First, via The Colbert Report, this is well worth watching:
So people come to Glenn Beck with certain, far right beliefs which he re-enforces and contributes to. Todd Scheller is a fan and defender of Mr. Beck. On a post where it was pointed out that Beck lied about President Obama's decision to go after Osama bin Laden, Todd took issue with the claim that Beck told a "pants-on-fire" lie. During the week after Obama successfully ordered to have the Navy SEALS get bin Laden, Beck claimed that the operation "contradicted every bit of foreign policy, everything [Obama has] ever advocated." Even though a link was provided that showed then candidate, Senator Obama saying, on video, "if we have Osama bin Laden in our sights and the Pakistani government is unable or unwilling to take them out, then I think that we have to act and we will take them out. We will kill bin Laden," Todd wrote in a comment "it did contradict Obama's foreign policy. The information that lead to the raid came from the detention center that was closed during his first year in office, wait no, two years down the road now and Guantanamo Bay is still operating as a detention center for the war on Terrorism. The information was obtained in the waterboarding of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed,... Yet this current administration have [sic] refused to use the method on terrorist, yet it does so on our own troops." We water-board our own troops?!? For Todd, the misinformation that water-boarding lead to the killing of bin Laden was "proof" that Beck was right even with Obama's words explicitly stating otherwise. Such is the case of a hard-core, so-called "Beckerhead." They will not let counter-factual information get in the way of their trust in Glenn Beck. They believe what they hear on Fox because it is, after all, a "news" channel. They believe what their reactionary perspective "allows" them to believe. And Mr. Beck explains to his viewers over and over and over that he tells the "truth;" so that must be the case, no matter what evidence is put before them. Usually, counter evidence is not put in front of Beck's troops, and when someone tries, Mr. "free speech" Beck has them banned from posting comments on his web site.
he's so believable!
Lisa Houserman is a secular libertarian who used to watch Glenn Beck, and her story is told here. She "truly was a Beck freak" before he turned into a "fricking televangelist" (his phrase) and began to "push the idea that the Founding Fathers were super, duper religious." That turn created enough doubt in her mind that she opened up to what some of her friends were telling her, namely that Glenn Beck is not honest, and began to research his claims. That crack, pried open by Mr. Beck's shift into a religious propagandist and messenger of God, sufficed to initiate a change in the beliefs Housermann held about Glenn Beck. Based upon Beck's decline in viewer ratings over the course of his last year on Fox, it is probable that other supporters of Mr. Beck began, for whatever reason(s), to have doubts about his veracity.
Unfortunately for America, there are still millions of people who believe Glenn Beck, and -- based upon the ideas of Mr. Shermer -- that is not likely to change. As in the case of Scheller, facts only cause ideologues to dig in their heels even harder against facts that they do not agree with. That is how facts backfire against the Beckerheads that refuse to consider, no matter how damning the evidence, that Glenn Beck is a liar, a hypocrite, an ignorant genius of reactionary, yellow propaganda and, last but most important for this topic, a cult of personality. Beck figuratively tells his adoring followers that one plus one makes three, and they find proof to support it if anyone has the audacity to claim that Beck is wrong about that. That is the awesome influence of a persuasive propagandist on the minds of those religious reactionaries who want to believe what they are being told.
Update, 7/20/2011: Houserman forwarded a link to an interview with Dr. Shermer that may interest skeptics.
http://www.skepticality.com/the-believing-brain/ Unlike the Colbert interview, he is allowed to elaborate on his theories. He states, "The problem is we don't have a baloney detection module in the brain." Human kind's problem is Glenn Beck's great fortune.
For a summary about Glenn Beck, see "Becoming Paul Revere"