Disgraceful, Dangerous and Influential

This clip is so full of distortions and errors that it is hard to watch, but you want to watch 4.5 minutes of it to see how bizarre it is.  Glen Beck has enormous influence on people now considered the Republic base, or at least its tea-party-like part.  But notice who his target is, and what that means for us.

The person being discussed, Frances Fox Piven, has long been a target of Beck’s.  She a distinguished professor of sociology at CUNY.  Beck appears to think that her use of  “neo-liberal” refers to the Democrats; it is hard to tell whether he is ignorant or mendacious. 

8 thoughts on “Disgraceful, Dangerous and Influential

  1. Kunzelman, I don’t really get your question.
    If you are asking how do I know where the truth is, it is a sad fact about Mr Beck that his errors are just very obvious if you listen to what he says, as opposed to getting the feelings he is trying to convey.

    Beck is in fact notorious for, e.g., maintaining Obama is a racist. His show on Fox lost 400 sponsors.

    To see the problems with this clip, look up “neoliberal” and see if it really does refer to the democrats. Indeed, check out its usage in political speech and be amazed that Beck and friends hadn’t heard the phrase discussed.

    Well, what else?

    Are the universities harboring communist prof training the children to engage in violence? If that’s true, where are the violent riots?

    Who did kill the apprentice/trade training alternative to getting a degree? Beck suggests it is the universities. But that’s not true. Among the factors he doesn’t mention is the movement of skilled jobs out of the country.

    We can look at some of this in more detail, if you wish: Here’s a comment by Piven in a piece in The Nation:

    A loose and spontaneous movement of this sort could emerge. It is made more likely because unemployment rates are especially high among younger workers. Protests by the unemployed led by young workers and by students, who face a future of joblessness, just might become large enough and disruptive enough to have an impact in Washington. There is no science that predicts eruption of protest movements. Who expected the angry street mobs in Athens or the protests by British students? Who indeed predicted the strike movement that began in the United States in 1934, or the civil rights demonstrations that spread across the South in the early 1960s? We should hope for another American social movement from the bottom—and then join it.

    this piece has been cited by Beck and Beckians to support characterizing Piven as a Communist organizer who has long planned the current protests and who advocates the violet overthrow of the government. And, as you will have noticed, “the universities” are to be blamed for the crumbling of the American state because they harbor such people. What’s the problem with this? One is that thinking of the civil rights movement as a model of violent communistic action is unfortunate because it leaves out how bad the conditions were. Secondly, the idea that universities are full of people training students to wreck the country runs into the problem that today’s students are not activists in general.

  2. I can’t help it– I find it so depressing that people take this seriously. And I can’t believe here he’s reminding folks, unabashedly, that he thinks “social justice” in churches is tied to facism and communism.

  3. Anne, I think Kunzelman is actually just cracking a joke: the GBTV station motto is “the truth lives here” — which is a statement that is bound to receive more scrutiny than it deserves from philosophers ;)

    This clip would be hilarious were it not so dangerous: yes, the confusion over the meaning of “neo-liberal”, as well as his assumption that left-wing academics are conspiring to put students into debt, as if they set tuition fees.

    What an idiot.

  4. Whew! After a concern that the blog had become dogmatic (see the discussion about pink October) I was worried that I’d bring the whole thing into disrepute.

    A form of delusion of grandeur, perhaps.

  5. If you speak against president on TV -the result is you lose 400 sponsors. So you better be humble and quiet like other media people who will be rewarded with sponsors and money.

Comments are closed.