The past couple of weeks Glenn Beck has been raving about some sort of criminal enterprise that he imagines is being run from the White House. Even with the help of his blackboards he hasn’t ever been able to coherently explain it, but he is convinced that it exists and, as befits his Messianic hallucinations, it is out to get him.
The cabal that Beck has dubbed “Crime Inc” began as an alleged conspiracy contrived by the climate change gang, which includes everyone from Al Gore to General Electric to the United Nations. Lately the conspirators grew to include your church and any institution that embraces social justice (including Beck’s Mormon church). It’s a global syndicate that seeks to collapse international economies and install a one-world government. I assume it’s being run by the Lizard People (whose leader is Barack Obama) but Beck hasn’t gotten to that part yet.
However, it appears that the real Crime Inc is the assembly of advertisers who sponsor Beck’s show (the ones who haven’t yet fled in disgust). As it turns out, many of them are running less than reputable operations that have run afoul of the law. For instance…
This peddler of over-priced gold products is passing itself off as an investment advisor. They advertise prominently on right-wing radio and TV programs that spread fear of an economic meltdown, which they contend gold is a hedge against. The only problem is that they charge far more than the actual value of the gold in their products and employ high-pressure sales tactics. In many cases gold would have to increase in value over 200% for you to just break even. Rep. Anthony Weiner is requesting that federal regulators look into whether Goldline’s highly questionable business practices violate the law.
This is an identity security company that is famous for its CEO who parades his Social Security number around on a billboard mounted to a truck. He also includes it in his TV ads. But now the Federal Trade Commission has “accused Lifelock of operating a scam and con operation. The commission announced, along with 35 state attorneys general, that it had levied a fine of $12 million against the company for deceptive business practices and for failing to secure sensitive customer data.” In short, investigators found that LifeLock failed to provide any of the services they promised.
In addition, an investigation by the the Phoenix New Times revealed that LifeLock’s CEO has had his identity breached multiple times. Losses in the thousands were racked up for the company head who so confidently broadcast his ID to the world. The New Times also uncovered some nefarious activities by another company founder that included gambling debts, arrests, and even identity theft.
Citing nearly 1,000 complaints, the Texas Attorney General filed an enforcement action against TaxMasters, charging them with unlawful conduct and misleading customers. The action asserts that Tax Masters “unlawfully misled customers about their service contract terms, failed to disclose its no-refunds policy, and falsely claimed that the firm’s employees would immediately begin work on a case.” In addition, the AG charged that Tax Masters failed to even provide the services they promised and refused to give refunds, yet pursued debt collection efforts against clients who canceled their contracts.
The first thing you need to know about Free Score is that it is not free. Well, except for the score, that is. But the report that provides you with useful information will end up running you $29.95 per month. It’s a classic bait and switch operation that tags unwary customers for thirty bucks a month for a report that can actually be obtained for free at AnnualCreditReport.com. The company employed conservative hack Ben Stein as its spokesman. That relationship cost Stein his column for the New York Times which does not permit its employees to be commercial shills. Free Score is owned by a disreputable firm called Vertrue that has been the target of actions by both the New York Attorney General and the Federal Trade Commission for deceptive business practices.
These are amongst the steadiest remaining advertisers on Beck’s show. And they appear to reflect the same disregard for ethics and honesty that Beck has made his trademark. It’s rather funny that Beck attacks his imaginary crime syndicate when he has such a close relationship with so many actual criminals. And it isn’t just as advertisers. Beck has long personally acted as a spokesman/shill for Goldline. Even when this violated the guidelines of his employer Fox News. You have to wonder how many of Beck’s other advertisers also have legal problems that have yet to surface. This would be another good reason for reputable companies to cease to associate themselves with Beck. Do they really want to be lumped in with the profligate companies listed above?
Beck’s latest hyperventilations feature a foursome who Beck fears are in cahoots with the White House in a plot to destroy him. Jim Wallis is the head of Sojourners, a progressive Christian organization. After Beck ordered his followers to “run as fast as they can” from any church that practiced social justice, Wallis wrote an item that called on Christians to run from Glenn Beck. Van Jones is the former presidential advisor on green jobs who was once affiliated with Color of Change, the group that initiated the advertiser boycott against Beck. Jones left the group two years before the boycott, which was in response to Beck calling the President a racist. Andy Stern is the former head of the union SEIU, which has joined with Color of Change and MoveOn.org to boycott Beck. These three EOGs (enemies of Glenn) have been portrayed by Beck as agents of the President. Never mind that none of them have any association with the White House or any other government office whatsoever. This is classic Beckian conspiracy mongering wherein everything he deems evil is connected to everything else he deems evil.
The fourth horseman of the Beckocalypse is Rep. Anthony Weiner, who just asked federal regulators to look into Goldline. Beck’s response was to launch a web site called WeinerFacts.com, where Beck’s disciples have been tasked with searching for dirt to smear on Weiner while making fun of his name. It’s all very mature.
Since Beck is so concerned about potential criminal activity, I wonder if he will look into the sordid histories of the people and companies that bankroll his show. And for that matter, his boss, Rupert Murdoch, has also been found guilty of improprieties ranging from corporate espionage to hacking into private email and phone systems of celebrities and politicians. Criminal behavior is part and parcel of the way these people do business. When you look at the big picture here, it’s obvious who the real Crime Inc is.