"The conservative movement needs a Dick Clark"

The venue set to introduce the world to this kinder, gentler Beck is a three-day event in Dallas that the conservative media mogul has billed, “Restoring Love.” It will include a “global Tea Party summit,” a conference of conservative religious leaders, and a concert-rally hybrid at Cowboy Stadium featuring inspirational music from a growing roster of artists Beck is building. The goal, he said, is to seize control of pop culture from the left by producing patriotic, uplifting art — and use that new megaphone to promote a message of enlightenment and love. The event sold out its 40,000 available tickets in less than two days, a source at Beck’s company told BuzzFeed.

In Beck’s telling, the Dallas event is the natural product of a years-long evolution of the modern conservative movement — in which he places his own projects as conspicuously central — that has moved beyond mere grassroots politics, and on to loftier ambitions. But it also marks the latest move in an aggressive transformation of the Glenn Beck brand, from the right-wing ranter-in-chief he played on Fox, to the red-state Prophet of Love he’s casting himself as today — a wholesome hybrid of Oprah Winfrey, Walt Disney, and Mahatma Gandhi, the role models he now frequently name-checks…

But if there has been a tone change from his years at Fox — where he once stood ominously amid hanging marionettes to lay out the various dark conspiracies surrounding liberal billionaire George Soros — Beck insists it was purely organic. Politics, he has come to believe, is a losing proposition for conservatives, and he’s open about his distaste for the Beltway back-and-forth.

“I’m just not gonna fight them anymore,” he said of the political opponents with whom he used to exchange barbs on air at Fox. “I’m not gonna play that game.”

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