Sunday, January 23, 2011

Aided and Abetted by the Center for Constitutional Rights, New York Times targets Glenn Beck with silencer

Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it. – Saul Alinsky

John Hinderaker of Powerline has a very smart piece preparing us for the Tuscon Strategy: Stage Two.  It begins (emphasis mine throughout):

The Left's attempt to link the Tucson shootings to angry rhetoric (not theirs, of course) was stage one of a broader strategy--what both military men and political strategists refer to as preparing the battlefield. The movement to feign nonpartisanship at the State of the Union address by seating Republicans and Democrats together is another aspect of this stage. At the same time, the Left is moving on to stage two--an effort to cash in on battlefield preparation by attacking specific figures on the right and trying to shut down speech that the Left finds inconvenient.

At the moment, the second most-read article at the New York Times site is this one: "Spotlight From Glenn Beck Brings a CUNY Professor Threats."

Conservatives immediately recognized that the point of these slanders and the accompanying noises about civility was to intimidate political opponents into silence. Among those media outlets who behaved “shamefully”  (in Ed Morrissey’s words) at the onset was the New York Times.  As Powerline goes on to note in detail, the New York Times soldiers on again, this time targeting  Glenn Beck for censure and censorship. John Hinderaker cites these paragraphs (and ably explains in his piece how preposterous yet ominous their argument is):

Never mind that Ms. Piven's radical plan to help poor people was published 45 years ago, when Mr. Beck was a toddler. Anonymous visitors to his Web site have called for her death, and some, she said, have contacted her directly via e-mail.

In response, a liberal nonprofit group, the Center for Constitutional Rights, wrote to the chairman of Fox News, Roger Ailes, on Thursday to ask him to put a stop to Mr. Beck's "false accusations" about Ms. Piven.

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

Ms. Piven said in an interview that she had informed local law enforcement authorities of the anonymous electronic threats. ...

The Nation, which has featured Ms. Piven's columns for decades, quoted some of the threats against her in an editorial this week that condemned the "concerted campaign" against her.

One such threat, published as an anonymous comment on The Blaze, read, "Somebody tell Frances I have 5000 roundas ready and I'll give My life to take Our freedom back." (The spelling and capitalizing have not been changed.)

That comment and others that were direct threats were later deleted, but other comments remain that charge her with treasonous behavior. ...

The Center for Constitutional Rights said it took exception to the sheer quantity of negative attention to Ms. Piven.

"We are vigorous defenders of the First Amendment," the center said in its letter to Fox. "However, there comes a point when constant intentional repetition of provocative, incendiary, emotional misinformation and falsehoods about a person can put that person in actual physical danger of a violent response." Mr. Beck is at that point, they said.

Another must read is New York Times Whitewashes Marxist Revolutionary Frances Fox Piven by Donald Douglas, which points to the Times’ pathetic propagandist attempts to downplay her recent contributions to civil discourse and the new tone. I almost feel sorry for The Nation. While Ms. Piven did famously write for them 45 years ago, they obscure the significance of the entry dated  December 22, 2010.  Sure The Nation was prominent in the last century, but what an insult not to recognize that they are still active agents in the simmering stew of mass uprisings.

Beyond all the above, there are some salient points that were not covered which deserve mention. First, it’s important to take note of the agenda of the Center for Constitutional Rights who are so valiantly coming to the aid of Frances Fox Piven in her battles with the evil antagonist Glenn Beck. They are judicial activists, for whom it seems no villain is too despicable to rescue.  At Discover the Networks we learn:

David Horowitz and Peter Collier, in their book Destructive Generation, state that all four CCR founders "had long histories of public support for communist causes," and that by "representing such paramilitary groups as the Baader-Meinhof gang and the Black Liberation Army," they "had attempted to justify terrorist acts and criminal violence by indicting America and its democratic allies as partners in a system of economic oppression and social injustice."

CCR characterizes itself as an organization that "uses litigation proactively to advance the law in a positive direction, to guarantee the rights of those with the fewest protections and least access to legal resources." In pursuit of these ends, CCR only defends clients whose political views it supports, among the more notable of whom have been Tom Hayden, the Black Liberation Movement, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, Students for a Democratic Society, Women’s Strike for Peace, the Communist Party, the Black Panther Party, the Catonsville Nine, and the Chicago Seven (in a case handled by Kunstler and co-counsel Leonard Weinglass). The organization also took up the cause of Leonard Peltier, an American Indian rights activist who was convicted of murdering two FBI agents in 1975, a crime for which he is currently serving a life sentence in prison.

Lest one protest that this (like the ancient history of Piven’s early radical activism) is also so last century, there’s plenty of current activity of which to take note.  Like Wiki’s report about their jumping to represent Al Qaeda terrorist, Anwar al-Awlaki. Indeed, so disturbing is their latest venture into “social justice” one of their own board members sounded alarms:

On November 15, 2010, Karima Bennoune, a member of the board of trustees of CCR as well as an international law professor and human rights lawyer of Muslim heritage, criticized CCR's decision to represent pro bono the interests of al-Awlaki in the lawsuit.

While referring to the U.S. policy as a violation of international law, and saying she opposed it, she noted that al-Awlaki himself is calling for assassinations as he is at large. Of the belief that it is wrong to defend the principle that assassinations are wrong "by standing silently next to an advocate of assassinations", she urged CCR to find other ways to challenge the policy without associating with al-Awlaki.[7] The director of the Centre for the Study of Human Rights at the London School of Economics and Political Science, who was approached by the CCR for advice on al-Awlaki, said:

I have considerable respect for CCR. But in this case they have made a serious error of ethical judgment. Does a highly respected organisation, founded in the midst of historic struggles for civil rights and racial justice, now wish to be perceived by some as al-Qaida's legal team? Can you fight extra-judicial assassinations by standing alongside someone who advocates extra-judicial assassinations?

Next, If the meme that we should dismiss what Beck presents because this all happened  “45 years ago, when Mr. Beck was a toddler” so why are we talking about it?’ sounds familiar, you’re right. A nearly identical argument was used to excuse the fact that Barack Obama served on numerous boards with notorious domestic terrorist, Bill Ayers, and even launched his first political campaign chez lui.  Recall this talking point from his “Fight the Smears” campaign website:

Senator Obama strongly condemns the violent actions of the Weathermen group, as he does all acts of violence. But he was an eight-year-old child when Ayers and the Weathermen were active, and any attempt to connect Obama with events of almost forty years ago is ridiculous.

To be clear, no one ever accused Obama as being an accessory to their crimes; sensible questions were asked about the company he kept.  But this “he was only a child” argument ignored the fact that while Barack was at Columbia University (1981-1983) the war on America was not yet over for some in the Weather Underground, particularly for Cathy Boudin (whose child Ayers and Dorhn adopted). It must have been hard not to notice the headlines when a Brinks driver was assassinated for their cause in Rockland County, NY.  Anyone with the most elementary dot connecting skills would have to conclude that it’s absurd  to believe that Obama struck up a friendship with Ayers (and Dorhn) but knew nothing about their violent history, or events which followed decades later. 

The Times is not alone in promoting the propagandist’s take that it happened 45 years ago so why all the fuss? Mediaite helpfully chimes in here:

CUNY sociology professor Frances Fox Piven has found herself in the midst of a political crossfire for a work she published 45 years ago. Piven, along with husband Richard Cloward published a work in the 1960s that now forms the crux of the attacks on the Obama administration from The Glenn Beck Program, and now Piven is speaking out against Glenn Beck and Fox News for death threats she has received via email since becoming a major character in Beck’s narrative.

Again, her recent pot stirring at The Nation is ignored.

Be sure to read Powerline and Donald Douglas in full. It’s important to be reminded  not only of Ms. Piven’s history but also of the violent riots in Greece and the U.K. (videos at the link) which Ms. Piven so cavalierly suggests the unemployed here in the U.S. should emulate.

And be on the alert for advances in the Tuscon Strategy, Stage Two.  It’s not going to be in the least bit civil.


-I missed this blatantly false statement from the New York Times:

Mr. Beck generally does not have guests on his hourlong Fox program, and Ms. Piven has not been invited to defend herself on the program. Neither Mr. Beck nor any of his producers have ever contacted her, she said.

Anyone who actually watches Glenn’s program would know that he frequently has guests on his show, and as such this is a really stupid unforced error on their part. That being said, I have no way of knowing whether Beck’s producers extended an invitation to Ms. Piven to “defend herself”.  I do know that Beck issued invites to George Soros in the past.

- Must read from Stanley Kurtz: Frances Fox Piven’s Violent Agenda. A snippet:

It is extraordinary that conservatives should be charged with stirring up violence at a moment when Piven, in an editorial in The Nation, has called for an American movement of “strikes and riots” on the model of the one recently seen in Greece. The anonymous threats against Piven are reprehensible. I condemn them in the strongest terms. Yet it is not conservatives but Piven and The Nation who advocate violence. Neither Piven nor The Nation should be forcibly silenced, but they certainly ought to be criticized. Instead, The Nation is leading the effort to silence those who have rightly condemned Piven’s call for rioting in America.

-James Taranto weighs in. This made me laugh:

In a Saturday news story, the New York Times reported that "her name has become a kind of shorthand for 'enemy' on Mr. Beck's Fox News Channel program."

A three-part, 15-letter, five-syllable name is "shorthand" for a five-letter word? As we shall see, that isn't the only thing the Times got backward about this story.

And Taranto wisely observes:

She did, however, cross a moral line. In the past few weeks we've heard a lot, especially from the Times, about the dangers of violent rhetoric. Most examples of such "rhetoric" consist of innocuous metaphors: a political action committee's map of districts whose congressmen are targeted for defeat, or a representative's urging her constituents to be "armed" with information. Piven's statement that "protesters need targets," taken on its own, would fall into this category. But her endorsement of European-style riots constitutes actual violent rhetoric.

The Times, however, inverts the story. In the paper's telling, Piven, the advocate of violence, is the victim; Beck, her critic, is the villain. The headline reads: "Spotlight From Glenn Beck Brings a CUNY Professor Threats."

-Beck responds here. More on CCR here from NGO monitor. Their summary conclusion:

Despite CCR’s claimed commitment to strengthening international human rights, a review of the NGO’s work suggests otherwise. Although there are certain areas in which CCR has followed its mandate, the disproportionate criticism of Israel and disregard for the context of terror severely detracts from the organization’s integrity. It is particularly disturbing that for an organization committed to legal frameworks and protecting human rights, in the case of Israel, CCR consistently applies double standards, ignoring the abuses committed against Israeli civilians.  By doing so, CCR promotes injustice, undermines international law, contributes to a culture of impunity by groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah, and advances the demonization of Israel.

Rah Rah!

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