Glenn Beck Selling Fool's Gold?

It turns out that Glenn Beck's word is as good as gold. It also turns out this is not a good thing.

Beck is the Fox News pundit who occasionally can be found weeping for his country. On his TV show, his radio program and his web site, Beck gladly tell you what's been making him weep.

One source of his melancholy is his certainty that the economic sky is falling. He's been saying we are on the brink of a devastating financial collapse. He's been, wait, let's let Beck put it in his own words:

"When the system eventually collapses, and the government comes with guns and confiscates, you know, everything in your home and all your possessions, and then you fight off the raving mad cannibalistic crowds that Ted Turner talked about, don't come crying to me. I told you: Get gold."

Beck tells you to get gold a lot. What he leaves out when he is preaching his gold sermons is that six of his advertisers are companies that buy and sell gold. (For those keeping score, they are Rosland Capital, Goldline International, Merit Financial, Investment Rarities Incorporated, Wholesale Direct Metal and Superior Gold Group.)

In the case of Goldline, Beck actually serves as a paid spokesman. In that capacity, Beck is making history or, more accurately, making up history. According to Beck, America's Founding Fathers, if they could, might urge you to buy from Goldline. You really can't make this stuff up so here's Beck's own words:

"I've been spending a lot of time with the Founding Fathers lately and I--in fact, I just read last night--there was a letter between, I think it was Thomas Jefferson and John Adams toward the end of their life(sic), and they talked about how, what the future of America was going to be and how bright it was going to be.

"And then it was going to shake apart and there would be troubled times. But then it would reset itself and it would be great again. But I'd like a little bit of insurance. That's why I want to talk to you about Goldline."

Later, he adds: "If you're like our Founding Fathers, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, then just know that what's on the horizon is temporary and this too shall pass. Here's the deal: Call Goldline. Study it. Pray on it."

Actually, Jefferson did have something relevant to say about all this. The author of the Declaration of Independence declared repeatedly, and I'm paraphrasing here, that freedom of the press must endure no matter how many morons abuse it. To the best of my knowledge, that is as close as Jefferson ever came to addressing Beck and his gold theories.

But that's beside the point. The real issue here is the apparent conflict of interest between what Beck says as a commentator and what he is getting paid to see as a pitchman.

Most news divisions, and certainly those that purport to be fair and balanced, have policies that preclude employees from doing endorsements. It's a no-brainer. You can't be a credible news analyst if your audience has reason to suspect you are being influenced by payments from one source or another.

So why isn't Fox News concerned about this ethical lapse? The most obvious answer is that the organization has concluded there's no point in worrying about lost credibility when there wasn't much there to begin with.
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Top Opinion

  • Gracie - Proud Conservative 2009/12/10 01:20:36
    Gracie - Proud Conservative
    That is THE most idiotic thing I've ever heard! There is a conflict of interest because his sponsors sell gold and he buys it? If that's a conflict of interest you better go put Al Gore in jail. Nothing he does can affect the international price of gold and he CLEARLY tells people to research it and come to their own conclusions about gold. When GM advertised with him and he drove GM cars was that a conflict of interest?

    You keep trying to discredit the messenger because he is exposing EVIL from this administration. You aren't going to shut him up and you aren't going to convince people who listen to him and appreciate the only investigative journalism happening on the planet. He may shed the tears but you guys cry over him constantly. Go cry in a corner somewhere and leave us alone.

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  • momma-o... Shigyrl... 2009/12/11 16:57:35
    my family talks "movie" quotes, we love it gets to the point faster. LOL HAVE YOU NOT BEEN ENTERTAINED!
  • momma-o... Shigyrl... 2009/12/10 03:35:30
    HIS messiah mine will be returning shortly LOL
  • momma-o... Vernon ... 2009/12/10 02:19:15
    you can say that and not inject the name OBAMA??????
  • Guyupst... Vernon ... 2009/12/10 13:16:15
    You do not even now me, I have not bought any gold. If Beck wants to buy gold and get paid to do commercials so what. That is minor to the spew that comes out of people like Olberman and other PMSNBC shows. Get a grip, the left just cannot handle opposition to their agenda. They know their agenda is based on lies and demonize those that oppose them. This is becoming evident now. I never really believed that 5 years ago but today i see it every day. It is becoming very obvious that the far left faith is todatly based on lies and they hire people like ACORN, SEIU, to spew their vileness.
  • 1206720 2009/12/09 21:24:44 (edited)
  • Mark P. 2009/12/09 20:30:10
    Mark P.
    He is a commentator. Not a news person.
  • Jackie ... Mark P. 2009/12/10 00:45:23
    Jackie G - Poker Playing Patriot
    A point that is lost on the left - they have been listening to the slanted news for so long, they do not know the difference
  • jonatha... Mark P. 2009/12/10 16:22:18
    Yah in order to be a news person you have to be factual.
  • Mark P. jonatha... 2009/12/10 22:37:21
    Mark P.
    Anything that he said that you know is not factual you can call him on it. Oh, but you probably have never watched his program only repeat what someone else said.

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Barry Garron

Barry Garron


2009/10/24 00:30:47

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