The subset of Glenn Beck Web commenters who issue threats is perhaps the shoddiest data set in the history of bullshit extrapolation.Yup. Overall, I'm inclined to agree with Friedersdorf about street protests in general. Meanwhile, in addition to Friedersdorf's (correct, I think) comments about Glenn Beck and political action, it's also worth noting that plenty of liberals marched in Washington last year, whether at Jon Stewart's (pointless, in my view) rally or at other explicitly liberal actions, including a large labor union rally in October. What's changed isn't that American have stopped marching; it's that marching has become such a routine political activity that few pay much attention to it (outside of cable news networks that dwell on their own self-sponsored actions).
Of course, this doesn't take away at all from the idea that threats of violence against Frances Fox Piven (or others who speak publicly about politics) are terrible, and that Glenn Beck is an irresponsible demagogue. But that's Ehrenreich's hook, not her argument.
At any rate, it's a terrific piece; read, as they say, the whole thing. And great catch!