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Wisconsin newspaper chain apologizes for running Ellie Light’s Astroturf letter

By Michelle Malkin  •  January 25, 2010 07:41 PM

One down. Fiftysomething to go. An apology from Gannett Wisconsin Media for getting duped by Astroturf Ellie:

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.

The letter appeared in three Gannett Wisconsin Media newspapers, including the Door County Advocate. As a result, it also appeared on the Green Bay Press-Gazette’s Web site.

…People intent on duping us are using more sophisticated methods all of the time. We catch many mass-mailed form letters, but this person managed to get past editors with a simple misstatement of fact.

Like many newspapers, the Press-Gazette already requires writers to provide a street address and phone number (not for publication) for verification purposes.

We still believe in the inherent honesty of many letter writers, but this case will find us reviewing the incident to determine whether additional safeguards are necessary.

We apologize that this letter appeared on our Web site.



I’ll be discussing the Astroturf presidency tonight on Hannity/FNC at approx. 9:30pm Eastern.

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