Felix Salmon

Ben Stein’s sleazy paymasters, cont.

By Felix Salmon
November 18, 2009

Flâneur points me to the 35-page staff report for Jay Rockefeller on “Aggressive Sales Tactics on the Internet”. It concentrates on three extremely sleazy companies, all based in Norwalk, Connecticut: Affinion, Webloyalty, and our old friends Vertrue, the employers of Ben Stein. Here’s a typical datapoint:

Ben Stein’s antagonist is not a gangster

By Felix Salmon
October 7, 2009

Remember the desperate lawsuit launched by Adaptive Marketing, Ben Stein’s sleazy paymasters, trying to uncover the identity of a critical blogger? The good news is that it’s been dropped:

Ben Stein’s sleazy paymasters

By Felix Salmon
September 18, 2009

Ben Stein’s paymasters Adaptive Marketing, the owners of freescore.com, aren’t just predatory bait-and-switch merchants. They’re also litigious bullies.

Ben Stein and the plight of the upper-middle-class parent

By Felix Salmon
September 2, 2009

Now that he’s been fired from the New York Times, Ben Stein has popped up as a “contributor” to Fortune, of all places. (I’m not sure that “thank” is the right word, but I found out about this from Dan Gross.)

Ben Stein’s ethical lapse

By Felix Salmon
August 17, 2009

Edward Wasserman, who glories in the title of Knight professor of journalism ethics at Washington and Lee University, has mounted a weird half-hearted defense of Ben Stein in the Miami Herald. Yes, he says, Stein’s columns were “windy and self-indulgent”. But there was no ethical wrongdoing on Stein’s part, and the NYT was wrong to say that there was ethical wrongdoing when it fired him.

Ben Stein whines about being fired

By Felix Salmon
August 10, 2009

There are a couple of noteworthy nuggets in Ben Stein’s whiny account of his defenestration from the NYT. The main one is that, contra all appearances, he really was edited there:

Ben Stein finally Expelled from NY Times

By Felix Salmon
August 7, 2009

You’ll forgive me if I take some small measure of credit for this one: after something in the region of 35,000 words of the Ben Stein Watch, the world’s worst financial columnist has finally been fired from the New York Times. And I couldn’t be happier. The reason was his appearance in commercials for (and on the homepage of) freescore.com, a sleazy company which exists only to extract large sums of money from those who can least afford it.

Gasparino’s bizarre defense of Goldman Sachs (and Ben Stein)

By Felix Salmon
August 3, 2009

Charlie Gasparino knows that a well-argued print column is a much better tool for building credibility than any number of high-volume television appearances. Unfortunately, he seems to have a problem with the “well-argued” bit:

The despicable Ben Stein

By Felix Salmon
July 27, 2009

How low can Ben Stein get? Well, we know he’ll sell himself to sleazy rip-off merchants if the price is right. But now he’s penned an anti-Obama column for The American Spectator which is so despicable that it fairly takes one’s breath away.