Rep. Anthony Weiner, D-N.Y., is at war with Fox News paranoia clown Glenn Beck. Weiner produced a brief report laying out the case against Beck advertiser Goldline, a corporation of scam artists in a mutually beneficial relationship with many conservative radio pundits.
Weiner pointed out that Beck scares his audience into buying gold, and then his audience hears ads for a company that sells gold at ridiculously inflated prices. (Goldline generally encourages them to buy massively marked-up coins, not bullion.) Goldline is better at responding to customer complaints than other, shadier gold businesses, but its entire business model is "rip off old people who don't know any better."
Weiner's report is here (pdf).
Beck's response has been, well, typical Beck. (Except no crying, so far.) He started a bizarre website consisting mainly of the same pro-Goldline talking points reiterated in various ways alternating with jokes about Weiner's name. Beck accused Weiner of doing the bidding of the Obama administration.
Anthony Weiner is one of the best television performers the Democrats have in the House. He's feisty, funny and able to argue for his principles. So he's maybe not the best congressman for Glenn Beck to take on. But, on the other hand, he's basically the East Coast iteration of the Fox News Liberal Democrat Caricature (the West Coast version is Speaker Pelosi, obviously).
So when Weiner appeared on "The O'Reilly Factor" last night, it predictably ended in a volley of shouting. Bill, in his new character of Fox's reasonable guy, didn't defend Goldline, he just ... well, he defended Goldline. And Beck. And accused Weiner of engaging in a witch hunt. Not that he's saying Weiner's doing anything wrong! (It's hard for Bill to keep up his new Reasonable Guy character while still making sure to have the correct position on matters like Glenn Beck shilling for scam artists.)
In his daily e-mail today, Beck called Weiner "either the dumbest human being alive or the biggest liar on the planet..." But Beck barely mentioned Weiner on his Fox show today. He showed a picture of Weiner. He called Weiner ridiculous. He warned viewers: "Don't trust me. Don't trust anybody." He briefly talked like he was going to play a clip of Weiner on "The O'Reilly Factor," but then he didn't. Instead, it was on to One World Government.
And gold ads at every commercial break.