Ann Althouse on Frances Fox Piven and her defenders on the left: “‘History tells us’ something that history doesn’t tell us, say sociologists stumbling to protect Frances Fox Piven:”
Does lofty, serious, intellectual sociology involve looking at evidence and analyzing it rationally? Linking the Tucson massacre to hot political rhetoric was a rash mistake made by demagogues — you want to talk about demagogues?! — demagogues who were slavering over the prospect of a right-wing massacre that would prove politically useful.
We call on Fox News to take steps to control the encouragement of violence that has run rampant in recent months.
Fox News? And do you also call on The Nation, which published “Mobilizing the Jobless,” by Frances Fox Piven, the article Glenn Beck brought to the attention of his large audience? Piven called for riots. She wrote:
An effective movement of the unemployed will have to look something like the strikes and riots that have spread across Greece in response to the austerity measures forced on the Greek government by the European Union, or like the student protests that recently spread with lightning speed across England in response to the prospect of greatly increased school fees….
When did Glenn Beck call for violence?
And incidentally, it’s worth recalling which famous rightwing demagogue once told impressionable students in the American heartland, “If our colleges and universities do not breed men who riot, who rebel, who attack life with all their youthful vision and vigor then there is something wrong with our colleges. The more riots that come on college campuses, the better the world for tomorrow.”
James Taranto of the Wall Street Journal adds:
The Times story on the Beck-Piven conflict is in furtherance of a public relations campaign launched last week by a group styling itself the Center for Constitutional Rights. Its press release announcing the effort accomplishes a Times-like inversion in the very headline: “CCR Appeals to Fox News President for Help in Silencing Glenn Beck Misinformation Campaign Against Progressive Professor.”
They may not agree with what you say, but they’ll fight to the death for your right to remain silent.
And the New York Times will cheer them on in that fight. Why is a newspaper that has been posturing as the scourge of violent rhetoric now siding with a purveyor of such rhetoric, and blatantly slanting the news as it does so? Because her opponent is a prominent media figure from outside the old media establishment. Because Glenn Beck is a threat to the authority of the New York Times.
Of course, there have been moments when executives associated with the Times have been caught, like Piven, calling for violence themselves.