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Fox News Refuses To Tell Glenn Beck To Tone It Down Against 78 Year-Old Professor

Reported by Ellen - January 23, 2011 -

Earlier in the week, I posted about concerns over Glenn Beck's vicious, incendiary attacks on a 78 year-old professor, Frances Fox Piven, over material she wrote 45 years ago. The Center for Constitutional Rights wrote to Fox News chief Roger Ailes to ask that the network show a little decency at long last and put an end to Beck's verbal assaults on Piven. But while Ailes claims to have told his hosts to “tone it down” in the wake of the Tucson massacre, the "fair and balanced" network has refused to do exactly that when it comes to Beck’s unhinged targeting of Piven.

As Brian Stelter reports in the New York Times:

Joel Cheatwood, a senior vice president, said Friday that Mr. Beck would not be ordered to stop talking about Ms. Piven on television. He said Mr. Beck had quoted her accurately and had never threatened her.

“‘The Glenn Beck Program,’ probably above and beyond any on television, has denounced violence repeatedly,” Mr. Cheatwood said.

He said he had no knowledge of the threats against Ms. Piven, and noted that The Blaze was operated independently of Fox News.

Ms. Piven said in an interview that she had informed local law enforcement authorities of the anonymous electronic threats. But she added, “I don’t want to give anybody the satisfaction of thinking they’ve got me trembling.”

A responsible television news executive might have shown some interest into investigating whether there have been any death threats against a 78 year-old woman rather than just shrug off such potential danger - especially when it's a network that seems insatiably interested in uncivil discourse when it comes from the left.

When it comes from the right, however, it seems that not even a 78 year-old professor, is out of bounds for an inflammatory witch hunt over something written 45 years ago.

If Fox News senior vice president Joel Cheatwood insists on turning a blind eye to the effects of Beck's attacks and continues to stand behind his CYA disavowals of violence - while suggesting violence with a wink and a nod, Cheatwood and Fox News are nothing less than complicit in any results.