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Hannity And Malkin Baselessly Conclude Prolific Emailer Is Obama Astroturfer

Reported by Ellen - January 26, 2010 -

A mysterious woman, going by the name Ellie Light, has been emailing newspapers across the country, defending President Obama from criticism. Apparently, Light uses a different, local address for each newspaper she writes to so that she appears to be in their base of readership. Odd, yes. But there’s nothing to prove she has been doing it at the behest of the Obama administration. But that didn’t stop Michelle Malkin and Sean Hannity from claiming, with certainty, that Light has been Astroturfing for Obama. With video.

Hannity opened the discussion by saying, “I read on a really good website today, this is Astroturfing by Democrats.” The website was Malkin’s. Hannity seemed to be referring to this post by the Self-righteous Sourpuss, herself. In it, Malkin offers absolutely no proof that Light is connected to the Obama administration other than that the SS thinks so.

La Sourpuss wrote, “A Cleveland Plain Dealer blog first broke the story over the weekend of a “suspicious” letter-writer named “Ellie Light” who submitted more than a dozen pro-Obama letters to the editors in recent weeks using addresses from Philadelphia to California and all points in between. Open-source-optimizing blogger Patterico has added much more information on both “Donald Trump Astroturfing” (”a letter published in multiple places from one person claiming to live in multiple cities”) and “David Axelrod Astroturfing” (”identical letters published in multiple places claiming to be from different people”).” That was enough for Malkin to conclude, “The bogus letters are just the latest example of Obama theater — doctors in costumes, town hall stage props, trumped-up Obamacare anecdotes, kiddie proxies, etc., etc., etc.”

In other words, it looked like Astroturfing to Malkin, therefore, it had to be Astroturfing.

Sure enough, Hannity considered that an authoritative explanation.

With her signature condescension, Malkin sneered, “I called the Obama administration the Astroturf presidency and this is just the latest example of spreading a bogus sense of grass roots support when it’s obviously entirely manufactured.”

So let’s just say Light is an Astroturfer. She could be from any number of Obama-supporting organizations and have no connection to the White House. In fact, Light has denied being an Astroturfer. In an email to Sabrina Eaton of the Plain Dealer, Light wrote, “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 either Hannity or Malkin knew that information, they did not think it worth relaying to the "we report, you decide" networks audience.

Instead, Malkin really ramped up her sanctimoniousness as she declared, “This is just one more example of how this administration a) engages in projection because they’re the ones always accusing the tea parties, conservatives, the right, of top down manufacturing of grass roots dissent when obviously, they’re calling the kettle black.”

Yet, in her very next statement, Malkin admitted the “digging” was still “taking place.” Malkin continued, “I think the more information we find out about (Light's) internet fingerprints, the closer we’ll be to establishing (her ties to Obama).” In other words, Malkin really had no idea whom Light was connected to or not.

Laughably, after engaging in such shoddy journalism, herself, Malkin got up on her high horse to self-righteously disparage the newspapers. “Where are all the gate keepers? You know, thank goodness for this one woman at the Cleveland Plain Dealer. But TONS of people fell down on the job. Where’s the due diligence on the part of these editors of letters sections to make sure that they’re actually printing something that is bona fide and sincere?” Then, as if she had not already taken enough license with the truth, she declared, also without offering any evidence for such a claim, “This is the reason why newspapers are dying.”