POLITICS

Cass Sunstein Received Death Threats, He Says In New Book

03/22/2013 09:47 am ET | Updated Mar 22, 2013

Lawyer and former Obama administration official Cass Sunstein received death threats after he was targeted by Glenn Beck, according to an excerpt from his upcoming book.

Sunstein was head of the White House's Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, before stepping down last August to return to a post at Harvard Law School. Opinions on his tenure were mixed: Some pro-regulation groups believed his record showed few accomplishments, while many on the right saw him as a symbol of a government overstepping its bounds.

Former Fox News host Glenn Beck was an especially harsh and persistent critic, once calling Sunstein "the most evil man, the most dangerous man in America," and directing his radio listeners to stopsunstein.com, a now defunct website that included a petition to stop Sunstein's confirmation.

In an excerpt obtained by Mother Jones from Sunstein's soon-to-be released book, Simpler: The Future of Government, he describes Beck's attacks as Orwellian and misleading, writing:

In Orwell's 1984, there is a brilliant, powerful, and frightening scene of the "Two Minutes Hate," in which party members must watch a film depicting national enemies. (As it happens, the leading enemy is named Goldstein.) At times, Beck's attacks on me, featuring my smiling face, were not entirely unlike those scenes

...

I began to receive a lot of hate mail, including death threats, at my unlisted home address. One of them stated, "If I were you I would resign immediately. A well-paid individual, who is armed, knows where you live."

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