Politico has a great story (no fooling!) about how people who play on the fears of the old and scared have formed a mutually beneficial alliance. Conservative pundits and gold-selling scam artists have joined forces to rip you off!

Talk radio and Fox conservatives fear-monger to keep their audience coming back. But a happy unintended consequence of constantly telling your followers that the nation is heading off the cliff is that it attracts advertisers who depend on stupid, ill-informed, terrified consumers. Like shady firms that sell gold! So: suddenly Glenn Beck's post-apocalyptic survival tips include amassing vast stores of gold, which you can purchase (at a massively inflated above-market price, of course) from Beck sponsor Goldline!

Here is a quote from a remarkably forthcoming Beck advertiser:

Peter Epstein, president of Merit Financial Services, which advertises on Beck's show, says gold retailers expect favorable coverage from commentators on whose shows they pay to advertise. "You pay anybody on any network and they say what you pay them to say," said Epstein. "They're bought and sold."

Yes. Well. But some people are not happy with their purchases:

In one such complaint, Mary Sisak of New Castle, Pa., wrote in August that she contacted Goldline because she saw a television ad featuring Beck, and online endorsements from Levin and Thompson. After spending $5,000 on Swiss Francs, Mary said she learned she could have purchased the same number of coins for $1,600 less.

"How could I be mislead by Glenn Beck, Fred Thompson and Marvin [sic] Levin?" she wrote.

I don't know, Mary. I just don't know.