Archive for January, 2010|Monthly archive page

One Reader’s (In)sincere Plea on Behalf of Barack Obama

I never really got this blog going, it’s been five months since I posted anything, and the first thing I do is reblogging.

Sigh…

I need to change the tone of my blog, make it more about honest discussion and reasoned opinions. Then I need to post more often. In the meantime, here’s something that I find very disturbing:

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?

What I find most disturbing is not just that this is obviously either a) a fake letter to the editor, or b) a real letter being passed around like a chain email and updated to make it fit each community. No, what disturbs me is the thought that each of the editors who published it likely (to my mind, at least) did so knowing it was not from a genuine reader of their paper. Such blatant and obvious disregard for journalistic integrity from the people who control how Americans get their information should disturb everyone.

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