Beck's Goldline Endorsements Draw Scrutiny
December 8, 2009 at 12:51 PM (PT)
Is GLENN BECK's relationship with advertiser GOLDLINE INTERNATIONAL getting him in trouble with his TV employer FOX NEWS CHANNEL? AOL DAILY FINANCE columnist JEFF BERCOVICI reports that GOLDLINE's use of BECK's name and image and description of the host as a "paid spokesman" for the company on its website has the FOX NEWS legal department looking into the matter.
FOX NEWS personalities are prohibited from paid endorsements, but exceptions are made for hosts who have radio shows and do live reads and endorsements in that context, as is the case at MSNBC. However, liberal media critic group MEDIA MATTERS FOR AMERICA has been calling BECK's GOLDLINE relationship a conflict of interest because he talks about buying gold without disclosing his GOLDLINE deal.
FOX NEWS SVP for Development JOEL CHEATWOOD told BERCOVICI that the network hired BECK "with the understanding that he had a well-established, burgeoning radio business, and we had to be accepting of certain elements of that," noting that the GOLDLINE deal was in place while BECK was still at CNN's HEADLINE NEWS. While the website material appears to exceed the parameters of the exception, CHEATWOOD added, "I think the beauty is he doesn't operate in a vacuum with the show. He's got a staff. I'm involved with the show daily. The rundowns of the show are circulated through BILL SHINE. It's a cooperative effort. If gold declines and the dollar goes up, I absolutely guarantee the reporting will be that on the show."