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In what is perhaps the most in-depth, critical look at the life and worldview of Glenn Beck, Alexander Zaitchik exposes a man who has battled mental illness, fabricated a key part of his family history and peddles a warped view of history as he builds a political base with his Fox News and radio shows. Zaitchik does this in his new book, "Common Nonsense: Glenn Beck and the Triumph of Ignorance,"  and he discusses key findings in the book with Sara Robinson.
In the interview, Zaitchik explains the man behind what he calls "the cult of Beck": an ex-disc jockey prone to shockingly cruel on-air antics who seemingly couldn't hold on to a job who evolved into an evangelist blending strands of Mormonism, right-wing orthodoxy and historical distortions into a potent brew that is a hit with Tea Party populists.
Zaitchik tells Robinson that it is important to understand what drives Beck and to be prepared to refute the ideological statements Beck makes. But Zaitchik concludes that the most important thing that progressives can do to counter Beck's "lies" is to "come up with our own agenda that is educative and based in reality."
Zaitchik will appear on a panel entitled "Tea Parties, Beck, Bachmann and Blarney" at the America's Future NOW!  conference in Washington June 7-9. Read more about the Zaitchik interview on our blog .