PRAGER UNIVERSITY

A CONSERVATIVE NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATION

ESSENTIAL FACTS:

  • PragerU has been widely criticized for promoting misinformation on climate change, Covid_19, immigration, social justice, history, and more. [1][2]

  • A PragerU presenter said Jewish people "chose to die in the Holocaust". [1]

  • In 2018, as part of its efforts to counter misinformation, YouTube added fact-checking tags to PragerU's videos about climate change. Climate Feedback, Reuters and the Weather Channel have also found that PragerU's videos promote inaccurate and misleading claims about climate change. [1][2]

  • Some PragerU videos claim that the gender pay gap does not exist, and that there is no police discrimination toward African-Americans. [1]

  • In 2020, PragerU received $704,057 in COVID-19 relief loans from the publicly-funded Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). [1]

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PragerU

Type

Leader

Founded

Category

Bias

EIN

501(c)3, Foundation

Dennis Prager

2009

Non-Profit Organization

Republican, Far-Right

27-1763901

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  • In 2020, PragerU received $704,057 in COVID-19 relief loans from the Paycheck Protection Program, [1] despite the fact that PragerU saw a $12.3 million increase in contributions from 2019 (up 55%), and a $15 million increase in net worth over the same period. [2]

  • Karlyn Borysenko, one of PragerU's video presenters, said in a series of tweets that "everyone who died in the Holocaust chose to die in the Holocaust before they were ever born because they collective[ly] wanted to understand the experience of ultimate oppression... That's why Hitler went to Heaven." [1]

  • Over a dozen PragerU videos promote fossil fuels and dispute the scientific consensus on climate change. [1] According to the non-profit think tank InfluenceMap, targeted ads posted on Facebook included misleading material that cast doubt on science, framed climatic concerns as ideological and hysteria, and promoted a conspiracy theory that "big government control" is the real motivation behind energy policies to reduce gas emissions. [2]

  • PragerU's coverage of COVID-19 has been criticized for spreading false and misleading information about the pandemic. [1][2][3]

  • In a PragerU video, contributor Will Witt falsely claimed that "only 6% of COVID-19 deaths were caused by COVID-19 alone”. [1]

  • During an appearance on Newsmax in 2021, PragerU Founder Dennis Prager claimed that gay men were never treated as pariahs like the unvaccinated, saying that the unvaccinated are “the pariahs of America, as I have not seen in my lifetime... Can you imagine if gay men and intravenous drug users… had they been pariahs the way the non-vaccinated are? But it would have been inconceivable.” [1] On a separate occasion, Prager said that "the unvaccinate are the most hated group since -- I would say since slavery." [2]

  • On The Dennis Prager Show in August 2021, Prager said, "Your doctor knows nothing about COVID... If your doctor thinks ivermectin is dangerous, change your doctor." [1]

  • A Hungarian education foundation paid Dennis Prager $30,000 in public funds for two appearances during an August youth festival where he and Fox News host Tucker Carlson touted the country’s far-right stances on the media, immigration, and LGBTQ issues. [1]

  • Dennis Prager, who testified before Congress in support of the Defense of Marriage Act, has denied that he is homophobic, even as he asserts that, “Society has the right and obligation to prefer heterosexuality to homosexuality,” and said it’s fine to conflate homosexuality with incest. ”[H]eterosexuals who draw their line of acceptance at homosexual sex are not necessarily any more bigoted than gays who draw their line at consensual incest,” he said in a 2003 column. In 2012, he also wrote, “I believe that the ultimate aim of the LGBT movement […] is nothing less than to end gender distinctions.” [1]

  • In the fall of 2020, PragerU started fundraising for PragerU Resources for Educators and Parents (PREP), a program targeted towards kindergarten and school-aged children. [1] PREP released its first content on April 5, 2021, and has since released a large amount of content for young children. [1][2]

  • Historian Paul Gottfried, who has written extensively on the subject of fascism, harshly criticized a PragerU video hosted by Dinesh D'Souza, which stated that fascism was a left-wing ideology. D'Souza maintained that Italian philosopher Giovanni Gentile, who influenced Italian fascism, was a left-winger, to which Gottfried noted that this contradicted the research by almost all scholars of Gentile's work, who view him as a distinguished intellectual of the revolutionary right. [1]

  • According to Joseph McCarthy of The Weather Channel, in the 2016 video "Fossil Fuels: The Greenest Energy", fossil fuel proponent Alex Epstein promotes misinformation about climate change, including false and misleading claims. [1]

  • In a blog post for the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank, Alex Nowrasteh picked apart a PragerU video narrated by Michelle Malkin titled “A Nation of Immigration,” saying it is “poorly framed, rife with errors and half-truths, leaves out a lot of relevant information, and comes to an anti-legal immigration conclusion that is unsupported by the evidence presented in the rest of the video.” [1][2]

  • In 2018, the PragerU video "The Suicide of Europe" by Douglas Murray argued that Europe is "committing suicide" by allowing mass immigration. The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) described the video as a "dog whistle to the extreme right". Mark Pitcavage of the Anti-Defamation League described it as "filled with anti-immigration and anti-Muslim rhetoric". [1] "Why Did the Democratic South Become Republican?" is another video that the SPLC says contains such dog whistles. In this video, Vanderbilt University professor Carol M. Swain argues that the Southern strategy, the political strategy which saw the Republican Party exploit racial tensions to appeal to white Southerners, was false revisionism. History professor Kevin M. Kruse said that the video presented a "distortion" of history, "cherry-picked" its evidence, and was an "exercise in attacking a straw man". [2]

  • Some PragerU videos claim that the gender pay gap does not exist, [1][2] and that there is no police discrimination toward African-Americans. [3]

  • In June 2020, Snopes criticized the video "How To End White Privilege", which argued that white privilege is a myth because a black police officer's race did not provide a barrier to his success. According to Snopes, the video is inaccurate, as recent history and statistics indicate that white privilege still exists. [1]

  • According to Francesca Tripodi, PragerU's videos advance the popular alt-right conspiracy theory that whiteness and conservatism are under attack, and many videos on PragerU focus on delegitimizing the mainstream media. [1]

  • In November 2020, YouTube removed anti-trans PragerU videos for violating hate speech policies. [1]

  • In February 2020, PragerU Founder Dennis Prager complained on his radio show about how the left had made it "impossible" to say the n-word, saying "that's disgusting, it's a farce. It's the only word that you can't say in the English language". When asked why it was ok for Prager to use a slur against Jewish people, Prager responded, "Because the left doesn't give a damn about that word. That's why. The left runs the country in the culture. The Republicans have the Senate and the presidency and that's very important. But the culture? And the more the left controls the more totalitarian it is. That is not an attack, it's a statement of fact, like two plus two equals four. It is idiotic that you cannot say the n-word. Idiotic." [1]

  • In October 2017, PragerU filed a federal lawsuit against YouTube's parent company, Google, claiming that 37 of its videos were unfairly demonetized or flagged so that they could only be viewed with "restricted mode filtering", which limits views based on viewer characteristics such as age. [1] PragerU claimed that Google's demonetization and flagging violated the First Amendment by arguing that YouTube was a public forum. In March 2018, U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh dismissed the case, ruling that because Google was a private company, PragerU had failed to show that Google had infringed its free speech rights. [2][3][4] In February 2020, the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld this ruling. [5][6]

  • In an August 2019 article written by Drew Anderson of GLAAD, an LGBT media monitoring organization, Anderson noted PragerU's ties to white supremacy and white supremacists, and also noted PragerU's "Horrific Anti-LGBTQ Record". [1]

  • In 2018, as part of its efforts to counter misinformation, YouTube added fact-checking tags to PragerU's videos about climate change. [1][2] Climate Feedback, Reuters, and the Weather Channel have found that PragerU's videos promote inaccurate and misleading claims about climate change. [3][4][5]

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  • Dennis Prager  (Founder)

  • Allen Estrin  (Co-Founder)

  • Dan and Farris Wilks  (Major Donor)

  • Sheldon Adelson  (Major Donor)

  • Tucker Carlson  (Contributor)

  • Ben Shapiro  (Contributor)

  • Steven Crowder  (Contributor)

  • Candace Owens  (Contributor)

  • George Will  (Contributor)

  • Dave Rubin  (Contributor)

  • Will Witt  (Contributor)

  • Karlyn Borysenko  (Contributor)

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