Sunday, February 27, 2011

A Prime Example of Media Manipulation

Is Beck To Blame for Threats?
As Leftist protesters fight with police, and Tea Party attendees hold patriotic signs - and then clean up after themselves - the media warns us of the "dangerous rhetoric" coming from the Right. With the vast multitudes of fence-sitters in this country, aka "moderates", it's small wonder that the consumers of traditional media sources are, well...misinformed.

They can't truly be faulted, perhaps by virtue of their innate propensity to cling to that with which they feel most comfortable, but someone must splash some cold water in their faces to make them understand that they have been duped, and that they continue to be so.

Today, - paid for by the people - published a piece in which they basically accused Glenn Beck of being a danger to society. His crime lies in his insistent exposure of a pair of sociologists and political activists who have been blamed by some for the current economic woes in the United States. Frances Fox Piven is currently a professor at the City College of New York. Her husband, Richard Cloward, is no longer with us.

The couple were advocates for the "poor" back in the sixties, and their principle solution to alleviate the suffering of those poor was to collapse the economy of the United States in order that everyone would share the same plight. Not a very uplifting program, but one that received Liberal support nonetheless. They developed the Cloward-Piven Strategy which they promoted in a 1966 article in The Nation titled "The Weight of the Poor: A Strategy to End Poverty" (PDF).  The goal, unfortunately, wasn't to actually end poverty, but to make it universal so that none would recognize it.

Glenn Beck has been relentlessly hammering the pair and their philosophy for a year, and apparently he's garnered some notice, since NPR has seen fit to alert the masses to what they perceive to be the real danger; Glenn Beck. The tactic employed by both NPR and their defendant, Ms. Piven, are nothing if not predictable.

Eagerly quoting the senior citizen responsible for a great deal of our current misery, NPR writes:
"I'm about 5-foot-6," Frances Fox Piven tells Weekends on All Things Considered host Guy Raz. "I'm 78 years old. My hair is partly grey. I'm quite thin." 
The piece goes on to say that Ms. Piven has received death threats because of Beck, although she acknowledges that he has not called for them directly. She - and NPR - fret that his mere exposure of her past damage is food enough for thought for the deranged who would see her demise. Interesting.

Conspicuously absent in the NPR tome is the fact that Cloward-Piven may be responsible for more actual suffering in this country than any anticipated repercussions of Beck's exposé. Cleverly facilitating Ms. Piven's portrayal of herself as an elderly, frail victim casts her more as the victim than the perpetrator. But the mention of her own acknowledgement of Beck's unintended consequences speaks volumes.

NPR leads the reader to believe that someone such as Beck bears not only responsibility for actions alleged due to his words, but the duty to frame the discussion in a prescribed manner as a result, in order that no one is harmed. What of the theory - and the catastrophic result - of Piven and her dearly departed? Is there no culpability to be assigned there?

Remember the trials, decades after World War II, and how no one cared much for the age of the defendants nor the condition of their health. They were bad people who deserved punishment. Evil is quite adept at playing on the sympathies of the good, however, and when it finds an effective medium to aid in that regard, it will exploit it for all it's worth.

NPR has proven to be that useful tool. Beck has been vilified ad nauseam by its like-minded outlets, yet no one utters a gasp when he is threatened. Perhaps that's because we don't hear Beck whining about threats or, if he has, no media outlet bothers to report it.

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westwood said...

Interesting and well-thought out article, thank you.

Just one small note... 'paid', rather than 'payed'. Sorry, pet peeve.

Woody said...

Thank you for the comment, westwood.

While I welcome critique when it's due, I cannot find where I made such a glaring error as using "payed" in lieu of "paid".

Woody said...

I stand corrected, westwood. I found it and fixed it. Thanks for the sharp eye.