False information spread by Time Warner/CNN

Jeff Bewkes, Time Warner

This is a civics lesson directed squarely at you. If a shadow audience reads it, that’s gravy.

See “Labor Day, 2013 – CNN and the myth about employers and credit scores.” In it, I make the point that your reports of American history and credit scores are factually incorrect. Your websites state that Mitch McConnell is the majority leader of the U.S. Senate. That is not true, and further, it has never been true. While a fine man, Senator McConnell (R-Ky.) is Minority Leader. You can see that plain fact on the Senate’s official history page, “Majority and Minority Leaders and Party Whips.”

You also state that employers use credit scores, and that is not true, either. That fact was a lot harder to prove (and took 5 years; proving that something is not is a lot harder than proving that something is) than the fact of the senator’s position, but there isn’t much debate about it now. If there is debate, your side loses. Hell, you even seem to argue with yourself, publishing, in 2011, “It’s important to note that employers can’t actually see your three-digit credit score,” and then, in 2013, “Insurance companies, landlords, and employers are increasingly checking credit  scores, too.”

Blame VantageScore if you want (actually, that would be a good thing–the more, the merrier), but the CEO of that relatively new gambit of the consumer reporting agencies doesn’t have his act together, either. You are birds of a feather: Too quick on the Publish button, and oblivious.

Despite the proof above (and your having been informed), your pages still make false claims. In addition to those listed on the Labor Day page, here are more examples of you stating Senator McConnell’s title inaccurately. Please, for the sake of the United States of America, stop it today. If you do nothing, this merciless berating will continue.

  1. DNC ad aims at ‘plotting’ by McConnell
  2. CNN’s GUT CHECK for March 14, 2013
  3. Repeal health care law? Forget about it
  4. SOTU Crib Sheet 3/3
  5. Reid Yanks Senate Contingency Plan as House Takes Lead in Debt Talks

And, on the following pages, you published the statement that employers use credit scores. Employers do not use credit scores. I looked into it. The first three stories are dated after April 24, 2008, the date that–within days of the other two–the third of the three main national consumer reporting agencies stated that they do not provide credit scores for employment purposes. The second three are dated prior to 2008. If, by some great miracle (or act of journalism), you come up with evidence or sources, please provide them today. Had you done so in the first place, we would not be here, now.

  1. MYB: Your credit score could prevent you from getting a job – Christine Romans explains” (2013)
  2. Employers are looking at candidates credit scores. Be wary.” (2010)
  3. Settling the credit score” (2008)
  4. How to ace your credit score” (2007)
  5. 8 credit score myths” (2005)
  6. Credit score myths” (2004)

There are other myths that need attention, but if this does not compel you to make corrections, there is a much bigger predicament. Not only is what you are doing wrong in terms of accuracy, it is wrong, ethically. Because of this fundamental problem, we don’t have a well-informed electorate (let-alone a well-informed legislature). Truth is in the balance.

Despite your mass-media megalomania and prolific uploading, there is still hope. But, your action in this moment will stand as a fact of history. Don’t let it slip away.

The propagation of this myth has serious consequences. Today, before you publish another word, make it stop.

No interviews.

Greg Fisher
The Credit Scoring Site (creditscoring.com) – A bleak account
Page A2 (pagea2.com) – Media accuracy, errors and corrections
greg@pagea2.com

cc: Jeff Zucker, CNN
cc: Joseph A. Ripp, Time

AOL’s false information under a new name

As the chairman and CEO of AOL, Tim Armstrong (who, actually, thinks he is Donald Trump) is in charge of a lot of stuff.

Sometime between June, 2011 and today, he rejiggered it, and created a dead link in the process.

How does he expect anybody to keep track of his errors?

Here are some more.

He published, “Additionally, employers must notify the job seeker if their credit score was the reason they were not hired” (as if that is possible in the known universe–employers do not use credit scores).

Elsewhere in in his realm (of non-reality): “Ninety percent of banks use credit scores when they determine finance charges such as interest rates on mortgages and other loans. But it doesn’t stop there — potential employers, insurance companies, landlords, and a host of others use these scores as well.”

Here’s another doozy in the Huffington Post. Obliviously, Armstrong let some guy write, “Last fall, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Speaker Boehner described changes like the chained CPI and more means-testing of premiums for affluent Medicare beneficiaries as (in McConnell’s words) “the kinds of things that would get Republicans interested in new revenue.”

Senator McConnell–while a fine man–is not in the majority party.

But, this is the best: “House Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has an ingenious plan to save us: Repeal Obamacare!”

Wrong party, wrong body.

Mr. Armstrong, meet Mr. Case.

Senate Majority Leader; credit scores

This is an allegory to The McConnell Bind, a method to force corrections of big-media articles containing errors of fact about credit scores.

The corollary, Senate Majority Leader, starts here, and ties inaccurate credit score articles to screw-ups about U.S. Senator Harry Reid’s (D-Nev.) position in the legislature. Ignoring one is irresponsible.  Ignoring the other is downright un-American.

Here goes.

A Washington Post Writer’s Group piece, released in syndication, states, inaccurately, “Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid predicted at a news conference in Las Vegas that ‘immigration is going to pass the House of Representatives’ and insisted that ‘if [the GOP] were smart, they would take [the Senate] bill’ and start from there.”

But, it is elementary: Senator Reid is the majority (not minority) leader.

The tie-in:  In 2009, the Washington Post published this needlessly scary thought: “And a lower credit score means you pay more for the money you borrow. It can also mean higher insurance rates for your home or car, or worse, the loss of a job.”

Of course, employers do not use credit scores, so relax (and don’t believe da Post’s other scribblings, either).

The first attempt at contact (in this round), regarding this matter of American history, was social media.  That having failed, email is next, and then, if that doesn’t work, the postcard!

The McConnell Bind

From: Greg Fisher [mailto:greg@creditscoring.com]
Sent: Thursday, June 27, 2013 2:38 PM
To: Greg Brock, senior editor, Standards, New York Times
Subject: Error: American history, credit scores

Thank you for replying.  See today’s message and your response at http://blog.creditscoring.com/?p=5142 (“The McConnell Bind”).

Recently, I have been looking into media accuracy, errors and corrections and their consequences.  Here are two more errors that exist on your website.

In “Obama Presses Israel to Make ‘Hard Choices,’” dated May 23, 2011, you published, “’The U.S. ought not to be trying to push Israel into a deal that’s not good for Israel,’ the Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, said on ‘Fox News Sunday.’”

And, in “Framing the Debate” (February 25, 2010), you state, “Republicans, including the Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, and the House leader, Representative John A. Boehner of Ohio, have called on Mr. Obama to discard the plan unveiled on Monday, as well as the bills adopted by the House and Senate late last year, and to start over.”

Of course, Mitch McConnell is not (and has never been) Senate Majority Leader.  Will you make a correction today?

Having received no response about an issue I raised—after your publisher’s office acknowledged my message over two months ago—I am binding your American history errors to those about employers and credit scores and credit score statistical distribution.


Greg Fisher
The Credit Scoring Site
creditscoring.com
Page A2
pagea2.com
PO Box 342
Dayton, Ohio  45409-0342