Goldline finally under investigation

Well, it’s about time. Today, ABC News reports that the city attorney of Santa Monica, Ca., in conjunction with the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office, has launched an investigation into Goldline International, the gold company that sponsors and is heavily promoted on Glenn Beck’s TV and radio shows. Apparently, California authorities discovered what Mother Jones readers likely already knew, which is that Goldline misleads customers into buying overpriced gold coins that they weren’t necessarily in the market for…

Radinsky says that the investigation is in the preliminary stages but that it involves more than 100 consumer complaints about Goldline and the Superior Gold Group, which are both based in Santa Monica.

Goldline defended its practices to ABC by citing its superior rating from the Better Business Bureau. But as we reported here a few months ago, pretty much any Joe with a credit card can get such a rating. Goldline also claimed the investigation was politically motivated by people who don’t like Beck, a charge Radinsky denied. He told ABC, “Glenn Beck has nothing to do with our investigation. Our investigation is about transactions with individual customers and the complaints that they’ve raised. And politics really has nothing to do with it. It’s all about consumer protection for us,” he said. Radinsky also said that people with Goldline complaints can now file them at a special website set up by his office, www.gold.smconsumer.org. If Beck seriously cared about his audience, he should plug that site on his show sometime.

Move on down the page to see Mother Jones’ earlier investigation on Goldline

Tune in to Glann Beck’s Fox News show or his syndicated radio program, and you’ll soon learn about the precarious state of the US dollar, a currency on the verge of collapse due to runaway government spending, a ballooning national debt, and imminent Zimbabwe-style hyperinflation. To defend yourself against the coming financial holocaust, Beck explained on his radio show last November, you need to “think like a German Jew in 1934, maybe 1931.” And that means thinking about buying some gold.

Conveniently, Beck made that suggestion as he was in the midst of interviewing his own “gold guy,” Mark Albarian, the president and CEO of Goldline International, a Santa Monica, California-based precious metals company that is a major sponsor of Beck’s radio and cable shows. In a seamless intertwining of anxiety and entrepreneurship, the two amicably debated whether we’ve already hit “peak gold” or whether the price of gold, then at $1,100 an ounce, might yet hit the inflation-adjusted high of $2,200 it saw back in 1980. Beck speculated that gold could go as high as $2,500 an ounce…

For more than a century, gold has held a special allure for conservatives. Amid economic downswings and social upheaval, the precious metal has come to be seen as a moral and political statement as much as an investment. Ever since the late 19th century, when the gold standard became the center of a ferocious debate about the country’s financial future, gold has been mythologized as a bulwark against inflation, federal meddling, and the corrosive effects of progressivism.

And now, with the economy limping along and a black Democrat in the White House, gold mania has gone mainstream. Gold prices hit a recent high last December and remained strong as the European debt crisis unfolded this spring. John Paulson, the hedge-fund giant who made billions bundling and betting against Goldman Sachs subprime mortgage securities, has invested heavily in gold, even starting a new fund devoted solely to it. A recent New York Times poll found that 1 in 20 self-identified Tea Party members had bought gold in the past year.

Cashing in on all this is a raft of entrepreneurs who have tapped into financial insecurity and fever dreams of impending tyranny. Nearly every major conservative radio host, including Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Michael Savage, and Dr. Laura Schlessinger has advertised gold. But none has done more to cheer on the new gold rush than Glenn Beck.

Interesting article. I’m never surprised to discover right-wing nutballs hustling their supporters. After all, that’s what modern radio and TV Christianity is all about.

Same hustle – different page.

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