Your Arch Nemesis? The Banks.

Via the <a href="http://www.facebook.com/album.php?profile=1&id=84763399274#!/LendingTree">LendingTree Facebook page</a>.

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According to a new ad campaign from LendingTree, there is a villain among us—the very banks and credit agencies it works with. But, there is someone to restore justice: You.

The video below is part of a larger “You to the Rescue” campaign highlighting the “LendingTree utility belt,” which provides “objective tools to assess your loans and personal budget.”

The ad features two men in dress shirts and ties getting ready for work. Their reflections portray them as latex-clad, masked superheroes who will take on the “corporate mischief makers” and “men of ill repute who created a downturn of diabolical proportions.”

A third ad features Adam West, television’s original caped crusader, in an Alfred/Q role (he also does the voice overs for the other two). As those familiar with the superhero genre will note, Batman is one of the few superheroes who fight crime without the help of superpowers. Instead, Batman relies on technology (in the form of a utility belt) and a regular workout routine—oh, and a small inherited fortune.

Don’t forget that Batman is the alter ego of Bruce Wayne, a business tycoon. LendingTree didn’t; these ads aren’t directed at your regular Joe. They’re aimed at angry middle-class men (there are no women financial superheroes pictured) willing to educate themselves on the ins and outs of mortgage and credit.

As David Corn pointed out in our January/February issue, the campaign is targeting the somewhat misplaced fear and anger of the American populace. We are angry at people who took out more credit than they could afford, angry at the banks who pushed them into it, and angry at ourselves for not being smarter and more aware of what was going on. And the policies that allowed Wall Street the free reign to create this mess in the first place? Have we gotten smarter about those yet?

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Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

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