I love puppet shows. Punch and Judy, Bert and Ernie…Glenn Greenwald and Ellison. Good stuff, good stuff.

Never heard of that third duo? Then you’ve got some blog reading to do.

First, Ace:

This unsavory blog points out something curious — curious, but quite easily explained, as we shall soon see.

Several commenters, it appears, have appeared on several different blogs, under several different names, all defending Glenn Greenwald in not-so-different language, making not-very-different-at-all points about Mr. Greenwald’s accomplishments and career and all-around fabulousness.

This blogger — this internet smear-merchant — hints, rather nastily, if you ask me, that perhaps these defenders of Glenn Greenwald are all, in fact, the same man. Go over to that blog to read these scurrillous suggestions.

Ace then proceeds to demonstrate that, in the fine tradition of slightly unhinged leftwing writers, Glenn Greenwald has been using a—wait for it—sock puppet to defend himself and praise his own brilliance. Do read Ace’s post. You’ll find it enlightening. The puppet’s name: Ellison. As in Ralph Ellison, author of Invisible Man. Ellison and Greenwald share common word usages, syntax, and the all-important IP address. Ace alleges, with a great deal of evidence, that “Ellison” is in fact Greenwald sporting a mask, lurking in the comment threads of blogs far and wide to defend and praise…Greenwald.

Dirty deeds, done at the price of internet service. But that’s not all.

Patterico finds three, count ’em three, different entities praising Mr. Greenwald over at Ace’s site, Riehl World and Jeff Goldstein’s blog, using remarkably similar language. And like Greenwald and “Ellison,” these three share the same IP address.

I’m sure there’s an innocent explanation for all of this. Perhaps there’s yet another identity at the top of all this called Sybil. Perhaps Mr. Greenwald just lives in a crowded house where everyone just happens to spend a lot of time on the internet praising Greenwald using very similar language. And they’re all deeply familiar with Greenwald’s career. Yeah, that must be it.

Or…well, I just can’t think of another explanation that makes any sense. Greenwald is always badgering everyone else to be honest and forthright. Surely he’s not a dishonest hack dumb enough to think he can spread sock puppets all across the blogs of some of the sharpest conservatives around (one of whom busted a real live LA Times columnist’s sock puppetry) and get away with it.

Surely it’s not that.

We all await Mr. Greenwald’s explanation.

Update: A fourth sock puppet? Pretty soon we’ll need a chart to keep track.

Update: Greenwald defends. His basic defense, once you get past the grandstanding, is that he didn’t do it, and insinuates that his partner did. Which may be true–it’s at least possible on the facts and could explain why four identities have used the same IP but different names to defend him. But his defense post does follow the basic pattern of those sock puppet comments that defended him on several conservative blogs. Which is interesting, if not enough to convict.