Sniff. Kinda makes you feel sad, doesn't it? Nobody wants to sign Glenn Beck's phony "non-violence" pledge. Hmmmmm. Wonder why that could be?
Here's Beck on Tuesday, whining:
BECK: The number of people so far who signed this pledge denouncing violence: 14 -- 14. Over 500 members in the House and Senate, and 14.
Now, I was going to show you the 14 names because I'm proud of those guys, but maybe some other time. I don't want this to turn into -- I mean, this is not the Committee on Un-American Activities. That's for Congress to do. Not a private citizen.
So, I don't want some list going around. I just want you to know it's 14. And I have heard all kind of reasons and excuses.
Some just say they just need more time. Some are afraid to be associated with it. Afraid? Some need more time to read it. It's not really that complex. I don't know if you know this. It's this long.
Others agree with it. Oh, Glenn, I'm telling you, we agree with it. We're in complete agreement here. I'm a little uncomfortable signing anything.
Yeah, really. And as if to underscore exactly why, he went on O'Reilly last night and whined about it some more ... and then launched into a vicious, demonizing smear of couple of leading progressive figures:
O'REILLY: So you would like to see the same kind of situation that happened after 9/11 attack now, where they would all come out and say, "Enough with this crap"?
BECK: Of course.
BECK: Every American wants that. What I...
O'REILLY: Not every American. George Soros doesn't want that.
BECK: Frances Fox Piven doesn't want that.
O'REILLY: Who is Frances Fox Piven?
BECK: Clariton (ph) Piven, from the 1960's. That's a theory that was inspired by the Watts riots and is being used right now. And she is actively, actively -- Columbia University professor used to be. I think she's -- at SUNY (ph) now. But she is actively saying, "Rise up, embrace your anger. Turn on your bosses, turn on the politicians."
O'REILLY: All right. She's Black Panther. Overthrow, kill the pigs.
BECK: She is -- she stands with the Clintons. Signing. She's very...
O'REILLY: Still around?
BECK: Oh, yes.
In fact, Frances Fox Piven was on with Amy Goodman the other night, and had to express her own bewilderment at the bizarre way that Beck is depicting and smearing her, as well as her work:
As Media Matters points out, over at Beck's own website, The Blaze, commenters responding to the Piven story left these comments -- and they remained there
even today [update: Some of these have now been taken down, though not all of them.]:
You see, Glenn, here's why no one is signing your Pledge: Because it contains this key point:
I hold those responsible for the violence, responsible for the violence. I denounce those who attempt to blame political opponents for the acts of madmen.
This is a copout, and everyone -- except right-wing hatemongers and their Village apologists -- knows it. Sure, everyone knows that crazy people do crazy things. But their heads get filled with crazy ideas by people who indulge in crazy talk for fun and profit. And the blood of the victims is on their hands too.
The proof is right there at your own site, and there in your own rants. You claim to want to bring everyone together -- and then viciously demonize people with whom you happen to disagree. Go look at those comments and try telling us again that your vicious demonization of people isn't whipping up violent hatred, the kind that eventually gets acted upon.
No one -- no one -- believes there is even an ounce of sincerity to your Pledge. We already know that you're the last person on the planet who should be preaching nonviolence. Especially because you go out and prove our suspicions: let's all come together except the progressives you intend to destroy.
You see, Glenn, as SEK at Lawyers, Guns and Money explained the other day, violent rhetoric is not always the outright advocacy of violence, as you seem to think: it is just as often rhetoric that invites a specific audience to reach the conclusion that violence is the only appropriate action to deal with a problem. And this kind of rhetoric, as we know all too well, is your specialty in trade.
So here's what we at CrooksandLiars propose: We'll sign your Pledge -- with one simple amendment.
Delete the copout "I hold those responsible" clause. And replace it with this clause:
"I will not unnecessarily hold up entire groups of people, or representative leaders of those groups, and demonize and dehumanize them as objects fit only for elimination, especially in a way that invites my audience to take violent action to prevent dire catastrophes of my imagining."
Make that change, and we'll happily sign your Pledge.