Brown, Huckabee Let Newsmax Push Scam to Followers

I’ve written several times about how so many conservative websites, organizations, magazines and even candidates make a fortune by renting out their email lists to con artists pushing gold, survival supplies and the like. Scott Brown and Mike Huckabee did it last week for an add by an anti-vaccination doctor yammering on about fluoride in the water.

Those who opened an email from former Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) on Wednesday expecting an announcement that he is running for Senate in New Hampshire received a surprise instead: a message from a doctor and noted vaccination opponent claiming that vaccines, and even too much exercise, lead to Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s Disease.

“Dear Patriot,” wrote Brown. “I thought you might be interested in the offer below from our sponsor Newsmax Health,” the medical advice affiliate of the popular conservative news website. The email includes a video titled “5 Signs You’ll Get Alzheimer’s,” which touts the claims of “renowned neurosurgeon and nutritionist Dr. Russell Blaylock.”

In it, Blaylock warns people not to drink fluoridated water or use toothpaste to avoid the “dramatic destruction of cells” seen in patients with Alzheimer’s Disease. The video also touts research showing that those who get a flu vaccine yearly for 3-5 years increase their risk for Alzheimer’s “ten-fold,” a claim that has been repeatedly debunked. In fact, a 2001 study in the Canadian Medical Association Journal foundthat flu vaccines may actually decrease the risk for Alzheimer’s.

The video also addresses other brain disorders, warning that the following ubiquitous items cause “brain inflammation” that leads to Parkinson’s: pesticides and herbicides; harmful ingredients in foods and beverages; toxic metals in the air, water and consumer products; various sugars and sugar substitutes; omega-6 fats; vaccines (including flu shots); and even “too much aerobic exercise.”

I’m sure it goes without saying that this is information THEY don’t want you to know about and that Obama is probably going to have it all removed from the internet before he rounds everyone up into the FEMA concentration camps. Oh, and there’s this one weird trick that will take care of the problem. Scott Brown sent out an email saying he would no longer do business with this company (Newsmax, of course, the ones who are behind most of this crap). Amanda Marcotte nails the issue:

In a very real sense, the conservative movement is just as much, if not more, about cataloging lists of suckers to exploit for profit as it is a political movement. Many of the obsessions of right wing fanatics go back to these kinds of grifts. For instance, gold buggery and the obsession with the gold standard is widespread because grifters make a lot of money convincing their marks that hoarding gold will protect them against some sort of social and economic collapse. Alternate health care schemes cropped up to exploit paranoia about Obamacare. And then there’s the biggest con of them all: The gun industry. Overwrought, paranoid emails that race-bait and suggest that there’s a coming war lead to more and more gun sales as right wing nuts build up their stashes for a war that is never coming. The survivalist grift is part of this, too.

So, no, none of this is a surprise. It’s also unbelievably frustrating, because conservatives are never going to see that their leaders basically view them as a bunch of marks to be exploited. The “our followers are marks” mentality seeps out of every pore, and once you see that’s how the conservative movement works, it’s hard not to see it everywhere.

About a year ago, Newsmax approached me about making a deal to put a widget on our sidebar that linked to the articles on their site. I had a lot of fun mocking the person who sent it, who falsely claimed to be a “huge fan” of FTB. But I said no not only because it wouldn’t fit here at all but also because I have no desire to help them continue to fleece the ignorant and the credulous with these kinds of scams.

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  • paulburnett

    These scammers take their cues from the fundagelicals who also fleece their flock outrageously.

  • brucegee1962

    The ones that bother me most about are the survivalists. The others mostly just impoverish themselves — but if you’ve invested thousands of dollars in preparing for a catastrophe that never comes, you can’t convince me that you aren’t hoping and working, at least subconsciously, for that catastrophe to happen.

  • coragyps

    “toxic metals in the air…”

    Especially barium! Sprayed from jet aeroplanes!!!!

  • Reginald Selkirk
  • jimfoley

    On this page right now, I’m seeing ads for “New muscle building science helps small guys bulk up fast”, “What happens when you take a testosterone supplement” (fantastic tits, according to the illustration), “testosterone booster takes GNC by storm”, “4 hormones all skinny people have in balance”, and “5 signs you’re marrying the wrong person”. The last one *might* not be a scam, but I’m damn sure the other four are.

    And recently, the same “Sponsored from around the web” section has also often been showing what looks like a small jellyfish on a hand, with claims of being a breakthrough in blood pressure. Sometimes the same illustration is on the page a 2nd time, this time something to do with testosterone enhancement.

    Maybe they’re not from Newsmax, but they’re from someone just as scummy. I’m viewing this from Australia, if that makes any difference.

  • smrnda

    @2 brucegee

    I worry about that too, along with the gun nuts. I tend to find that most gun nuts I encounter don’t seem to want to live in a safer society; they’re fantasizing about being heroic gunslingers in a dystopian future. And we see this as people end up shooting other people over ridiculous things these days.

  • Nick Gotts

    On the “stopped clock” principle, the quoted blurb is probably right in one respect: : the link between pesticide exposure and Parkinson’s disease. For more information, try putting “pesticides parkinson’s” into Google Scholar.

    Overwrought, paranoid emails that race-bait and suggest that there’s a coming war lead to more and more gun sales as right wing nuts build up their stashes for a war that is never coming. – Amanda Marcotte

    Well, except that the build up of gun stashes by far right racists just might lead to one. Not likely, but not impossible, say in the event of a disputed election in which a far leftfaintly leftish candidate defeats one from the far right, who refuses to concede.

  • John Hinkle

    I gotta go with jimfoley on this one, to a degree.

    I think in general you won’t see non-conservative bloggers actually stumping for testosterone/big tits/get-rich-quick investments, like Beck, Limbaugh, etc.

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