When prosecutors charged executives from the precious metals company Goldline with fraud on Tuesday, it marked an unusual victory for someone who hasn’t had many wins lately: former New York congressman Anthony Weiner.
Before he became infamous and ultimatelyresigned for tweeting photos of his private parts to women he met on the internet, Weiner had earned a reputation as a defender of consumer rights. Among his biggest campaigns was an effort to rein in sleazy gold dealers, from those who were taking advantage of the recession with dubious “cash for gold” deals to shady coin operations like Goldline, who, as Mother Jones reported last year, made millions by peddling their wares on the talk shows of right-wing hosts like Glenn Beck.
In May of last year, Weiner released a report highlighting many of the issues that ultimately ended up being part of the prosecutors’ charges Tuesday. His outspoken criticism of the company sparked a very public feud with Beck, who refused to distance himself from Goldline, which had been one of his most loyal sponsors. Beck asked his listeners to send in doctored photos of Weiner showing the congressman with “his nose as a wiener.” He said he welcomed any “Weiner facts” or photos of the congressman “in front of the wienermobile in front of his house, with his wiener dog, with his little wiener children.” Beck set up a website called weinerfacts.com just to post all the photos.
The day after Weiner resigned, Beck gloated about his nemesis’ downfall in a lengthy on-air rant, saying, “We’re going to have to do without, without one of the most unlikable figures in American political history. Remember, there is a guy who was capable of being completely unlikable. Even when he was arguing for healthcare, for 9/11 responders, he was unlikable…He could say anything, look and sound the exact same way. It didn’t matter if he was lying about Goldline or health care or his own wiener shots.”
- Goldline Execs Charged With Fraud (abcnews.go.com)
- Goldline Charged with Theft and Fraud (slog.thestranger.com)
- Glenn Beck-Endorsed Goldline Hit With Criminal Complaint; Brian Ross And GMA Told You So (mediaite.com)
- Glenn Beck’s Sponsor Goldline Under Investigation By Los Angeles D.A. For Fraud (VIDEO) (huffingtonpost.com)
- Glenn Beck-touted Goldline charged in criminal complaint (dailykos.com)
- Glenn Beck’s favorite advertiser faces 19 fraud charges (americablog.com)