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September 1, 2015

Montel Williams hawks worthless Obama coins

by Joel Keller, posted Jan 2nd 2009 12:06PM
Montel WilliamsI always had mixed feelings about Montel Williams and his now-defunct talk show. Sure, the show had its sleazy moments, but overall, he seemed to proceed in a more dignified way than most of his daytime talk brethren. I also admired him for his very public battle with MS and his advocacy to raise awareness of the disease. It seemed like Montel was set to transition to a post-show career that was at the very least not going to be embarrassing.

Then I saw him on an ad promoting one of those awful coins that commemorate Barack Obama's inauguration. You know which ones I'm talking about: they take a real (or semi-real) coin, dip it in gold, paint Obama's image on it, and claim that they're "rare" keepsakes that "comemorate" his historic inauguration, and will increase in value. So you basically pay some joint ten bucks plus shipping and handling to get a dollar or half-dollar coin that's worth... a dollar or half-dollar.

Montel has not only been on short TV ads, but he's also been touting the coins on an infomercial-length ad as well.

So here's my question: Why would Montel do this? Is he that desperate for work? Apparently, he's been doing plenty of infomercials since his show went off the air, taking a share of the profits of products he's promoting. But this seems even sleazier than that. I don't see any evidence that he's donating his salary to any charity, so it looks like he's doing it for the money. Wow. Way to be selective, Montel.

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People please do not waste your money on these!!! My mother-in-law recently purchased these so-called coins. They are not even a coin!! They are simply golc colored tin-foil type of paper. They should be ashmed of themselves for saying that these are actual currency!! I'm gong to report them to the BBB and have the put on rip-off report.com.

With the economy as bad as it is why on Earth would Mr. Montel Williams associate himself with such a thing.

I repeat do not spend your hard-earned money on these worhtless peices of crap!!!!

January 21 2009 at 3:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I can't stand to listen to Billy Mays screaming at the tv audience,either. A rule of thumb about TV & Radio commercials is that they are usually Scams in one way or another. If they offer a 2nd one free (just pay shipping) or a 10 to 30 day free trial, definately stay away from it. You will be sorry, believe me.

January 12 2009 at 11:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

These coins are "junk" not even painted but are stickers placed on the fron of currency!

Montel is dying of a illness himself, to take advantage of so many at such a trying economic time in America.

He has set his faith for eternity and will burn in hell!

January 11 2009 at 4:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I have two pet peeves with TV advertising. When I see an ad running endlessly, whether it's "Countrywide" mortgages or "Miss Cleo," I figure it's got to be a scam. Lately there one on the tube that asks people to ship them their "unused" jewelry and wait to get paid back. What kind of an idiot would ship them their gold?

The two most irksome, however include anything that's hawked by Billy Mays. I don't understand why any advertiser would want to be identified with a shill who's chronically screaming at the intended customers. The other are the "Lipozene" ads running on the Comedy Channel. They've been on for years and they're obviously snake oil.

I finally looked them up and discovered an Internet full of complaints about relentless billing, credit card debits and unauthorized withdrawals for unordered products, worthless and possibly seriously harmful pharmaceuticals and best of all, a cease and desist order and 7-8 figure fines from the Federal Trade Commission years ago. Still, the scamsters bring us Jon Stewart and Steven Colbert on endless reruns. (By the way: Is it just my imagination or do those two take more vacations than GWB?)

January 03 2009 at 11:07 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

As a coin collector/dealer, I hate all the different infomercials that sell coins on tv.They are ALL over-priced & NOT rare as advertised, and these are certainly no exception. I hate to think of people wasting their money on them. My Mom used to stash away Susan B. Anthony dollars & I tried to tell her, the government had millions & millions of those damn things stored in bags in some vault because the public hated them. They'll never be worth more than a dollar, you'd be better off sticking your cash in a 3% passbook savings account! At least you'd earn a little bit on your money. Stay away from the Obama coins & anything else they try to stick you with on tv. 99% of it is just junk. If you want to collect coins, there are lots of resources that can help you make an informed decision. Real collectable coins really DO increase in value over time.

January 03 2009 at 6:04 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I was just having this conversation with someone the other day in a more general way. I don't understand why we are always on performers for selling out. Performing (music, broadcasting, whatever) is what these people do for a living. Yes, I know, I see that barrage of replies coming about how these people are doing more than performing, they're using the credibility and goodwill they have built up in one forum and using it to influence people in a forum that is perhaps less deserving of the credibility, and that what we're really lamenting is that they are squandering that credibility and goodwill in a forum that will damage that credibility and goodwill... but in the end, they're workers trying to make a living like the rest of us, so, my feeling is, fine, let them make a living.

January 02 2009 at 5:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Tilt! Ok...tvsquad has definitely hit the holiday-no-new-episode slump when you are writing about a crummy commercial for a commemorative coin!

The Pot

P.S. - I think its worse than his "I'm sick too, use this prescription drug company" ads. Those may be true. But this is simply him using the race to peddle worthless coins to other Blacks.

January 02 2009 at 3:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply


Montel has ALWAYS been a sleaze. How else could he prop up Sylvia Browne as much as he did if he actually cared about 'keeping it classy'?

January 02 2009 at 2:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I'm not an Obama supporter, but the only problem I see is their claim that these coins will increase in value, as you pointed out. Maybe they will, but the market is already saturated with so many different Obama "inaugural commemorative" coin sets and chatzkis that it will be a good long time before it happens.

The coins DO look cheesy, but there's nothing wrong with Montel hawking them. And if he's getting a cut of the profit, all the better. Makes even more sense. There's obviously enough people ready to pay money for the stuff so why not? Viva capitalism!

January 02 2009 at 2:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

My wife and I were just thinking the same thing. We saw one of the ads this morning and couldn't believe how far he's fallen and how fast.

January 02 2009 at 1:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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