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A School in Ohio Assigned YouTube Videos From Fake Right-Wing University PragerU for Extra Credit

Dennis Prager.

Dennis Prager.
Photograph: Joshua Blanchard/Getty Pictures for Politicon (Getty Pictures)

There’s studying after which there’s “studying.” In line with a report within the Huffington Post on Tuesday, college students in a 10th-grade historical past class at Maumee Excessive College in Ohio had been supplied additional credit score to do some of the latter by watching movies produced by Prager College (PragerU). That’s not, in actual fact, a college, however a right-wing nonprofit and YouTube channel based by discuss present host Dennis Prager.

PragerU movies are sometimes stocked with historical revisionism, xenophobic and anti-Muslim propaganda, rants decrying feminism, climate change denial, and rhetoric asserting the “left” is a pathology centered round literally destroying the U.S. It additionally promotes creationism and flirts with far-right rhetoric like decrying the demographic “suicide” of Europe. (Prager himself has bemoaned that it “is idiotic that you just can’t say the N-word.”) PragerU movies are sometimes affected by factual inaccuracies and have a tendency to hype up a conservative victimization complex.

Regardless of this, PragerU has excessive manufacturing values that assist bolster its desired picture as a form of educational establishment quite than a right-wing content material farm. Its ethos is—and Prager himself has claimed as a lot—that watching YouTube movies of conservative pundits relaying the sort of speaking factors most popular by the Home Freedom Caucus constitutes an academic expertise. It’s turn out to be a powerhouse of the conservative digital media ecosystem, with over 2.eight million subscribers and views within the billions on YouTube, 3.eight million likes on Fb, and over 540,000 Twitter followers.

In line with HuffPo, among the movies assigned had titles together with “Construct the Wall,” “Why the Proper Was Proper,” and “The Left Ruins All the pieces.” Students had been reportedly requested amongst different issues to establish the movies’ “most vital messages.” Information that PragerU was being taught within the classroom comes the identical month as its current push to interrupt into Okay-12 schooling (PragerU Educators and Mother and father, or PREP), although the instructor concerned assigned the movies final 12 months.

To offer an thought of what sort of stuff PragerU thinks colleges throughout the nation needs to be instructing, course guides supplied within the promotional push included sections similar to “Conservatives Are the Actual Environmentalists” and “The Ferguson Lie,” per HuffPo. True-false questions for check preparation supplied in PREP supplies embody “practically all the most important 19th- and 20th-century breakthroughs in well being care had been made by Western Europeans and North People” and “Large Tech with its management of search algorithms, its shadowbanning, and deboosting helps political correctness and the ensuing limitations of freedom.”

PragerU advertising and marketing exec Craig Strazzeri instructed HuffPost that in his nightmare imaginative and prescient of a super world, the nation’s college students would have PragerU content material streamed immediately into their eyeballs A Clockwork Orange-style:

Already, “2,000 mother and father and educators have already signed up for PREP,” Craig Strazzeri, chief advertising and marketing officer of PragerU, mentioned in an e mail to HuffPost.

“We continuously hear from educators and lecturers who use our movies within the classroom,” Strazzeri mentioned. He declined to reveal what number of public faculty lecturers particularly joined the brand new program. “Ideally, each faculty in America would present PragerU movies within the classroom frequently to assist educate the following technology.”

“After I talked to the principal and vice principal, they acted like this was simply one other task,” Andrea Cutway, the mother or father of a Maumee Excessive College pupil who first drew consideration to the course’s curriculum, instructed HuffPo. “This actually is a few scary stuff. I do really feel like they’ve discovered a solution to get into the general public faculty system.”

Cutaway instructed HuffPo that directors had first supplied to introduce liberal content material as a counterbalance, although the positioning reported Maumee Excessive College had stripped PragerU from the curriculum after they reached out. PragerU responded by tweeting, “The left is terrified that lecturers are utilizing PragerU movies within the classroom.”

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Tom McKay