James Lileks hoaxed by "Ellie Light"


"Ellie Light" is getting a lot of attention after the Cleveland Plain Dealer revealed that newspapers across the country had printed the opinions of someone using that name invariably identified as a "local resident."

James Lileks, the Star Tribune columnist who has himself been the subject of some identity-bending chicanery (and sometimes masquerades as his twin brother "Jimmy"), attempted to wade into the funhouse, only to get lost among the mirrors.

Lileks called someone claiming to be "Ellie Light," and printed an interview with her ...

Do I think she's real? Sure. A little googling on the phone number and some property records suggests she's an actual human, as opposed to a political operative or a cyborg sent back from the fall of 2010 to change an election.

... but now indicates that he was likely hoaxed

Oh, I give up now. Ben Smith updates, and points to this Gawker piece. I officially do not care anymore. Except I'll say this: I matched the area code from the phone "Ellie" gave me to real estate records in the area, and came up with an Eleanor Light, which led me to believe - in my silly, trusting way! - that there was a reasonable connection between the person who sent all the letters, including the original one, and an actual human named Eleanor Light. I even saw the house on Google.  Now this Texas stuff.

I will say this: the Gawker quotes sound nothing like the person to whom I spoke. The more I think of it, the more I discount the Texas stuff. Someone's having fun, that's for certain.