On the third hour of his radio show yesterday, Dennis Prager asked his listeners what they wanted for Christmas (under $1,000).
Mike calls: “I don’t think any CD collection would be complete without the new Beatles box set released for $300.”
Dennis: “I agree.”
Mike: “To complete that, Beatles Rock Man. To play that on my 46″ flat screen, have people over, that’s a great night out. I have Bose surround sound. It’s the right way to listen to the Beatles.”
Dennis: “If you could have that new Beatles set and the video game, or a wife?”
Mike: “Wow. That my friend is a very difficult question. If you press me for an answer, I’m going to have to say the Beatles.”
Dennis: “And that’s why he doesn’t have a wife.”
Another man calls. “You’ll remember me. I’m the one who always pulls you aside and tells you you should be president of the United States.”
Dennis: “I agree with you right now. It’s the first time. I don’t know what I’ve said in the past, but I agree with you, only because the Republicans don’t have somebody who can articulate American values well enough right now, or at least I don’t know who he is. It’s something I’ll talk to my listeners about. It’s been in my mind.”
So if Prager runs for president, what kind of record does he have for running things? It is mixed. I don’t think there’s much evidence to show that Dennis Prager is a great administrator. He’s no Aharon Kotler. He’s not easy to get along with.
As for Prager’s seven-year tenure running Brandeis Bardin, I hear good and bad things about it. The heads of the board of Brandeis-Bardin consistently hated Dennis.
In September of 1983, Prager left the Brandeis Bardin Institute. He writes in his autobiography: “While the membership and I loved each other, the heads of the board of directors and I did not. Indeed, I left BBI largely because the president/chairman of the board [William Chotiner] made life miserable for me. I occasionally reflect on where my life would be today had he and others of the lay leadership treated me differently.” (Prager CD)
Dennis started his journal and business Ultimate Issues in 1985. Despite charging hefty prices ($10 per audiotape, most rabbis give their talks away or simply charge cost) while claiming he wanted to get his thoughts out to the widest possible audience, Prager consistently lost money on the operation. In 1992, he made a dramatic fundraising appeal to his subscribers.
How have those who have worked for and with Dennis come to regard him? It is mixed. Some hate him and some love him.