Commentary: Glenn Beck's Oval Office

The Fort Worth Star-TelegramApril 12, 2012 

Glenn Beck has been in Texas only a few months, and he's already talking big.

Now, he wants to address America from his own Oval Office.

Lest anyone fear that something has suddenly gone drastically wrong in our country, Beck's Oval Office is a movie set in Irving.

As part of moving into the largest broadcast studio in Texas, Beck will start delivering speeches from the White House set built 20 years ago for the Oliver Stone movie JFK and stored since then at the Studios at Las Colinas.

Saying he will "deliver the speeches the president should have delivered," Beck promised to "activate the sleeping giant" of Christian conservatives in America with speeches from his new set on the Studios' Stage A.

Mainly, of course, Beck's goal is to motivate subscribers to pay $9.95 a month for his show, broadcast daily to about 300,000 viewers via computer, iPad, iPhone or other household appliance.

Beck bought the Oval Office from Studios landlord Muller Entertainment, restored it and added a George W. Bush-era office rug, he said this week.

The set was built for scenes involving both Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson in Stone's conspiracy-obsessed 1991 movie, which implicated an assortment of villains in the Kennedy assassination along with former Fort Worth schoolboy Lee Harvey Oswald.

Beck said the desk was "ragged" but "has been sitting there for what, 20 years now?" Justin Muller of Muller Entertainment confirmed that Beck bought the set, once part of tours in the studio, where movies such as Robocop, Silkwood and Leap of Faith were filmed.

Muller said the original set artist, Larry Langley, restored the backdrop and desk, an exact replica of the 130-year-old White House Resolute desk given to the people of America by Queen Victoria.

"I'm glad they were able to reuse it so a piece of movie history wasn't lost," Muller said.

Beck's company is now grossing $80 million a year, The Wall Street Journal reported recently, and has quietly built a broadcast empire in Irving.

"It's very exciting to have him here and to move him into Stage A," Muller said. (The show started on the smaller Stage C.)

Beck said he hopes to hire 1,000 workers in Irving for an entrepreneurial project.

It's named American Dream Labs.

He's right about the dream part.

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