Frances Fox Piven, the 78-year-old professor who has been in the news for receiving death threats after years of attacks by Glenn Beck, went on MSNBC to discuss her views on Beck and how the threats have affected her.
Piven, who teaches at the City University of New York, has been accused by Beck of helping to bring about the economic crisis; he has also dubbed her an "enemy of the Constitution." She spoke to MSNBC's Cenk Uygur on Monday night. Uygur noted that Beck had dubbed her, along with eight others, as part of an "intelligent minority" that was promoting a "big lie." He cited a blog post from The Atlantic's Jeffrey Goldberg which pointed out that eight out of the nine people in Beck's group were Jewish, including Piven.
"I thought it was funny at the beginning," Piven said of Beck's campaign against her. "Gradually, over time, I've come to see it as something really important, really insidious, very scary scary that's going on...a lot of people are listening to Glenn Beck and they're listening to these very strange, paranoid stories."
She traced Beck's animus to "a little article" that she wrote 45 years ago, in which, in her words, she proposed that "poor people claim their lawful benefits from the welfare system." (Piven thought that doing so would force a guaranteed national income to be enacted.)
"Whatever you think of that proposal," she said, "it is so strange...that someone would be able to enlarge it to make it an explanation for why the housing market collapsed, why the financial market collapsed, why Barack Obama was elected, why George Soros, why, why, why?"