Ben Stein’s fine work for us as a columnist for Sunday Business had to end, we told him, after we learned that he had become a commercial spokesman for FreeScore, a financial services company. Ben didn’t understand when he signed on with FreeScore that this might pose a potential conflict for him as a contributing columnist for the Times, because he hadn’t written about credit scores or this company. But, we decided that being a commercial spokesman for FreeScore while writing his column wouldn’t be appropriate.
I have mixed feelings about Ben Stein. He has written some good stuff on personal finance. But he was also blindly bullish at the top and out of line in his attacks on the bears motives. The Free Score commercials are totally annoying and apparently the product is somewhat of a sham.
“Ritholtz Blasts Ben Stein”, Top Gun FP, January 29, 2008
“Revisiting Ben Stein’s Vicious NY Times Article”, Top Gun FP, December 11, 2007