Does anyone really believe that the hateful rhetoric abounding in the mass media does not lend itself to violence? There are those who cling to the First Amendment in a cloak and dagger form, inciting violence such as we witnessed in Tucson recently. One example of this is Glenn Beck, who has taken on 78 year old Frances Fox Piven, a professor at the City University of New York. Beck has labeled Piven “an enemy of the people.” He also claims that she is one one of the “nine most dangerous people in the world.” Since this declaration from Beck, Professor Piven has had numerous death threats against her, many of which were posted on Beck’s website, The Blaze.
Part of Beck’s stance against Piven is derived from an article written by Piven and her now deceased husband, Richard Cloward, in 1966. The article was entitled “The Weight of the Poor: A Strategy to End Poverty.” Within the article Piven and her husband suggested that Welfare rolls could be overwhelmed by people who needed money, thereby drawing attention to poverty and creating fiscal and economic stress to our financial system which would hopefully draw attention to the crisis of poverty in this country. Keep in mind that this was written in 1966. Beck called it “economic sabotage.”
More recently, Piven came under fire for suggesting in an article in The Nation that unemployed people should be staging mass protests. In Beck’s on-air response to Piven, he played videos of violent outbursts and fires in Greece due to their own economic crisis and drew parallels between those demonstrations and the statements of Frances Fox Piven. So Piven calls for the staging of protests and Beck, in his over-the-top dramatic style, plays a violent video from Greece. Piven’s response was that this was Beck’s way of “trying to frighten his viewers.”
And out of this Becketized rhetoric, death threats were issued against Piven. Some of the death threats against Piven read as follows: “We should blow up Piven’s office and home;” “I am all for violence and change Frances: Where do your loved one live?” and “OK! If it is violence she wants I think we should start with Ms. Piven.”
Is this 78 year old woman truly deserving of being placed on Beck’s “nine most dangerous people in the world” list? Is it a coincidence that eight of Beck’s so-called “nine most dangerous people” in the world are Jews? Is it any coincidence that these people are considered intellectuals? This rancor of Beck seems to be, in itself, a dangerous throw-back to a horriibly dangerous time in history.
On January 20, the Center for Constitutional Right sent an appeal to Fox News chairman Roger Ailes asking him to put a stop to these tirades against Piven. It stated that the “threats must be taken seriously by Fox News, and that her life could well be at stake.” According to the New York Times, Joel Cheatwood Fox News vice president, told the CCR that he would not order Beck to stop criticizing Piven and that he knew of no death threats against her. It is that old canard: money trumps everything. Beck brings in viewers with this rhetoric which in turn brings revenue to Fox News. At what price life?
Written by Askcherlock
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