An organization once headed by former Obama administration official Van Jones tried it. Other so-called grassroots organizations have given it a shot. Now Rep. Anthony Weiner, D-N.Y., with the power of Congress in tow, has taken his best shot to shut Glenn Beck down. But so far it isn’t really working.
On Sept. 23, Weiner called a representative from Santa Monica, Calif.-based Goldline to testify before the Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection Subcommittee about what he deemed to be the firm's unfair business practices. However, it just so happens that Goldline sponsors Beck and other conservative media personalities.
With congressional hearings, you'd expect the media to be all over this, right? Not exactly, at least thus far. The most attention Weiner’s charade could muster was a segment at the end of MSNBC’s bomb-thrower show, “Countdown with Keith Olbermann.” Olbermann asked Weiner on his Sept. 23 broadcast if Goldline was in cahoots with “willing partners like Glenn Beck,” since anyone who suggests gold be a part of someone’s portfolio is up to no good.
According to a spokesman from Goldline, out of the 30 to 40 television advertisements the company runs on a daily basis, only one runs during Glenn Beck’s Fox News Channel programming. In fact, Goldline runs regular advertising on CNBC, the sister network to Olbermann’s MSNBC.
But Weiner faulted Beck and others, including “angry radio hosts” for suggesting gold should be a part of someone’s financial portfolio.
“You know this is where the angry radio host works hand-in-glove with these sellers,” Weiner said. “You know, you see Glenn Beck say, be careful, the economy’s a mess. Deficits, debts, you better invest in gold. Now let’s go to a word from our sponsor.”
But Goldline offers a product that even media financial experts advise people to have in their portfolio. Take CNBC’s Jim Cramer, who on his May 17 program explained why gold is important, not necessarily as an investment to make money, but as a hedge against inflation – a point Weiner refuses to concede.
“First off, gold hedges you against the eve-of-destruction pessimists,” Cramer said. “It's a safe haven that tends to go up when everything else goes down. Second, as the commercial says, ‘Central banks are printing money like mad.’ That's a great reason to own gold. Third no, matter what happens in keeping with the pessimistic zeitgeist, people are going to say what central banks around world are doing is inflationary. Doesn't matter that it's done to counter deflation – gold's the antidote to the chatter. Fourth, there's not a lot of gold being found.”
Nonetheless, Weiner took a few more shots at Beck, which has been a pattern for the New York congressman on the gold issue. He argued that Beck was abusing the public’s trust, even though Beck was conveying a perfectly legitimate view and speaking on the behalf of a legitimate sponsor.
“It got so bad that even Fox News said to Glenn Beck, you can’t be a paid sponsor for these guys anymore, because it was just -- the line was getting blurred,” Weiner continued. “Now, that’s Fox News’ problem. That’s Glenn Beck’s problem. I think he does have some responsibility to his viewers. You know, it’s odd of me to be saying this, but I want to stand up for Glenn Beck’s viewers in this case.”
And Weiner maintained that the laws he is proposing, which are motivating his witch-hunt, wouldn’t even be applicable to Fox News or Beck.
“But the laws that we’re proposing obviously don’t impact Fox News,” he continued. “And Glenn Beck can say and do whatever he wants. But I would hope he takes a step back and looks at our study and looks at the testimony today, and realize that his viewers are middle class people who are struggling. He should not be aiding and abetting a rip off.”
That begs the question – why is Weiner bringing up Beck in the first place?