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Beck rants trigger death threats against NY professor

By David Edwards
Sunday, January 23, 2011 12:08 EDT
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The life of a 78-year-old New York professor may be in danger after she was made a target by Fox News’ Glenn Beck.

Frances Fox Piven, a City University of New York sociologist, has been receiving death threats, and at least one group is blaming Beck, according to The New York Times.

In a letter to Fox News, the Center for Constitutional Rights asked Chairman Roger Ailes to stop Beck’s “false accusations” against Pivens.

“Mr. Beck is putting Professor Piven in actual physical danger of a violent response,” the group wrote.

The Fox News host has been focusing on Piven since December 2009, and just last week he called her an enemy of the Constitution. He has also labeled her one of the “nine most dangerous people in the world.”

Comments on Beck’s website, The Blaze, as well as e-mail messages have called for Piven’s death.

“Somebody tell Frances I have 5000 roundas ready and I’ll give My life to take Our freedom back,” one anonymous commenter wrote.

In an interview, Piven said she had contacted local law enforcement about the threats.

“I don’t want to give anybody the satisfaction of thinking they’ve got me trembling,” she added.

Piven is known for her work as a sociologist, but it is a 1966 column written for The Nation that got the Fox News host’s attention. Piven along with her husband and long-time collaborator Richard Cloward presented a plan to bring about social change by overwhelming the welfare system. Beck demonized the idea and referred to it as the “Cloward & Piven Strategy.”

Fox News Senior Vice President Joel Cheatwood noted that Beck had never personally threatened the professor.

The Glenn Beck Program, probably above and beyond any on television, has denounced violence repeatedly,” he said.

It’s not the first time that Beck viewers have taken his words a step further.

Byron Williams, who engaged in a 12-minute shootout with California Highway Patrol, said Beck’s rants about the Tides Foundation were an inspiration. Williams described Beck as being “like a school teacher.”

For Beck’s part, he has claimed that he doesn’t use violent rhetoric. But as late as June 2010, he warned viewers that they would have to “shoot” radicals “in the head” to prevent communism.

This video is from Fox News’ Glenn Beck, broadcast Dec. 22, 2010.


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David Edwards
David Edwards
David Edwards has served as an editor at Raw Story since 2006. His work can also be found at Crooks & Liars, and he's also been published at The BRAD BLOG. He came to Raw Story after working as a network manager for the state of North Carolina and as as engineer developing enterprise resource planning software. Follow him on Twitter at @DavidEdwards.
 
 
 
 
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