On his radio show Monday, Glenn Beck responded to criticism from a New York Times article that he is inciting violence by focusing on Frances Fox Piven's calls for revolution. His response? It's a "hatchet job." And he's not the only one saying it.
First the charge: by focusing on Piven -- who the Times insinuates isn't really calling for violent revolution -- Beck is fostering hate against her, hate that includes talk of violence by commenters on this site.
Now the response. It started with a cheeky supply and demand lesson for the Times, as well as a reference to dogs "piddling":
Later on, he got more serious and called the article a "hatchet job" and "slop":
As Beck pointed out, the group the Times quotes in its article has ties to George Soros. In the piece, the Times references a letter sent from the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) to the chairman of Fox News, Roger Ailes, asking him to stop Beck from spreading "false accusations" about Piven.
“Mr. Beck is putting Professor Piven in actual physical danger of a violent response,” the Times quoted the letter as saying. The group continued: “We are vigorous defenders of the First Amendment. 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.”
But what the Times does not mention is that the organization has had the backing of George Soros, the man who has declared war on Beck and has invested millions in organizations that are trying to get Beck off the air.
In 2007, the website NGO Monitor, a watchdog for NGOs or Non-Government Organizations, wrote a summary of CCR's activities and funding. The website said the the group's "activities have become more radicalized." At the time the article was published, NGO Monitor wrote that the group received "large donations from the Ford Foundation and George Soros’ Open Society Institute." Another site, DiscoverTheNetworks.org, points out that Soros was funneling money to CCR as far back as 2004.
NGO Monitor isn't some radical group either. Holocaust survivor, and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, Elie Wiesel currently sits on the group's International Advisory Board.
So is Beck the only one that thinks that it's Piven, not him, inciting violence? No -- the Wall Street Journal thinks so too.
In a lengthy article riddled with Piven's own words, James Taranto dissects the Times article and concludes:
But the idea that Beck is to blame for these alleged threats is baseless. That is why the Times makes this accusation only indirectly, through insinuation and innuendo, consistent with its recent journalistic modus operandi. Indeed, what exactly is Beck supposed to have done wrong here? There is no allegation that anything he has said about Piven or her ideas is untrue, save for her denial in the Times that she has advocated violence, which is contradicted by her own quote in the previous paragraph.
"Nor is there any claim that Beck has advocated threats against Piven," Taranto goes on to say, noting the truth is "quite the contrary" since this site actually deleted the reader comments that were violent and threatening in nature.
So why would the Times dabble in such an attack? Taranto has a theory:
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.
A "threat." Makes sense. But such violent rhetoric.