Keith Olbermann talked to Congressman Anthony Weiner about his plans to try to put a stop to Glenn Beck and other fear mongering, primarily right wing radio show hosts from scaring the hell out of their customers and then using that fear to help their sponsor Goldline fleece them. Media Matters has more.
Throughout Glenn Beck's meteoric rise to become king of all right-wing media, a once-obscure Santa Monica peddler of gold coins called Goldline International has been along for the ride. The support of Beck and other radio hosts -- mainly conservatives like Mark Levin and Fred Thompson -- who spend 55 minutes creating fear of an economic collapse and then five minutes telling you why coins from a company like Goldline are the only safe haven has helped Goldline become a $500 million company.
This, for example, is what 2 million TV viewers who clicked on Beck's nightly Fox News Channel show heard on Oct. 6, 2009:
You don’t have any gold, right? This is you. This is you. This is your savings. How much did you lose if you had any money in your 401k? Did you lose, let’s say, I don’t know, 40 percent of it? So, that’s gone. Now, did you know that the dollar has lost nearly 29 percent of its value in the last seven years? Twenty-nine percent. OK, that’s gone. Just gone.
This isn't an advertisement, although it may sound like one. It's the editorial content of the show, although at some point during the hour viewers are sure to see an ad for Goldline with their "800" number prominently displayed. Meanwhile, visitors to GlennBeck.com see a big ad for Goldline, while visitors to Goldline.com can see testimonials from Beck for Goldline. It's hard to know sometimes where Beck -- who famously told his viewers to get behind "God, gold, and guns" -- ends and Goldline begins.
Never mind that anxiety-drenched radio listeners never got to hear the other side of the gold coin, which is that the industry is plagued by high-pressure sales tactics as well as high commissions which mean that gold -- already at a record high (although not when adjusted for inflation) -- would have to rise well beyond its current highs to see a reasonable return on their investment.
Finally, a grown-up has stepped in to try to clean up this mess -- Rep. Anthony Weiner of New York. Read on...
Media Matters posted Beck responding to this on his show and of course he didn't bother to mention the content of the investigation. Stay classy Beck, you huckster.