UPDATE: Brown told New Hampshire's WMUR that he is “terminating my relationship with this vendor effective immediately.” Brown said with regard to the Blaylock email that he “did not approve or authorize the sending of this particular email.” (Brown's email today featuring Blaylock's pitch was signed “Thank you, Senator Scott Brown.” )
Fox News contributor Scott Brown is renting out his email list to an outlet that touts shady products like Alzheimer's disease cures and Social Security tricks.
Brown joins several of his Republican colleagues in attempting to cash in on their followers through dubious or shady practices. Mike Huckabee, Herman Cain, and Newt Gingrich have all been renting out their email lists to suspect sources. As Salon's Alex Pareene noted, “the conservative movement is an elaborate moneymaking venture. For professional movement conservatives, their audiences and followers are easy marks.”
Brown sent an email this morning with the subject line “5 Signs You'll Get Alzheimer's Disease” to his ScottBrown.com email list. Brown wrote in the email: “Dear Patriot, I thought you might be interested in the offer below from our sponsor Newsmax Health. Thank you, Senator Scott Brown.”
Brown's email contains a pitch touting the “findings” of Dr. Russell Blaylock, and “Simple strategies and natural therapies to prevent, treat, and reverse memory loss, Alzheimer's, dementia, Parkinson's, and other neurodegenerative disorders.”
Blaylock, a repeat guest on conspiracy theorist Alex Jones' radio show, has made numerous dubious medical claims through Newsmax and other far-right media outlets:
- Blaylock has pushed the connection between vaccines and autism and claimed that the “greatest danger is the vaccines themselves.”
- Blaylock's regular interviews on Alex Jones' radio program feature headlines like, “Dr. Russell Blaylock Exposes Obama's Nazi Healthcare System,” “Obamacare is Mandated Social Engineering,” and “Fluoride's Deadly Secret.”
- “The Blaylock Wellness Report” claims he is the “secret weapon” against cancer since “You won't get the whole story on cancer from the traditional media” and “You won't even get all the details from your own doctor (even from cancer specialists -- oncologists).”
- Blaylock's newsletter boasts that he doesn't “parrot what the New England Journal of Medicine” prescribes. During one interview, Blaylock advised viewers not to trust the Centers for Disease Control because they support practices such as fluoridation and vaccines.
Brown has also sent an email pitching dubious financial offers.
On February 4 Brown sent an email sponsored by The Franklin Prosperity Report. The email, which included text of a FoxNews.com article about President Obama's Bill O'Reilly interview, has ads promising to show readers a “Weird Trick” that “adds $1,000 to Your Social Security Checks!” It also included a sponsor's note claiming: “Special: Seniors Scoop Up Unclaimed $20,500 Checks? (See If You Qualify).”
The Franklin Prosperity Report is a questionable newsletter operated by Newsmax that claims to be based on the “investment methods” of Benjamin Franklin. The link in Brown's email takes readers to a sign-up page claiming that seniors can “Grab up to $20,500 of the trillions in money, services, and other goodies that Uncle Sam may have ALREADY allocated for your family for 2014 -- and find out about more than 40 unclaimed government grants, giveaways, and subsidized trips.” The page includes a picture of an elderly couple enjoying themselves in front of the Eiffel Tower.
Though Brown is a Fox News contributor, he's also currently considering running for U.S. Senate in New Hampshire. As is typical, Fox has treated his potential candidacy softly -- during an interview yesterday, Fox News host Neil Cavuto focused his interview on a recent picture of Brown shirtless, and told him if he runs for president he “might be the best looking” candidate.