The gold market meltdown — with prices plunging in recent weeks from over $1,900 an ounce to under $1,600 — is a reminder that the precious metal is a volatile, speculative commodity. It also signals a bear market in credibility for the many right-leaning cable-news and talk-radio hosts who have touted gold relentlessly in recent years as a hedge against economic calamity.
“If you’ve been watching for any length of time, and you still haven’t looked into buying gold, what’s wrong with you?” Glenn Beck said in a video on his website in 2009. “I think you’re nuts.” His TV show, meanwhile, featured frequent calls to buy gold, interspersed with commercials for gold retailers.
Bill O’Reilly, Mark Levin, Andrew Napolitano, G. Gordon Liddy and other high-profile hosts also joined the gold bandwagon, pressing audiences to invest in gold collectible coins and other such products rather than trust their wealth to paper money. Liddy took to crumpling currency in his gold commercials.