the Philadelphia Daily News; the San Francisco Examiner; the Washington Times; and a USA Today blog. In addition, the letter has appeared at literally dozens of small-town papers across the country, with names like the Los Banos Enterprise, the North Adams Transcript, and the Danbury News-Times.

Ms. Light always claims to be a local in these letters. Her real estate holdings are apparently prodigious, as she has claimed residences in Philadelphia, PA; Daly City, California; Mansfield, Ohio; Waynesboro, Virginia; Algoma, Wisconsin; Bangor, Maine; and dozens of other places. Who said Obama supporters were all downtrodden?

The story was originally broken by the Cleveland Plain Dealer, which published a thread of e-mail correspondence between the reporter and “Ellie Light.” But the original Plain Dealer story identified only the tip of the iceberg.

With the help of my commenters, I have been keeping a running total at my blog of the places where Light’s letter has appeared. At last count, her letter has appeared in at least 42 newspapers in at least 20 different states. [Update: It’s now “63 publications in 29 states and the District of Columbia”, according to a co-blogger at Patterico’s site. — Ed]

Insert obvious snark about layers and layers of fact checkers and editors earning their pay, here.

Update: And again. As Patterico himself writes, “Who is Mark Spivey? Another Obama Astroturfer.”