Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Sunday, August 24, 2014

Two years after the Federal Trade Commission accused the people behind the popular Your Baby Can Read training program of making deceptive advertising claims, the product's creator has reached a deal to settle charges that his company made baseless pronouncements about the effectiveness of the program and misrepresented scientific studies to prove these bogus statements. Your Baby Can Read, created by Robert Titzer, raked in more than $185 million after claiming in ads, infomercials and social media that it could teach babies to read as early as nine months out of the womb, and that kids who used YBCR could handle reading something as complicated as a Harry Potter book by the age of three or four.


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As part of the deal with the FTC Titzer and his company are prohibited from making unsubstantiated claims about the performance or efficacy of any product that teaches reading, and neither defendant can use the statement "Your Baby Can Read."

Titzer is barred from endorsing any product unless he has a reasonable basis for the claims made. He must also pay a penalty of $300,000.


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$184,700,000 after the penalty.
Should start my own program.
"Your infant can swim" only $199

#1 | Posted by soulfly at 2014-08-23 02:40 PM | Reply | Flag:

Or little girl responded great with the program. In kindergarten she reading at a 3rd grade level.

#2 | Posted by memyselfini at 2014-08-23 02:56 PM | Reply | Flag:

kindergarten she reading at a 3rd grade level.


kids who used YBCR could handle reading something as complicated as a Harry Potter book by the age of three or four.

Sounds like shes a little slow compared to the claims made.

#3 | Posted by soulfly at 2014-08-23 07:16 PM | Reply | Flag: | Funny: 1

I've seen those TV ads and my only comment is that anyone stupid to believe it deserves to be parted from their money. As the old quote says: "There's a sucker born every minute" .

#4 | Posted by MSgt at 2014-08-24 04:33 PM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 2

Another Libertarian nightmare. Friedrich Hayek, from the Austrian School, asserted that solidarity, benevolence and a desire to work for the betterment of one's community are "primitive instincts" and that human civilization consists of a long struggle against those ideals. "The discipline of the market" is the provider of civilization and progress.

Thus, unregulated capitalism is "civilization" and anything else is a product of "primitive" group instincts that have survived from our prehistoric hunter/gatherer ancestors in the Hayekian worldview.

From these ideas, it is a small step to the concepts of "money equals speech" and "corporations are people" promulgated by the U.S. Supreme Court. This is an extension of "shareholder rights" to the political sphere, the more you own, the more say you have. A form of conquest and domination for the age of financialization.

If there is no community, no common interest, then why can't someone, anyone, take whatever they want from the less strong? Give Ayn Rand credit for one thing: She stripped away all the accretions of individualist verbiage, all the rarefied theory of orthodox economics, and enunciated with unusual clarity what lies at the core of capitalist triumphalism. It hasn't served the world very well.(Pete Dolack)

#5 | Posted by nutcase at 2014-08-24 08:18 PM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 3

All three of my kids read well beyond their grade level and we didn't spend a dime on any series. My 6th grader is in advanced reading and is always at the top of his class of other advanced readers. His 5th grade teacher said that his book presentations showed a high school understanding of what he read. My 8th grader reads everything she just finished Les Mis (English translation) and read Gatsby 2 years ago. Of course she is also in AG reading. Her school had a 40 book challenge last year and she finished her 40 by Christmas break, and they weren't allowed to read "kids" books but James Paterson Maximum Ride series counted and she read all of them.

My wife babysat a little girl before kindergarten and the child was reading at such an advanced level that she was put in accelerated reading in kindergarten by third grade she was in remedial reading after my wife was no longer tutoring her.

We did sacrifice by having my wife as a stay at home mom with them. They also always had the example of parents who enjoyed reading. I suspect that is a lot more valuable than a "program" to teach your kids to read.

#6 | Posted by TaoWarrior at 2014-08-24 08:37 PM | Reply | Flag:

As the old quote says: "There's a sucker born every minute" .

#4 | Posted by MSgt

The most honest thing an elected Republican ever said.

#7 | Posted by TFDNihilist at 2014-08-24 09:14 PM | Reply | Flag:

My thoughts when I saw the ads were that it probably (maybe?) did some good teaching children to read, but the idea that children would read as well as they said was such utter nonsense that it made their whole ad campaign suspect.

The fact that I hear ads like this about all sorts of things just shows me that people really aren't so good at distinguishing BS from reality. If it sounds too good to be true, it not only probably isn't true, it almost certainly isn't. Things that really are that good are kept as trade secrets.

#8 | Posted by LEgregius at 2014-08-24 10:02 PM | Reply | Flag:

these ad campaigns are essentially emotional blackmail aimed at parents -- "buy our product, or your kiddo is never gonna get pre-enrolled at harvard!"

they're also, at best, aggressively specious overinterpretations of actual research.

this reminds me of the "baby mozart" scam, which was supposed to boost infants' intelligence by exposing them to classical music. the original study showed only a transient "IQ boost", and it was performed using college students as participants, not babies.


the brain simply isn't sufficiently developed at 9 months of age to read, nor is it so developed at age 3/4 to comprehend "Harry Potter". What nonsense.

#9 | Posted by Zarathustra at 2014-08-24 10:42 PM | Reply | Flag:

Jesus, it's just a tool that can be used to assist in learning. I don't believe anyone claimed it was a substitution for parenting.

I'm sure the ones suing thought they could just plop they're baby in front of the tv.

A treadmill doesn't run itself.

#10 | Posted by memyselfini at 2014-08-24 11:50 PM | Reply | Flag:

2: My son read at that level at that age too, and we didn't do a thing. Oh, other than read to him from the womb, read to him every single day of his life, model reading on a daily basis...

6: Right on, my friend!

10: Um, he LIED. The organization LIED. Yes, parents who bought into it were suckers, but that doesn't excuse him. There is no magic bullet for learning; it's about parenting. And the best tools are our minds.

#11 | Posted by pragmatist at 2014-08-25 09:47 AM | Reply | Flag:

"Oh, other than read to him from the womb,"


Hows that work? Do you climb inside and yell the word out?

#12 | Posted by soulfly at 2014-08-25 11:57 AM | Reply | Flag:

Do you climb inside and yell the word out?

Men spend 9 months trying to escape the womb and the rest of their lives trying to get back in
-Robin Williams

#13 | Posted by kanrei at 2014-08-25 12:00 PM | Reply | Flag:

From the time he was in the womb, silly.

Kanrei's response was funnier than mine, though. And funnier than your question. :)

#14 | Posted by pragmatist at 2014-08-25 12:09 PM | Reply | Flag:


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