Ben Stein’s Credit Report Fail

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Reuters‘ Felix Salmon has done yeoman’s work ruining what was left of the reputation of Ben Stein, the political commentator and D-list celebrity best known for his role in “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” a Comedy Central game show, and Visine ads. Unfortunately, Felix’s work on this hasn’t received nearly enough attention, and I still have to see Stein on my television at least four or five times a week. Stein’s latest gig is as a spokesman for Freescore.com, a “free credit report” site. If you know anything about Freescore’s competitors, you will realize is not a good place to go get a free credit score. Felix explains:

[On April 2,] a new FTC rule came into effect (read all 22 pages of it here), forcing all such websites to have a huge notice across the top of every web page, saying that AnnualCreditReport.com is the ONLY authorized source for credit reports under federal law, and providing a prominent link to this page.

Folks who are familiar with how these sites operate will not be surprised to learn that Freescore.com and Creditreport.com have so far ignored the FTC rule. FreeCreditReport.com (which is behind the most annoying of the “free” credit report ads you see on television) has taken its noncompliance a step further with a bizarre scheme that Felix explains here. “In any case,” Felix adds, “it’s pretty clear that both Freescore.com and CreditReport.com are simply in outright violation of the new laws. I look forward very much to seeing them slapped with some huge fines.”

Me, too. Maybe if the fine’s big enough, Freescore won’t be able to afford to pay Ben Stein any more money.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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