I thought there was a particularly revealing moment on the second hour of Dennis Prager’s radio show. He often says this very thing.
From PragerTopia: "Dennis has a second conversation with Ian Plimer, Professor in the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences as The University of Adelaide. His new book is Heaven and Earth."
Plimer talked about how his critics attacked him instead of attacking his arguments.
Prager responded: "Well, welcome to those of us who are somewhat inured to this. By and large, the social and scientific and political left tend to use ad hominem arguments rather than arguments to the subject. I have witnesses this. If you put my name in Google with any curse word you can think of, you will come up with thousands of hits."
Dennis Prager has been making this claim since at least 1997 though he used to say "search engine" instead of "Google."
Ian: "It’s pathetic."
Dennis: "It is pathetic. And they have the mantle of intellectual honesty."
So I decided to take Prager up on this. I wanted to test his intellectual honesty and check if his view of reality was distorted. Sometimes I feel that Prager enjoys hanging himself on a cross and publicly nursing his wounds while denying they are wounds.
I entered his name into Google with the following curse words and compared the results with intellectuals on the left (in order, Dennis Prager, Mickey Kaus, Joshua Marshall, Al Franken, Rachel Maddow, Keith Olbermann, Luke Ford)
F***** 1690, 1390, 919, 16,300, 13,000, 15,400, 1,770
C*** 1,550, 562, 82, 15,100, 13,700, 11,500, 2,510
A****** 5,050, 4,710, 1,710, 51,300, 30,700, 46,400, 9,670
So, by the very criteria that Prager repeatedly suggests, there is no evidence that he receives any extra abuse than anyone else with his size of an audience, nor is there any evidence that people on the right receive more abuse than people on the left.
I pointed this out years ago on this site using a similar empirical test.
I was struck in this latest test by the fact that I receive far more abuse — by the criteria Prager suggests — than Prager does. I must be more of a martyr for truth!
It seems that to me that someone such as Dennis Prager who keeps talking about how he inured he is to abuse is decidedly non-inured to abuse. An inured person doesn’t keep talking about how inured he is. He’s simply inured. When you repeatedly announce that you’re inured, it feels like you are trying too hard.
I think this example suggests that Prager looks at the world in a distorted way, with a special fondness for his own sufferings, imagining them to be far greater and far more unfair than they are.
If Dennis Prager spoke to the same sized audience from the left, or if he spoke primarily about sports, his association on Google with certain curse words would be about the same, I suspect.