As discussion about whether violent rhetoric influenced the shooting in Arizona this past weekend continues, Frances Fox Piven—professor, Nation writer and author, most recently, of Challenging Authority: How Ordinary People Change America—joined Democracy Now! to talk about Glenn Beck’s suggestion that she has plotted violent overthrow of the US government, bears responsibility for the financial crisis and is comparable to the right-wing Hutaree militia.

Piven says that “right wing operatives” recently visited her home to interview her for a video that would be part of their “term paper." The "operatives" turned out to both be individuals working for Andrew Breitbart’s blog. According to Piven, Beck “picked” her (and her late husband, Richard Cloward) because she wrote “a little article” for The Nation last year talking about the problems in organizing the unemployed, so the unemployed can have an impact in American politics.

“Unnerved” by these Beckheads but not “afraid,” Piven concludes that Glenn Beck does not deserve to be singled out. For Piven, Rupert Murdoch has done much more to create an atmosphere in which Beck’s rhetoric is accepted, and has taken advantage of the tragedy "to create a demonology in which it is the left, the Democratic left, that is the source of many of our troubles.”

Kevin Gosztola

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