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Hating dating and mating by credit rating

New York Times' nonsense ripples through mainstream media; Christian Science Monitor the latest dupe

| By Greg Fisher

From: Greg Fisher []
Sent: Monday, February 18, 2013 12:08 PM
To: Jim Sollisch, creative director, Marcus Thomas Advertising (via K. Hill)
Subject: Hating dating and mating by credit rating

The Christian Science Monitor publishes its corrections at

Your article is inaccurate.

You wrote, “Credit scores – increasingly used as a factor in qualifying job candidates and determining insurance rates – are apparently now quite a turn-on (or turn-off) .[SIC]”

Employers do not use credit scores.  The main three national consumer reporting agencies all state that they do not provide scores for employment purposes.  After nearly five years, I have found no one who can name an employer who uses credit scores, neither can the newspaper called the New York Times and neither can you.  If you could, that would mean exposing a violator of their contact with the CSR.  It is either a wide conspiracy of secrecy, or just a goof.  Only you know for sure, though; you did not cite your source.

Nevertheless, the New York Times made an error, and comedy ensued.  This odd, broad rumor and myth phenomenon of the popular media intrigued me so much that, in addition to, I began another website,  That address refers to the section and number of the page where some newspapers publish their corrections (or fail to).

By the way, your use of the word increasingly in the same sentence appears to be unsupported, too.  In this dark fantasy, a report by the Society for Human Resource Management is often cited in the mainstream press.  However, it is misused in two ways: 1) It appears that the latest report with the survey about credit report use no longer supports the idea that even the practice of using credit reports (as opposed to credit scores) is increasing, and 2) The SHRM report does not refer to credit scores in employment, anyway.

Despite all that, the New York Times writer appeared in a radio interview earlier this month while her article remained uncorrected.  But if the interviewer actually bothered to read the Times’ story, she apparently forgot about the employment issue and did not ask the newspaper’s reporter to explain.  Last year, regarding another broadcast by the same radio host, her network made a correction regarding employers and scores.  At first, when asked to name her source, using the echo chamber that feeds this urban legend, the interviewer referred to the Times.

If it is any consolation, you are in good company.  USA Today’s editorial department, The Wall Street Journal’s MarketWatch—and even your town Cleveland notable Dan Gilbert—have all acted honorably and made corrections.  On the other hand, Oprah, the Washington Post, the National Institutes of Health, the Minnesota Attorney General, the Chicago Tribune and, of course, the New York Times, still maintain inaccurate information.  I even paid a visit to Oprah’s office to no avail (but I got some good photographs).

Finally, there is even a typographical error in your sentence containing the factual error: A space before the period.  The point is that your work is just sloppy, we are fallible and things like that are bound to happen.  But the big question is this: What will the Christian Science Monitor and the New York Times do to set the record straight and avoid another unwitting writer falling into the same trap and furthering this myth?

There is one other thing that intrigues me about the Times’ dating thing.  One of the central characters claims that her date even accessed her credit report without her permission.  Since that is a criminal act, its exclusion from the story is an arresting oversight.

By the way, as you are researching this, keep in mind that due to its inaccuracy and unreliability, Wikipedia is a terrible place to find information on this or any topic.  User Cookiehead has not been seen, lately.

Who is your source?

Greg Fisher
The Credit Scoring Site
PO Box 342
Dayton, Ohio  45409-0342

From: Greg Fisher []
Sent: Tuesday, February 19, 2013 2:40 PM
To: Jim Sollisch, creative director, Marcus Thomas Advertising (via K. Hill); Jim Sollisch, associate partner, Marcus
Thomas Advertising (via T. Morgano)
Cc: Adam Scherr, national media coordinator, Committee on Publication, The First Church of Christ, Scientist
Subject: RE: Hating dating and mating by credit rating II

Please reply.

Greg Fisher
The Credit Scoring Site
PO Box 342
Dayton, Ohio  45409-0342

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Also, see:

Two and Two: Credit scores fall, AP, Part II
FICO removes information that supported Associated Press analysis that scores fell

Christian Science Monitor false information
Falsity about the minority leader of the U.S. Senate

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