Glenn Beck and Frances Fox Piven!!

Dear Commons Community,

The NY Times has an article today highlighting the verbal attacks of FoxNews commentator Glenn Beck on CUNY Graduate Center’s Professor Frances Fox Piven.    Professor Piven has been a primary character in Mr. Beck’s warnings about a progressive take-down of America.  “Ms. Piven, Mr. Beck says, is responsible for a plan to “intentionally collapse our economic system.”   Together with her late husband, Richard Cloward, Professor Piven wrote an article in the May 1966 issue of The Nation titled “The Weight of the Poor: A Strategy to End Poverty”. Her critics have called this the “Cloward–Piven strategy.”     While most of us especially here at CUNY would wear a Glenn Beck criticism as a “badge of honor”,   the 78-year old Professor Piven said in an interview that she had informed local law enforcement authorities that she has received threats of physical harm because of Glenn Beck’s comments and criticisms.  However, she added, “I don’t want to give anybody the satisfaction of thinking they’ve got me trembling.”



  1. Can we address statements made by Pivens? The same ones Glenn Beck is addressing? Not the fact that Glenn is calling her and her x out?

  2. Well-stated, Leia,

    The entire FoxNews evening programming (Beck, O-Reilly, Hannity) is designed to intimidate not to engage in thoughtful discussion. I was sad to see Keith Oberman resign or otherwise leave MSNBC because he exposed FoxNews for what it was and pushed back against its intimidation and distortion.

    Thanks for commenting on this topic.


  3. Buy now, Glen Beck knows exactly what to say to rile up his followers. Professor Piven was attacked without provocation. The method is done to intimidate and make us all go a hide in fear. The fear is of being attack physically by one of the Glen Beck followers. Glen Becks comments are not made to engage the free exchange of ideas or even to have a logical debate. The comments are done to create a closed society with only one voice. If we allow these methods to intimidate us, our democracy is at threat. A large part of our democracy allows the free exchange of ideas.


  4. Good point Lauren. There does appear to be a certain rhetoric going back and forth between Mr. Beck and supporters of Professor Piven but you are right that Professor Piven did not initiate nor retaliate in some way against Beck.

    Thanks for the comment!


  5. Do you think that “feud” is the best way to describe this situation? I feel like feud implies equal responsibility for starting and continuing the hostility and I don’t think that Prof. Piven has done anything of the sort.