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Glenn Beck: The new Oprah?

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Ok, try to push the imagery of Glenn modeling the latest cashmere fashion in 4-inch Christian Louboutins. The Daily Beast's McKay Coppins was speaking of Glenn Winfrey in a purely business sense:

It’s minutes to airtime, and the set of Glenn Beck’s new online television network, GBTV, is a hive of harried producers and technicians. Directors shout into headsets, cameramen fiddle with equipment, and a young-looking stagehand carefully scrawls the words “MARXIST REVOLUTIONARIES HAVE UNITED GLOBALLY” on a custom-designed, three-sided chalkboard. When the “live” sign blinks on, Beck begins wandering around the glitzy set as he delivers a diatribe that is, by turns, funny and indignant. Perhaps the most telling moment arrives early in the broadcast, when he goes off script to declare this new venture “bigger than Oprah,” stretching out his arms in grand fashion and drawing loud cheers from the studio audience.

Spend a little time with Beck these days, and it becomes clear that’s more than just an applause line.

Since the firebrand host left Fox News last April amid rumors of friction with network brass, he has kept himself busy with Winfrey-esque empire-building. His company now boasts a diverse menu of Beck-branded products that includes a clothing line, a Groupon imitator, and an active publishing arm that recently released a bestselling sci-fi thriller. The projects might seem like odd choices for a man aiming to, say, unseat Rush Limbaugh as the right’s top political bloviator. But if the ambitious launch of GBTV is any indication, Beck has his eye on a different perch: lifestyle guru for heartland conservatives.

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