Jul 29, 2005

Caveat Emptor

Usually, I'll fall asleep to The Daily Show, and get ready for work every morning with the Today Show running in the background. And every morning, I'll turn on the TV (I guess Comedy Central also runs infomercials in the early morning hours), and I'll always see this guy, Kevin Trudeau, "hosting" what appears to be a talk show, while discussing this book he wrote called "Natural Cures 'They' Don't Want You to Know About." And I usually just write the whole thing off as yet another stupid and cheesy infomercial**.

But Christopher Dreher's July 26 article in Salon sheds some harsh light on Trudeau and exposes him for the snarky, "master huckster" he really is. Did you know, for example, that he:

  • Spent two years in federal prison in the early 90's after pleading guilty to credit card fraud?
  • Settled an Illinois case in 1996 when he was accused of running a pyramid scheme?
  • Was banned by the Federal Trade Commission last year for false advertising claims against him?

And because now he's hawking this book, he's enjoying first amendment protection, even though in the book, he makes dubious claims, like that it's sunblock - not the sun - that causes cancer.

Not surprisingly, this "book" of his is Number 1 on the NY Times' bestseller list for Hardcover Advice books. Buyer beware.

**Full Disclosure
I am - sometimes - an infomercial sucker. In the past, I have purchased the following:

And I SO totally want the GT Xpress 101! Don't judge me!

Have a great weekend, everybody.

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