So, it turns out that the Glenn Becks and Bill O’Reillies are trying to undermine the nation’s financial security so they can make a private bundle in the gold market. This isn’t an accusation from a partisan group. It comes in today’s Politico, the moderate-to-conservative online political news outlet.
We should all stop and think about this a moment. The shrill voices of right wing talk TV and radio are being paid by gold retailers to attack President Obama and national efforts to pull out of the recession. But it’s not just Obama who is undermined. It’s all of us. There’s a expensive, well-coordinated effort to trash confidence in the U.S. economy. And these guys claim they are the voices of patriotism. Here’s how Politico puts it:
The dire tone sounded in the ads often echo the occasionally apocalyptic economic forecasts of the shows’ hosts, many of whom have endorsement contracts with the gold retailers, appear in their ads, or have had their executives as guests to trash the economic course set by President Barack Obama and congressional Democrats, and to preach the attractions of gold…
…And it’s become an increasingly profitable synergy for everyone involved – the retailers, the networks and an array of hosts including O’Reilly and Beck, as well as radio talkers Mark Levin, Michael Savage, Laura Ingraham, Dennis Miller, Fred Thompson and G. Gordon Liddy.
I encourage you to read the who story at Politico. It’s chilling.
One reaction to this might be a cynical shrug. “Of course,” the cynic will say. “Everybody’s in it for the money.” First of all, that’s simply not true. Is your pastor, priest or rabbi in it for the money? No, we can’t dismiss this anti-American con as just another example of greed. It is worse than greed.
In a very real sense, Beck’s pitching for extremist tea parties was just part of a grassroots marketing campaign for gold sellers, a campaign he’s paid to do, a campaign that boosts profits from his own gold holdings. Beck and company have played upon the paranoia and fear of some Americans to make a profit. I know it seems like this isn’t that much different from what, say, the pharmaceutical industry does with its ads telling us all the diseases we should worry about and buy their drugs to overcome.
But drug ads don’t seek to undermine the U.S. economy. They may want to profit from our illness, but I assume they’d like us to have the money to buy their drugs.