When Glenn Beck talks, people listen. Too bad he's the last person you should be getting investment advice from—especially when he plugs gold and his favorite gold dealer, Goldline. Of course, Beck is hardly the only right-wing gold pitchman—virtually every major conservative talker, from Rush Limbaugh to G. Gordon Liddy, has endorsed a gold seller. But, as several readers have rightly pointed out in response to MoJo's story about Beck and Goldline, prominent left-wing radio hosts have jumped on the gold bandwagon as well. Ed Schultz and Thom Hartmann have both endorsed ITM Trading, an Arizona company that, like Goldline, pushes gold coins as "the best way to own gold" and likes to cite the 1933 executive order banning gold hoarding. As I write this, I'm listening to Schultz, whose website announces that he's just about to chat with ITM's Craig Griffin about "why we are seeing record gold prices."
That type of guest appearance is par for the course on talk radio, no matter the political stripe, where the lines between commercials and content can get pretty blurry. So does Big Eddie think that promoting gold squares with being a "straight talking, no-nonsense voice of reason in unreasonable times"? Or does even a good progressive have to pay the bills? Or both? I've contacted Schultz, Hartmann, and ITM for comment. Stay tuned.
UPDATE: Schultz just spent seven minutes chatting with Griffin, whom he ID'd as an advertiser as well as a longtime "contributor" to his program. The conversation hit many of the standard gold selling points—its price is skyrocketing, the value of the dollar is being undermined by the federal debt—though it noticeably lacked the apocalyptic feel of Beck's gold pitch. Nonetheless, Schultz didn't mince words. "I own it and I think you should too," he concluded. Gold, he added, is "a very safe, solid, and growing investment."