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Glenn Beck and Goldline

Two California municipalities are investigating the relationship between Fox News on-air personality Glenn Beck and retail precious metals concern Goldline. There’s an adequately good if gaudy diagram of the accusations against Beck/Goldline here.

Beck is being accused of explicitly encouraging his viewers to call Goldline and trust them, as well as telling them a scary story where inflation eats their buying power and the Federal government confiscates most gold in private hands (except, conveniently, something similar to but not the same as what Goldline is selling). Meanwhile, Goldline’s selling “numismatic coins” at a substantial markup over the melt value of the coins. That’s the accusation, and that’s what you’ll see in the diagram linked above.

This is similar to but not the same as what I’ve heard on at least a couple of Christian talk shows (CrossTalk America, News & Views with Dr. Larry Bates & Chuck Bates) where the host will have the head of a company that sells gold come on the air and talk about pending hyperinflation, or where the host will tell a scary story about pending hyperinflation and economic collapse while the host is pushing financial services and/or the ads that run during the program are for companies selling gold in various forms.

I’ll be interested to see what comes of this; I’m sure there’s a line here where the host’s responsibilities stop and the listener’s or viewer’s responsibilities start, but I can’t say I know where it is. Caveat emptor!

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