CONTACT: Jen Nessel, 212.614.6449, jnessel@ccrjustice.org; David Lerner, Riptide Communications, 212.260.5000

Center for Constitutional Rights Appeals to Fox News President for Help in Silencing Glenn Beck Misinformation Campaign Against Progressive Professor

Repeated Branding of 78-Year-Old Professor Frances Fox Piven as “Enemy of the Constitution” Incites Death Threats

January 20, 2011, New York – Today, the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) issued a written appeal to Fox News president Roger Ailes to help put a stop to the increasing threats against progressive Professor Frances Scott Piven, largely incited by Fox News host Glenn Beck.  In the letter, co-written by Legal Director Bill Quigley and Executive Director Vince Warren,the CCR asks that Aires distinguish between First Amendment rights, of which they are “vigorous defenders” and an “intentional repetition of provocative, incendiary, emotional misinformation and falsehoods [that place that person] in actual physical danger of a violent response.”

Beginning in September of 2010, Glenn Beck started branding Piven, a distinguished professor of Political Science and Sociology at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, as an “enemy of the Constitution.”  Piven, well known for advocating for the organizational rights of the poor and encouraging voter registration, has since received threatening phone calls and letters, and has become the subject of many death threats left open to the public on Glenn Beck’s website, The Blaze.”

The CCR letter cites many of the incendiary quotes from Beck in reference to Piven.  Beck compares Piven to the Hutaree militia, infamous for violent threats against government and law enforcement workers, and equates her calls for social movements to “terrorism.”  On December 31, a headline on The Blaze read, “Frances Fox Piven Rings in the New Year by Advocating Violent Revolution,” further stating that “violence has always been Piven’s preferred method of collapse.”

The Center for Constitutional rights details a backlash through some of the many violent quotes on Beck’s website.  Examples include,  “Maybe they should burst through the front door of this arrogant elitist and slit the hateful cow’s throat,” “We should blow up Piven’s office and home,” and “I am all for violence and change Frances: Where do your loved ones live?”

The letter states that the “threats must be taken seriously by Fox News,” and that “Professor Piven’s life could well be at stake.”  It further asks that Mr. Ailes “order an immediate investigation into this, and insist on a speedy and fair resolution which will stop the Fox and Beck generated threats on Professor Piven.”

To read a the letter, click here.

The Center for Constitutional Rights is dedicated to advancing and protecting the rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Founded in 1966 by attorneys who represented civil rights movements in the South, CCR is a non-profit legal and educational organization committed to the creative use of law as a positive force for social change. Visit www.ccrjustice.org. Follow @theCCR.


7 Comments to “Frances Fox Piven’s getting death threats. Does Glenn Beck want to get her killed?”

  • Why doesn’t Piven just own up to the things she’s said and done? I’m so tired of these socialist commies saying and doing so many things in a cloak of darkness. Just step up, Piven, and admit you’ve said and done these things to incite social unrest. It’s what you stand for. Own it!

  • Interesting headline. I was an idealogical liberal at one time until I started hearing calls for violence in Mrs. Piven’s lectures. At this time I separated myself from her philosophies which really cry out for a Meritocracy government which does not work because of everyones views in our public. I watched episodes of Glenn Beck and investigated his websites. Any information that is put on his show is from Mrs. Piven’s own mouth. Does Glenn Beck want her killed? I guess anyone who supports this article has not done any research which in the end comes upon your own lack of intelligence. Jumping to conclusions and assumptions is very typical of Liberalism. Glenn Beck receives many threats of violence from the any leftist group. Ask for proof from Frances on how many threats of violence she has had or look for the evidence. My suggestion for all people are look up in the dictionary for the meanings of realism and idealism.

  • The record of her work is readily available. It speaks for itself. What “cloak of darkness”?

    You don’t know anything about her work; but then your purpose here is not to clarify her record but to change the subject—-i.e., Beck’s dangerous incitement of his audience (including you) against this woman as a way to shut her up, and/or scare off all those
    inclined to think and act as she has. It’s HIS behavior that’s in question here, not hers,
    despite your efforts to make HER look menacing and devious.

    So just step up, Valcarce, and admit you think that Piven _should_ be persecuted, because she’s working for and with the poor, whose full political empowerment would somehow threaten you.

  • […] nuttiness and raise legitimate concerns. On January 20, the Center for Constitutional Rights “issued a written appeal to Fox News president Roger Ailes to help put a stop to the increasing threats” against […]

  • Pivens has called for violence.

    Beck has not.

    What in the hell are you gassing about?

  • Beck calls for violence overtly, and covertly on a daily basis, as well as brags about his murder fantasies in front of hundreds of millions of people. He is a souless, inciting, amoral shill for the Koch brothers, among others, who want nothing less than a complete and total corporatist/fascist plutocracy with 99% of the American population living in tent cities. Piven, on the other hand is a distinquished CUNY professor, and a 78 YEAR OLD WOMAN who lives a quiet, and anonymous life, and is probably a year or two away from retirement. It seems that Beck has to work and dig really hard to pull obscure figures from the left to demonize and claim that they are some kind of existential threat to this country. It’s pathetic that our pea- brained, recovering alcoholic with barely a high school education friend Beck has nothing better to do than attack old ladies for things they said in 1963.

  • Beck is nothing but an irresponsible opportunist! For those of you who have stated that Beck doesn’t call for violence, you are deaf! You refuse to believe your own ears, either that or my television has been possessed by demons! Obviously, something different is coming through my TV then is coming through yours! Want to read more about your hero? Link to:
    http://hubpages.com/hub/If-The-Rhetoric-Becomes-Less-Violent-Glenn-Beck-May-Be-Unemployed

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