'Ellie Light' Astroturfing for Obama?

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," January 25, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: If you read a newspaper at all, you might be familiar with Ellie Light. Now, the mystery person has managed to plant nearly identical letters to the editor on editorial pages all across the country, voicing wholehearted support for President Obama.

But who is she? Well, depending on which paper she's writing to, Ellie has claimed to be a resident of Philly; of Williamstown, Massachusetts; Daley City, California among others. Now, to date her letters have been published in 47 newspapers.

Now, here's a taste of what Ellie has to say, quote, "The president is being attacked as if he 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."

Now, the Cleveland Plain Dealer put an end to this madness when it received a letter from Ellie and discovered this pattern.

And joining me with more answers on who this strange Obama supporter may be and if there is, well, more behind the Ellie Light affair than meets the eye, is the author of the number one New York Times best-seller, "Culture of Corruption." Michelle Malkin is here.

• Watch Sean's interview

I read on a really good Web site today this is Astroturfing by Democrats. I think it was your Web site, Michelle. Explain.

MICHELLE MALKIN, AUTHOR, "CULTURE OF CORRUPTION": Sure. Well, I call the Obama administration the Astroturf presidency. And this is just the latest example of spreading a bogus sense of grassroots support when it's obviously entirely manufactured.

And we have to give all due credit to Sabrina Eaton, who is a blogger at the Cleveland Plain Dealer in Ohio, who smoked this woman out. Now, of course, we still haven't seen her face. And I think, as important a question as who is she, is where is she? In fact, I think the newspaper count now is up to 65, close to 70 places...


MALKIN: ... that she has published her talking points in and claiming residence in some, you know, two dozen, probably more locations.

Now, there are a number of sleuths on the Internet, in the blogosphere, who have followed up, who have used open source information to try and track her down: her I.P. information, unique Internet identifier. It looks like she may be in California, and she has used a California address numerous times in both national and local newspapers.

But I think the point is that 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 grassroots dissent, when obviously, they're calling the kettle black.

HANNITY: Is there — is there a chance that she's connected to the Democratic establishment? Because if that's the case, that seems to me like that would be a huge story.

MALKIN: Well, that's where the digging is taking place. And I think the more information we find out about her Internet fingerprints, the closer we'll be to establishing that.

But my question is, where are all the gatekeepers? 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?

And certainly, there are people out there who believe the things that she says, independent of these Democrat organizations that are manufacturing this. But you've got to look at it in the context.

• Tell us who you think 'Ellie' is!

You've got David Axelrod, the senior White House adviser who is the king of Astroturf. And then his Astroturf twin, David Plouffe, who has just now been resurrected, pulled out of the closet, to help this flailing White House, both of them involved in massive manufactured support campaigns that have poured millions of dollars into their coffers.

HANNITY: You're raising great points, not the least of which, Michelle, is you know, where is the due diligence when the president and his economic team claim that, in spite of the four million job losses, that they somehow created two million jobs? Where is the due diligence there?

MALKIN: Certainly. And you would think that there would be people at these mainstream newspapers who have a better B.S. detector that, when they see these talking points recycled over and over again, that they should question where exactly these things are coming from.

And Patt Erico , who's a great blogger in California, who's uncovered a lot of this stuff, he's just at PattErico.com, has just uncovered what he calls two kinds of Astroturfing. This — this — he calls it Donald Trump Astroturfing of people who are writing the same letter and then claiming multiple residences. I call it frequent flyer Astroturfing.

And then there's the David Axelrod Astroturfing of multiple people cribbing from the same talking-points notes that you often see sent out by Organizing for America, the SEIU. Please. I mean, this is the reason why newspapers are dying.

HANNITY: Let me shift gears for just one second. We learned over the weekend that the Christmas bomber was only interrogated for 50 minutes before he was able to get his Miranda rights. In that 50-minute period of time, he warned that he knew that there were other specific plots again the United States.

Now, this raises the question that I raised at the time and you raised at the time and others raised at the time. That if we have a guy that has a bomb in his underwear, and he's trying to blow up an airplane and kill 300 people, and we don't interrogate this guy, how dangerous are we making this for the people in this country?

I think that's one of the biggest stories of this administration so far.

MALKIN: It should be. This is a story that ought to be on the front pages of every major newspaper, but instead we're getting all of Ellie Light's letters to the editor everywhere.

It underscores the law enforcement approach, the failed Ally McBeal approach to fighting terror. And as many people have joked to me in e- mails and I've seen on Twitter, as well, many people spend more time on job interviews than this guy had in the few minutes that he was interrogated by the incompetent FBI.

HANNITY: Well, Michelle, it's an eye-opening story. We appreciate your hard work and all the bloggers that you've mentioned. Those — those evil bloggers deserve a lot of credit.

All right. Thanks. Thanks for being with us.

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