Reader Mail

Where Credit Is Due

More reactions to Ben Stein's Expelled II. Plus FreeScore, John Hughes, Linda Douglass and more.

8.12.09


EXTRA CREDIT
Re: Ben Stein's Expelled From the New York Times:

A class act does not belong with the politburo. I will no longer pick up the times when I stop by the 7/11 for a cup of Joe!
-- DG

Thank you for having an intelligent and humorous writer such as Mr. Stein as part of your team. If you would, please pass on to Mr. Stein that I will be thanking God for him and his work. (since I have the audacity to call the Intelligent Designer by his actual name!!) Keep up the great work.
-- Teresa Rainone, MD

I found a portion of Mr. Stein's article to be rather false:

"They confused (or some of them seemingly confused) FreeScore with other companies that did not have FreeScore's unblemished record with consumer protection agencies. (FreeScore has a perfect record.)"

I checked freescore.com at the BBB and their parent company, Vertrue, came up. This company has an F with the BBB. While this rating isn't specifically for freescore.com, I can't imagine that the parent company would suddenly start conducting this one website in an upstanding manner, given their past and present track record. This info took less than 5 minutes to dig up, and frankly I'm disappointed that Mr. Stein couldn't make that effort. These sites are notorious for their shady practices, and I highly doubt freescore.com will be the one to turn that reputation around.
-- Renee

Mr. Stein says "I had done a commercial for an Internet aggregating company called FreeScore. This commercial offered people a week of free access to their credit scores and then required them to pay for further such access."

Yes, he did that. But that's not all he did in the commercial. It is my understanding that the freescore.com folks only give you the credit SCORE free -- you have to pay for the credit REPORT (which you can actually get free elsewhere, because federal law requires that). Unless my understanding is seriously flawed, Mr. Stein's commercial plays the typical marketing word games, alternating between SCORE and REPORT frequently, but carefully attaching the "free" adjective only to the SCORE, giving viewers the impression that they can get the REPORT free from freescore.

From the commercial: "You can't fix errors in your credit report if you haven't seen it...freescore...gives me access to the three major credit reports and scores."

Few people would come away from that commercial thinking they had to pay freescore to get a credit REPORT.

Should the Times have axed Stein over this? I don't know. Depends on what their ethics policy says, and I'm not privy to that. Should Mr. Stein have been more honest in his description of the freescore commercial? Methinks yes, he sure as shooting should.
-- Lee Russ

Well, Ben. Maybe if you hadn't slandered hard-working psychiatrists so maliciously, like this former veep of TCU's YAF chapter, your Karma might have remained intact.
-- Scott A Joseph, MD

Of course the New York Times is an arm of the Democratic Party and specifically Barack Obama. The damage the Times has done to America is inestimable. We have a president who is set on dismantling the very system of free-enterprise and capitalism that allowed and financed him into the presidency. He doesn't see -- Democrats don't see -- the irony in this. The capitalist/free-enterprise system has brought wealth to America and Americans and raised millions of non-Americans out of the depth of abject poverty with its use of its wealth. As has been said it is not a perfect system, there is none, it is only the best invented so far. And the success of the system has allowed citizens to live off the government and come to hate it. (Giving creates resentment and jealousy). And now, in great part because of the New York Times and other left-leaning media those who lived off the government are now in power AS the government. They cannot admit to the voters that there is much merit to the free-enterprise system for that would undermine the very arguments that elected them. I am sorry Ben Stein doesn't have a job there, but I never read the Times anyway. I am sorrier for America, Americans and the world, whose beacon of freedom -- The United States of America -- is being diminished. Perhaps permanently
-- Theodore M. Wight
Seattle, Washington

Freedom of expression in the U.S. has reached a tragic state, when columnists are terminated for expressing a view of the administration that is at variance with the newspaper's position. The Times has lived for many years under the blessings of Freedom of Speech. It is a shame to see that expansive view of freedom corrupted by the Times into a lowly vendetta for political reasons. It may be just another death throe paroxysm.
-- Ernest M. Raasch

Wear the dismissal from the NYT as a badge of honor and for friggin' sakes, stop buying the paper. You are loved and respected as a major public intellect by millions.
-- Fredic D. Ohr

THE KRUGMAN STANDARD
Re: Reader Mail's  Cancel My Times Subscription:

Reader Anthony Deutsch's advice that Ben Stein "shouldn't do commercials for cheesy free credit report outfits" seems in retrospect to be spot on. If Stein had followed Paul Krugman's lead, and limited his ties only to such business stalwarts as Enron, perhaps his position with the Times would have remained secure.
--Glen Hoffing
Shamong, New Jersey


DISHONEST VIRTUES
Re: Jeffrey Lord's When a President Lies: Why Linda Douglass Should Resign:

Why should Linda Douglass resign? She represents fittingly a president who should have another "middle" name: Mendacious.

Curious, though: If she's so willing to publicly lie so for the president, what possible moral underpinning would compel Douglass to resign? Clearly, allegiance to the man wins over allegiance to her conscience.
-- C. Kenna Amos Jr.

KIND OF WONDERFUL
Re: Andrew Cline's John Hughes: American Rebel:

I saw a quote from John Hughes somewhere that went along these lines: Over the years, his characters went from adults to teens to babies, and that he figured he'd be working with microscopic characters before long. When I hadn't heard of any recent work from him, I figured he dropped below the line of visibility to the naked eye.

Actually, I haven't seen all Hughes's movies, but the ones I have, I enjoyed, and usually a lot.
--Robert Nowall
Cape Coral, Florida

As a fan of motion pictures, I was not that big a fan of John Hughes, having only seen Ferris and Some Kind Of Wonderful. However, he was far better than the directors giving us the stuff we are seeing today. To be in his films he had a different requirement for his actors, it was called "talent". You knew when you went to the movie theater, it was going to be a quality project and John Hughes was going to deliver the goods.
-- Michael Skaggs
Murray, Kentucky

SILENT LAUGHTER
Re: Lloyd Daub's letter (under "Not to Die For") in Reader Mail's  We're Becoming Venezuela:

I have never considered Steve Martin (or Jim Carrey) to be funny. Hyperbolic, overbearing, crass, and rude? Yes. Funny? No.
-- David Shoup

JUST WORDS
Re: Peter Hannaford's Illusions and Delusions About the Uninsured:

The 46 million represent scads of illegal aliens who already receive equal or better medical care than U.S. citizens in places such as California and Arizona.

Besides, what's a little embellishment or two for the Obama administration?

And if they don't like the numbers, they'll just change them and pretend that they never gave earlier estimates, in the same fashion Obama denies what he's said, even if it's recorded in print and video.

Words, just words, according to Dr. Obama.
-- C. Kenna Amos Jr.
Princeton, West Virginia
 

Like this Article

Print this Article

Print Article