New York Congressman Anthony Weiner sounded the war drums against Glenn Beck and other conservative talk radio hosts this morning by releasing a report accusing prominent advertiser Goldline of “ripping off” its customers. Beck’s reaction this morning was a reminder to his audience of two previous organized boycotts on his show and making references to McCarthyism, and tonight, Keith Olbermann invited Weiner over to respond.
Weiner described buying gold from Goldline specifically as a “bad deal,” and took ethical issues with the lack of disclosures in their advertising. “I never intended this to be a battle of wits with Glenn Beck,” he joked, adding that he didn’t think Beck had many wits to battle with. Where Beck comes in, he explained, is that “many take the rhetorical excesses of Glenn Beck… and then go to the advertisers to get ripped off.” He made an analogy to a doctor on a health program selling soda: “If you are watching a TV show dedicated to health, and someone says you should drink as much soda as you can, and then the same guy is advocating for” a soda company, he added, that would be unethical.
Asked where the “crime” is in Goldline’s advertising, as opposed to simple ethical issues, he noted that there is little Congress can do against hosts without infringing on free speech, but he would like to write legislation that forces companies to make their disclosures “much clearer.”
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