Saturday, January 22, 2011

Glenn Beck, Dangerous Fool...

I admit that I do not watch t.v. and certainly not FOX so I had to be pointed to this latest Glenn Beck inanity.  (h/t to Tristero at Hullabaloo.)  It appears that Beck has had a campaign against a CUNY graduate school Professor of Political Science and Sociology, Frances Fox Piven, and her late husband, Richard Cloward.  
Beck claims that Piven and Cloward were the architects of what Beck calls the “Cloward-Piven strategy” which The Nation tells us is a phrase invented by rightwing activist David Horowitz. [Here]  Beck has just picked it up and has made it his own.  Recently Piven has called for a mobilization of the unemployed, but Beck has blown this out of recognition.  The Nation charges that Beck has claimed [Here] that Pliven (and her husband):
 ...engineered the financial crisis of 2008, healthcare reform, Obama's election and massive voter fraud, among other world-historical events.
Beck has featured Piven in at least 28 broadcasts and features her in his website The Blaze with a large headline, “Frances Fox Piven Rings In The New Year By Calling For Violent Revolution” with an article by Jonathon M. Seidl and 578 hate-filled comments.  Seidl writes that: [Here]
She’s [Piven] considered by many as the grandmother of using the American welfare state to implement revolution.
I’ll stop with that quotation.  You can write the rest.  However, the website is a valuable peek into the mind of rightwing conspiracy theories.  In fact, I was reminded of the same paranoid ideation from the McCarthy era and from Fred Koch’s John Birch Society in which Communists were imagined under every bush and fluoridation was part of a sinister Communist plot to poison our drinking water.
The current rash of personal threats and comments against Frances Piven are chilling, particularly after the Tucson slaughter.  The Center for Constitutional Rights has sent a letter to Roger Ailes, Fox News President, urging him to help in silencing Glenn Beck’s crusade against Professor Piven.  As the CCR website wrote:  [Here]
Repeated Branding of 78-Year-Old Professor Frances Fox Piven as ‘Enemy of the Constitution’ Incites Death Threats.
It will be interesting to see if anything changes.  
Prof. Piven has described obscene emails that she has received and threats of violence.  In an interview on Democracy Now! with Amy Goodman [Here], Piven told how she had gotten a phone call from a person who described himself as a graduate student from Michigan State Western University and asking whether he and a fellow student could video tape an interview of her for a term paper.  She was recovering from an automobile accident, but she invited them to her home for the taping.  A few days later she became aware that edited bits of the interview were being shown on the Beck show. (I admit that the teacher that is still within me saw red at this betrayal!  How horrible to twist Piven’s gracious and generous offer into an attack against her, but I suppose the Beck folks simply felt smug.)
I urge you to click on the Goodman interview to hear and see the entire Piven statement.  [Here]  She is a very interesting and impressive woman.  Piven pointed to what she called a vast propaganda effort.  She added that the problem was not just Glenn Beck but also Rupert Murdoch.
Who could disagree?...

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