Skepticism

Ben Stein Shilling for Misleading Credit Report Company

Have you been lying awake at night wondering if Ben Stein ever got around to developing a sense of morality or love of truth and rationality? Allow me to put you at ease: he didn’t.

So sadThe image you are now attempting to avoid looking at directly appeared in my RSS reader this morning. At first glance I thought the spokesperson was a Mr. Potatohead that someone put in the microwave, but after a second glance I realized that yes, that’s Ben Stein. You may know Ben from his famous movie Expelled, in which he plays a creationist who was tragically born without the ability to notice that everyone is laughing at him, not with him. His Borat-like promotion for the film included in-character appearances on talk shows in which he claimed that science killed 6 million Jews and therefore should be destroyed, or at least exiled to an island off the coast of France or something.

Now, apparently desperate for money, Stein is shilling for FreeScore.com, one of the myriad sites that attempt to mislead consumers who have heard they’re allowed one free credit report a year. The correct, federally-mandated site for that is annualcreditreport.com. Sites like freescore.com go out of their way to be as not free as possible. In this case, freescore.com offers you a 7-day trial, and even that isn’t free—it costs $1, and if you want to end the trial and get your buck refunded, you have to call their toll-free number and beg for it. Beg for it like the dog you are.

If you fail to respond in time to stop the trial, you will be automatically charged $30 a month by freescore.com, a URL that becomes more ironic by the moment.

Compare all that to the real site, annualcreditreport.com, which will give you an electronic copy of your credit report without asking for any credit card number or payment.

So congrats, Ben Stein! You’ve hitched your wagon to yet another shady operation profitting from people who don’t know better.

And just for the record, that guy singing in the commercials is also shilling for a misleading company. Maybe he and Ben can start a variety show and take it on the road?

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Rebecca Watson

Rebecca leads a team of skeptical female activists at Skepchick.org. She travels around the world delivering entertaining talks on science, atheism, feminism, and skepticism. There is currently an asteroid orbiting the sun with her name on it. You can follow her every fascinating move on Twitter or on Google+.

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27 Comments

  1. At first glance I thought the spokesperson was a Mr. Potatohead that someone put in the microwave, but after a second glance I realized that yes, that’s Ben Stein.

    REBECCA! I almost lost it, and I’m at work. Oh my cheeses that was hysterical.

  2. What’s an RSS?

    As much as I hate Stein and I do loathe the guy he has done at least one thing I like. He wrote a long editorial for the NY Times a few years ago where he stated that we can not cut spending enough to get rid of the national debt and that we have to raise taxes on the rich. He didn’t sugar coat it and noted that this was hearasy among current conservatives. I quoted the entire article for a paper I was writing on the capital gains tax.

  3. @SkepticAngel: I just had to go through several rounds of phone calls with Comcast to get our Internet service transferred to our new apartment. They’ve got an automated recording from Shaq and Stein answering calls. I very nearly bit off the end of my phone.

  4. @Outsider: I dunno about that. Twitter isn’t all that great at updating each blog/website you want to keep up on, every day. Twitter is good to link other people to interesting blogs, but I like my RSS reader that updates me on sciencelbogs and other blogs every day. Twitter can’t do that.

  5. As for why anyone would be lacking sleep wondering whether Stein developed a sense of morality and rationality is beyond me… Although, if I knew him really well, I would be really worried about him and his sanity. ^_^

  6. I used to like that asshole, then he decided to make a shit propaganda piece for ID and blame science for the holocaust, then goes on to make statements like ” I was thinking to myself the last time any of my relatives saw scientists telling them what to do they were telling them to go to the showers to get gassed.” He and his fucking family have been americans for a very long time. Where as I do have relatives who died as a result of the Nazis and their gass chambers. He can go fuck himself.

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