Paging Beck: ABC reports that Better Business Bureau ratings can be bought
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Goldline is a major sponsor of Glenn Beck's radio and TV shows for which he has personally recorded testimonials. Recently, the precious metal company has been probed by Rep. Anthony Weiner, and the firm is under investigation by district attorneys in Los Angeles and Santa Monica for allegedly deceptive business practices.
One of Beck's stock defenses of Goldline is that they have an "A+" rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB), and thus cannot be involved in anything shady. But in May, Mother Jones reported that a company's ratings from BBB may be tied in to whether that firm pays to join the bureau.
Tonight, ABC News confirmed Mother Jones' investigation:
ABC's Brian Ross reports on widespread complaints from business owners about issues with the BBB ratings stem. The story also notes that a nonexistent sushi restaurant received an "A-" from BBB, while celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck received an "F," which he says is a result of refusing to pay the bureau. A business owner working with ABC saw her business go from a "C" to a "A+" the day after she gave money to BBB.
Ross further reports that Stormfront, described by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a "popular online forum for white nationalists and other racial extremists" received an "A+" from the BBB. Just like Goldline.
It will be interesting to see whether Beck chooses to ignore this report, or finds a way to work it into the conspiracy he claims is arrayed against Goldline.
UPDATE: ABC's 20/20 ran a longer version of this story, which can be seen below: