Friday, September 18, 2009

Ben Stein's Employer Trying to Silence Blogger

Yahoo columnist Stein shills for creeps trying to ruin a blogger's life

Seems that Freescore, the sleazy outfit for which Ben Stein is shilling, is on the warpath against a blogger who criticized these creeps. Public Citizen has intervened on the blogger's behalf.

The irony is that the litigation involves Yahoo, which employs Stein as a columnist. Sound familiar?

The citizen watchdog group says:

Adaptive Marketing, a company that has drawn a bevy of consumer complaints and negative media coverage for its services, should not be able use the courts to unmask an anonymous blogger in retaliation for articles that questioned the companys bait-and-switch business tactics, Public Citizen said today in a motion filed in superior court in Stamford, Conn.

The company, which uses TV personality and commentator Ben Stein to hawk its offer of free credit scores to consumers, has filed a motion with the court asking that Yahoo! be ordered to identify the blogger behind the flaneur de fraude blog. Yahoo! was the target of the discovery because flaneur has a Yahoo! email address. The blogger, along with media outlets such as The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post, wrote about how Adaptive and its parent company Vertrue, Inc., mislead consumers through schemes such as offering free credit scores and then adding recurring charges to their monthly credit card bills for other services.

Oh, I'd be remiss in not pointing out the URL of the blog Stein's employers are trying to silence:

I repeat: Be sure to bookmark that.

Take a bow, Ben Stein! You really have sold your soul on this one. But I must admit, you certainly are getting some terrific publicity for Freescore, as well as yourself, and from more than just your old pal Felix Salmon. Let's hope regulators shut it down, and fast, thanks to your good work.

The target of this litigation is Yahoo, because the blogger has a Yahoo email address.

Stein does a column for Yahoo, one entitled, ironically enough, "How to Not Ruin Your Life."

Yessireebob, this fellow is a walking conflict of interest.

I can't for the life of me understand how Yahoo can use Stein to offer personal finance advice under these circumstances. Hell, it's wrangling in court with his employers--guys who are trying to ruin a blogger's life. Seems pretty open-and-shut to me.

UPDATE: Adaptive Marketing is apparently going berserk, suing everybody in sight. Meanwhile it has a Senate subpoena heading its way. Oh goodie.

© 2009 Gary Weiss. All rights reserved.

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