By Alex Kingsbury, Washington Whispers
How did Rep. Anthony Weiner, a New York Democrat, come to cross swords with Fox News's Glenn Beck? This week, the congressman released a report on one of Beck's advertisers, Goldline International, alleging that the company "grossly overcharges consumers for their coins." Weiner's staff compared the prices of coins Goldline sells to the melt value of the gold. They found the markup to be an average of 90 percent, which they say "is 47 percent higher than better-priced competitors." Goldline advertises on numerous conservative radio and TV programs where the hosts, including Beck, endorse Goldline products. Weiner's report says Goldline formed an "unholy alliance with conservative pundits," and that Beck often promotes "the purchase of gold as the only safe investment alternative for consumers who want to safeguard their livelihoods." "Goldline rips off customers and Glenn Beck helps them," says Weiner. Goldline denies any wrongdoing. Weiner has asked the Federal Trade Commission and the Securities and Exchange Commission to investigate. Beck has dedicated large portions of his shows to denying the report and responded in his typical shock-jock fashion. He mocked the congressman's last name, launched a website, weinerfacts.com, featuring a cartoon of Weiner's face on a dancing hot dog, and says the representative is "trying on the shoes of [Sen. Joe] McCarthy."