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Tuesday, 18 May 2010 09:41

Rep. Anthony Weiner Wants FTC and SEC Action for Goldline, Beck and the FOX Gold-Shilling Narrative

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by Jeffrey Joseph

Critics have reprimanded Glenn Beck before for his advertising-turned-conservative-talking-point shilling for Goldline in the past, but never quite on the level that Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) demands now.

Beck has long held a close relationship with the gold seller, including advertisements throughout his radio career with spots on his show and ads placed openly on his website. The conflict arises from the fact that Beck’s content, full of blatant fear mongering about the potential decline of society and of paper money, appears to fit too perfectly with Goldline’s advertising agenda. In effect, Beck’s content seems driven by his advertising, and since Beck’s rhetoric tends toward the extreme, it presents a noticeable danger to the public.

Weiner has served notice that he has had enough of Beck’s crass shilling for the gold industry. Weiner has taken note of the conservative strategy to promote gold as a safe bet in the current political and economic climate. Though consumers would need gold to exceed record highs to reach a return on their investment, while the hosts promoting the gold reap the benefits in simply selling to those consumers now. Consequently, commentators like Beck, who have invested in the gold they advertise and thus have a vested interest in its doing well, can push the narrative of the decaying U.S. to benefit themselves, regardless of its distance from reality.

“Commentators like Glenn Beck who are shilling for Goldline,” said Weiner, “are either the worst financial advisers around or knowingly lying to their loyal viewers.” Weiner sought action from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) because “Goldline’s high-pressure sales tactics and fear mongering about big government as well as their ability to hire sales staff and spokespeople who misrepresent their roles are case studies in why entities like the SEC and FTC are necessary.”

Beck’s responded predictably — by claiming that it was Weiner who was “trying to use fear” to manipulate Beck and his sponsors. Inflating his position as the last standing, self-appointed paragon of truth, he tried to claim Weiner’s actions proved Beck’s incessant fear mongering about how the government will go after his fans. He claimed, “If you associate yourself at all with Glenn Beck, Congress will come after you.” To defend his standing, Beck claimed that sponsors called him, and not the other way around, to say they dropped him because they could not handle the White House coming after them. Of course, he ignored the reality of growing, grassroots movements to contact Beck’s sponsors to request dropping him that have met success simply because of Beck’s own inflammatory statements.

In addition, Beck openly admits his suspicious relationship to Goldline. He asked the Goldline president on the air, “May I ask… do the other hosts, do they invest in the product like I do?” The Goldline president responded that “many, if not close to all” do, and that he would be willing to buy ad time with liberals if they had the same “passion for gold.” Though, in so doing, he seemed to concede that liberals may buy into Goldline’s narrative as conservatives.

As further evidence of what that narrative entails, people need look no further than Beck’s FOX colleagues. In a book FOX contributor Newt Gingrich has recently begun promoting, for example, he boldly and baselessly states that the Obama Administration “represents as great a threat to America as Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union.” In the nation Gingrich portrays — apparently on the precipice of destruction because of actions like the Obama Administration refusing to be so simplistic as to write off terrorism as “radical Islam” — a product like gold makes plenty of sense. Then those pushing the gold, regardless of a lack of substance in promoting them, cash in on the profits.

Rep. Weiner deserves commendation for his call to keep the disingenuous disinformation from Beck and his FOX colleagues appropriately checked. An informed public should demand more of those types of investigation into the conflicting interests and manipulated information masquerading as “news” from FOX  — and in the meantime, choose to Turn Off FOX.

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Originally posted at Turn Off FOX.