NYT: Is Glenn Beck the New Oprah?

"Virtually every novelist in America fantasizes about being picked to appear on Oprah Winfrey's talk show. But now an increasing number of writers have discovered a new champion: Glenn Beck."

Hold onto your seats, for that's not a quote from the National Review or the Weekly Standard.

It's actually the opening paragraph of an absolutely glowing piece about Beck's impact on the book industry published Thursday by -- drum roll please -- the New York Times (h/t Mediaite):

On his radio show and cable television programs, first on CNN Headline News and now on the Fox News Channel, Mr. Beck has enthusiastically endorsed dozens of novelists, a majority of them writing in the thriller genre. Mr. Beck, who now attracts 9 million weekly listeners on radio and 2.7 million daily viewers on television, often selects authors whose plots or characters reflect political stances that mirror his own. But he also promotes the work of authors who may disagree with many of his views.

“He’s our Oprah,” said Brad Thor, a writer of political thrillers who has appeared on Mr. Beck’s radio and television programs several times. “God love him, we’re very fortunate.” [...]
According to Seale Ballenger, a publicist for William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins that released “The Doomsday Key,” the novel remained in the Top 10 of the New York Times hardcover fiction best-seller list longer than typical for its type. “It was totally driven by Glenn Beck,” Mr. Ballenger said.

 Fascinating. And authors apparently love the opportunity to discuss their work with Beck:

When Mr. Beck interviews authors, he gives brief endorsements of the novels, but then tends to pick out a few issues — often relating to current events — to discuss. Authors welcome the chance to talk about the meat of their books.

“He doesn’t have me on to talk about the great sex scene in Chapter 34,” said Brad Meltzer, a thriller writer who extensively researches his novels. “He has me on to talk about the great access I’ve had to former presidents and the research that I do.”

Must have been hard for a Times author to write such praise for Beck...and probably tougher for Oprah to read a comparison between herself and the conservative talker. 

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