Glenn Beck tells viewers to buy gold. It's one of his trademark themes, intended as insurance against currency collapse (sort of like the freeze-dried food he's also marketing). What would happen, exactly, if gold suddenly tanked? It might wipe out a lot of right-wing savings, figured Thomas Frank back in January.
Now David Frum is looking ahead to the inevitable backlash. The odds are good that many people who "bought gold above $1000 over the past year and a half" are going to be "very disappointed" with their investment returns. So how will that affect their view of the hosts who urged them to buy? Frum asks:
Will the credibility of the radio and TV hosts who tout gold survive a drop in the price of gold? How many Fox News viewers will lose how much if gold drops back to $1000? $800? $600? And when they discover that the extra premium you pay for buying gold coins shrivels when it comes time to sell?
Paul Waldman at The American Prospect provides an answer: "No, the credibility of Fox News hosts like Beck will not suffer, except among those with whom he has no credibility to begin with." He has the fullest faith in Beck's ability to "provide an explanation for gold's fall," although it will probably be a "crazy" one involving Obama. Viewers won't be able to accept the fact that they "made a plainly stupid investment decision," he predicts.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.