Boycotts are a valued American tradition and legitimate means of working for social change. Using government power to quash and squash the free speech of political opponents is not. The idea of boycotts is to stop buying products from companies which support causes you oppose. Over the last couple of years, two organizations have been sponsoring a boycott of the Glenn Beck show. If the website StopBeck.com is to be believed, they have been quite successful in getting some sponsors to drop the program. How much this has impacted revenues for the Fox News Channel or Beck is not known. We do know Beck’s opponents are not satisfied with that success. They are now turning to government bureaucracies like the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), along with local law enforcement agencies, and Congress, in order to bully sponsors into leaving the program and bully talk shows into silence.
Some of this is personal as much as political. The other organization pushing the boycott is ColorofChange.Org, an organization founded by Van Jones, the Green Jobs Czar in the Obama White House. He was forced of his job, largely by the efforts of Beck in exposing Jones as an admitted Communist, a profane insulter of Republicans, and signer of a document supporting a 9/11 conspiracy theory.
Bullies Bigger Than Boycotts
Goldline is one of the sponsors of the Glenn Beck show as well as talk shows hosted by Rush Limbaugh, Laura Ingraham, Mike Huckabee, Fred Thompson, and others. Along with other precious metals, this company sells collectible gold coins. Since the company refused to quit running ads, liberal political opponents have started to use the long arm of the law in an effort to hush conservative hosts through one of their sponsors.
The claim is that Goldline overcharges for the coins and falsely advertises and promotes them as good investments. The second charge is that Beck and the others offer doom and gloom predictions of the economy thereby terrifying them into buying gold.
Let’s be clear. This is not about gold; it is about politics (I have no opinion on the purchase of gold coins). Congress is considering hearings on the subject, and the idea was sponsored by Democratic Congressman Anthony D. Weiner who hopes to create new legislation that would pry deeper into private companies business practices . Highlights of Weiner’s take on the subject of talk shows and Goldline can be found in his offical congressional letter-head report:
“These paid spokespeople have happily agreed to promote Goldline by playing off the fear of inflation, to encourage people to purchase gold as an investment that will protect them from an out of control government. In reality Goldline is a company that uses conservative rhetoric, high pressure sales tactics and tall tales about the future of gold to sell over priced coins that can be bought somewhere else for cheaper (sic).”
One of the silliest things Weiner did was to compare the meltdown values of collectible coins with their current Goldline price, suggesting the latter was an unfair price. That is a little like saying the Mona Lisa is really only worth the value of the canvas, frame, and paint (about $1.84). But by wresting control of another market, the liberals can get a twofer: silence conservatives, and hamper capitalists.
Don’t think this harassment will stop with just Goldline and Glenn Beck. Between Obamacare (which gives the federal government “authority” over almost every aspect of our private lives, including what we eat and when we exercise), cap and trade (dittos over the workplace), and the swarm of bureaucrats already in Washington (at the FDA, OHSHA, etc.), the bullies could go after about any product, company, or person they want. And this means you.
UPDATE: August 6, 2010: I should add that I am not nor ever have been an investor at Goldline or any other gold investment firm. I did have my questions answered professionally, without pressure when a year ago I looked into buying gold. The staff actually discouraged me from buying gold in my current situation.