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Pitchman Ben Stein Gets Economist Ben Stein Fired at the New York Times

Posted in News by Skepdude on August 6, 2009

READ THE FULL ENTRY AT GAWKER

Ben Stein‘s TV ads for a scuzzy “free” credit product have finally caught up to him: The New York Times has fired Stein as a Sunday business columnist for violating ethics guidelines.

Stein was pilloried online for his endorsement of the bait-and-switch operation, which offers a free credit score but charges an outrageous $30 per month to see the credit report behind the score. As Reuters blogger Felix Salmon pointed out, consumers can get a free online report under federal law.

The Times’ issue, though, is that Stein has violated its ethics policy, which states “it is an inherent conflict for a journalist to perform public relations work, paid or unpaid.” Salmon blogged about that issue, too. It’s surprising that it hasn’t come up until now; Stein has been a regular contributor to the Times for four years, and is quite recognizable to TV audiences. After playing a high-school teacher in the 1986 movie Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (R.I.P. John Hughes), Stein went on to host two shows on Comedy Central, including the Emmy-award-winning Win Ben Stein‘s Money, and a show on VH1. He also frequently appeared in cameo roles on sitcoms like Seinfeld.

A tipster informed us this morning that Stein had been given the boot, and Times spokesperson Catherin Mathis has confirmed, writing:

READ THE FULL ENTRY AT GAWKER

Skepdude says:  Hahahahahaha!

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