I thought, given all the recent news, that everyone could use a story that would bring a smile to their faces, so here we go: Kevin Trudeau, the infomercial king who makes his living slandering drug research and feeding conspiracy theories about diet and health, has been fined $5 million dollars over the marketing of his weight-loss book. He's also been banned from the infomercial business for three years, and found in contempt of court.
The judge in the case, clearly exasperated, called Trudeau "not a reliable witness" and said that he had "clearly, and no doubt intentionally" violated a 2004 order to restrain from deceptive marketing practices. To give you an idea, Trudeau stated repeatedly that his weight-loss plan involved no exercise, and could be completed easily at home. Lucky customers who sent in their money found that the plan included an hour of walking a day, and that it involved colonic cleansing, injections of human growth hormone, and that the last phase of the plan was stated to go on for the rest of their lives.
Hey, walking an hour a day is good advice, but you don't have to send money to some guy (who tells you that it isn't exercise) to find out about it. And that seems to describe his books pretty well: a mixture of obvious, well-known advice and lunacy, served up at the highest price the market will bear, over and over. If you want to get the Full Trudeau, this Washington Post profile from 2005 will be your window into his wonderful world - it starts with the electromagnetic chaos eliminator necklace he wears, which he says keeps his brain from being microwaved, and goes on from there. Is anyone surprised that he also recommends Scientology?
With any luck, this charlatan will be off the airwaves for a few years - or, if he reappears, perhaps we can all hope for a jail term next time. I'll cheer. After all, this is a person who goes around telling people that drug researches like me are deliberately poisoning millions of people and withholding cures. Whatever he has coming to him is fine with me.