Beginning in April 1995, Dennis devoted every hour of his radio show for six weeks to the Baby Richard controversy. Why? Because the story exemplified Prager's belief that blood means nothing and values mean everything.
Said Dennis Sept. 17, 2010: “I spoke at a rally [for Baby Richard] in Chicago. And I cried in the middle of my own talk, it was so painful, that whole issue, in part because my child [Aaron] was the same age and also adopted at birth and the thought of his being taken away was nightmarish.”
According to Wikipedia: “Karen Moriarty, a therapist for the biological parents, told the Chicago Sun-Times in 2003 that Danny has adjusted well to life after the custody battle.”
Susan Brandenburg reported July 4, 2007:
Moriarty's dramatic account of the four-year battle by Czechoslovakian immigrant Otto Kirchner to regain custody of his son from the couple who had adopted him at birth is in direct contrast to the condemnation of him that defined the case back in the mid-1990's. It ultimately changed adoption laws in several states.
Although it appeared to the public that the biological father of the boy had suddenly appeared on the scene to rip his 4-year-old son from the loving arms of his adoptive parents, the father's court battle for custody actually began before his child was three months old.
One aspect of Moriarty's "rest of the story" is that the adoptive parents, Kim and Jay Warburton, and their attorney had actually coerced Daniela Kirchner, a young, vulnerable, then-single immigrant mother, into signing away rights to her baby without the knowledge or permission of the birth father. For years, beginning when the child was a tiny infant, the conflict between the adoptive parents and the biological parents raged through courts and state legislatures, fueled by intense media coverage of a highly toxic nature against the biological parents.
In his book Think A Second Time, Dennis wrote: “Nothing in the history of the human race has caused more evil than the belief in the importance of blood.”
All of the evils Prager ascribes to the belief in blood are the flip side of genetic altruism. When parents prefer their own children to other people’s children, they’re preferring their own blood. When people love, they simultaneously hate whatever threatens their love.
Dennis Prager advocates the "proposition nation" (a country united by shared beliefs) as well as the "proposition family" (parents and children united by shared beliefs). He wrote: "As a father, my purpose is not to pass on my seed, but to pass on my values."
Prager doesn't believe the family is a big deal. In a 2005 lecture on Deut. 24:5, Dennis said: “Traditional life in Europe became you are defined by your family but that’s not the way it ought to be. You are defined by you, not by your family. People think family is a big deal. It’s not. It’s a big deal, who are you?”
Prager's view that we are primarily individuals rather than members of families is a modern liberal perspective. In his 2018 book, The Great Delusion: Liberal Dreams and International Realities, John J. Mearsheimer wrote:
My view is that we are profoundly social beings from the start to the finish of our lives and that individualism is of secondary importance… Liberalism downplays the social nature of human beings to the point of almost ignoring it, instead treating people largely as atomistic actors… Political liberalism… is an ideology that is individualistic at its core and assigns great importance to the concept of inalienable rights. This concern for rights is the basis of its universalism—everyone on the planet has the same inherent set of rights—and this is what motivates liberal states to pursue ambitious foreign policies. The public and scholarly discourse about liberalism since World War II has placed enormous emphasis on what are commonly called human rights. This is true all around the world, not just in the West. “Human rights,” Samuel Moyn notes, “have come to define the most elevated aspirations of both social movements and political entities—state and interstate. They evoke hope and provoke action.”
[Humans] do not operate as lone wolves but are born into social groups or societies that shape their identities well before they can assert their individualism. Moreover, individuals usually develop strong attachments to their group and are sometimes willing to make great sacrifices for their fellow members. Humans are often said to be tribal at their core. The main reason for our social nature is that the best way for a person to survive is to be embedded in a society and to cooperate with fellow members rather than act alone… Despite its elevated ranking, reason is the least important of the three ways we determine our preferences. It certainly is less important than socialization. The main reason socialization matters so much is that humans have a long childhood in which they are protected and nurtured by their families and the surrounding society, and meanwhile exposed to intense socialization. At the same time, they are only beginning to develop their critical faculties, so they are not equipped to think for themselves. By the time an individual reaches the point where his reasoning skills are well developed, his family and society have already imposed an enormous value infusion on him. Moreover, that individual is born with innate sentiments that also strongly influence how he thinks about the world around him. All of this means that people have limited choice in formulating a moral code, because so much of their thinking about right and wrong comes from inborn attitudes and socialization.
If Mearsheimer is right, and I believe he is, then Dennis Prager is just another guru spouting pseudo-profound nonsense.
James Kirkpatrick argued: "Nor can any real family hold together on the ground of ideology. We love our parents and our children because they are ours—not because we agree with their view of the Constitution."
When it comes to Israel, Dennis wants to keep it a Jewish state. Mar. 24, 2014, Dennis said to his guest Caroline Glick:
* “Everybody thinks one-state is the end of the Jewish state.”
* “On what do you base that? Why have we been fed the wrong [demographic] figures all these years?”
* “If the [demographic] numbers had not been false, you would not be advocating the one-state solution?”
* “[Her book] is primarily based on what she contends are the real numbers of Jews and Palestinians in the area west of the Jordan river, west of the state of Jordan, and if everybody was in one state, there would still be a two-thirds Jewish majority.”
* “The notion of a Palestinian state would end… What’s in this for a Palestinian?”
* “What do you say to having millions of people in your population who want to annihilate your state?”
Caroline: “We’re talking about three million people and a lot of them do but what can you do? You have to prevent them doing that… I don’t understand why we should have sympathy for aspirations of people whose aspirations are based upon negating us and destroying us.”
Dennis: “Having within your population millions of people who loathe you and feel they were cheated out of their own national expression, you don’t worry about that?”
When it comes to America, Dennis has long supported mass immigration and he has expressed no interest in maintaining a majority European population. Echoing Bill Bennett, Dennis Prager has often said he is “more afraid of what America will do to immigrants than what immigrants will do to America.”
Jan. 9, 2014, Dennis said: “It’s a nation of immigrants. The difference is us, not them. We tried to Americanize them then.”
Like all of the Western world's public intellectuals who are more interested in comfort than in truth (for example, see Jason Richwine's 2013 dismissal from the Heritage Foundation for stating facts), Dennis Prager says he cares little about IQ. By being deliberately obtuse, he gets to have a nice life. On the other hand, he sacrifices truth for cant.
Jan. 27, 2014, Dennis said: "All of my life I have said that the most important macro value, societal value, is truth. Virtually all evil emanates from lies."
Feb. 18, 2014, Dennis said: "People think brains are more important than everything. I knew at such a young age that was not true. I saw these kids in high school, some of them had such magnificent brains, but they couldn't navigate life. There were kids with great brains who cheated on tests…"
"I think those studies [that show a correlation between IQ and delayed gratification], if they exist, are crap. The idea that IQ correlates with character sickens me. You think a person of normal intelligence doesn't understand delayed gratification but a person with an Einstein IQ understands it better?"
Caller: "I think they're able to live in the future a little bit more."
Dennis: "Do you know how many brilliant Nazis and Communists there were? There were more intellectuals who supported Stalin than hardhats. I'm giving you a powerful example of the lack of correlation between brilliance, great brains, and decency. There is no correlation."
Caller: "Maybe it works better in the other direction and say that most people who become petty criminals and live lives of characterless drift tend to not have high intelligence."
Dennis: "That's a good question. I don't think it's necessary. I think people of completely average intelligence can be superior human beings. I don't think the saints of the 20th Century, like those who rescued Jews in the Holocaust, had extraordinary IQs."
"The brains thing blows my mind. I know I have a good brain, but I have rarely been impressed with brains. So what? It's a blessing like a good voice is a blessing. It never excited me when I would meet brilliant people. If they weren't good, they were boring. I felt that as a child and I feel that today. Goodness interests me more than brilliance."
"This reveling in brains drives me crazy. It's like revelling in baseball ability. If you have it, great, but it doesn't make you who you are."
"The stupid stupid notion that brains determine your life. Common sense is more important than brains. Wisdom is more important than brains… The average person is perfectly intelligent enough to deal with life. I have met very very few people that I walked away thinking, that person has a very low IQ. Everybody I work with at my home radio station is bright. Every single person. Since it runs across the gamut of human background, I have to believe that the vast majority of people are bright… I know one rocket scientist who is an emotional and psychological basketcase. It's a very narrow greatness, brains. Without wisdom, common sense, and character, it's nothing."
Philosopher Michael Levin said in 1998: "Belief in the reality and significance of intelligence is inversely correlated with education, which is correlated with IQ. You have to be very intelligent to believe there is no such thing as intelligence."
The Disney Years
The Disney years (beginning 8/5/95) at KABC were not a happy time for Dennis. May 2, 1997, he was ordered to talk about Eddie Murphy picking up a transvestite hooker and he refused, saying it was gossip.
“Everybody hated it when Disney took over,” a former KABC employee told me. “[Program director] George Green left after running the show for about 35 years. Maureen Lesourd came in. Nobody liked her. She lasted 18 months. ‘Synergy’ is the word for Disney. It means that everybody supports everybody. It means that everybody is a tool for everybody. Disney only bought ABC as an outlet for their programming. It was a smaller, more friendly company, before Disney bought it. Then it became just another arm of a huge corporation.”
Sept. 15, 2010, Dennis said: “At one place of work, I was in one of these seminars [at KABC], and I think I drove the woman crazy with her totalitarian talk about what was permitted. I can show you my breasts but you can not comment on them. That’s sexual harassment law in a nutshell.”
Dennis had many detractors at KABC. Some who worked with him claim that he was universally hated at the station for his arrogance. Many of Prager’s coworkers over the years sound scared to make any criticism of him in case he sues for defamation.
Happiness Is A Serious Problem
In January 1998, Dennis published his fourth book Happiness Is A Serious Problem. “My wife Fran has had to endure my preoccupation with happiness for some times,” Dennis wrote in the introduction to his book. “She has also graciously sat through many of my lectures on the subject, including four consecutive nights in four South American countries (in slower English, no less) and has read every word and made critical suggestions. She and our wonderful children, Anya, David, and Aaron, are already happier people – thanks to my finally finishing this book.
“…My wife is often dissatisfied with the level of communication in our marriage. In her view, we could almost always be more open and honest about our feelings and spend more time together. While she is happy in our marriage, her dissatisfaction with the level of our communication ensures ever greater intimacy and therefore a better marriage.”
Prager’s radio show went national in 1999. KABC radio in Los Angeles decided in 2000 that they wanted all local programming. With the choice to drop syndication or drop KABC, Prager moved November 10, 2000 to KIEV, soon KRLA, 870 AM in Glendale in November, a less prestigious Los Angeles radio station. KRLA has the weakest signal of any of LA’s talk radio stations.
In 2003, Allen Estrin became Prager’s radio show producer. He pushed Dennis to get more sleep. He can tell a drop in the quality of the show when Dennis does not.
“I have basically married Allen,” Dennis said Nov. 11, 2009.
Somebody who worked with Prager told me circa 2000 that Dennis earned about $600,000 a year from his radio show.
May 14, 2012, Dennis told Hugh Hewitt that the previous year he paid $30,000 in taxes to
Said Dennis Oct. 7, 2010: “I’m on well over 100 stations, 120, whatever it is. If I read an ad, I am putting my name behind what I am endorsing. I think I have a 100% batting average that what I have personally endorsed has been worthy of endorsement… There have been sponsors that I stopped endorsing.”
In a lecture delivered circa 2005, Dennis talked about what he thinks about while doing his show.
1. Keep calm. “I have a passionate nature so this took some self-control… When I hear a talk show host yell at a listener, I think they lost the battle… The calm one sounds rational.”
2. Humor. “People often say they love my sense of humor. My humor is very dry.”
3. Personal. “In my wife’s view, I share too much about my life… The more personal and real that I am, the more effective.”
4. Energy. “You must speak on radio with high energy… That sounds normal. To sound natural, that is the one unnatural thing I have to do — to speak at a high energy level the whole time. I was given few tips by program directors, but that was one of them. One thing I often got was higher energy level. I would think that was fake, but I realized to be effective on the radio, you have to be real and high energy. When the show is over, all I want to do is play Spider Solitary. I don’t want to work. I don’t want to talk to anybody… I want it to sound effortless. You can’t think about me. You should only think about what I am saying. My [goal] is that you do no work.”
5. I talk on the radio as if I am talking to people who do not agree with me. “How can I talk in a way that that person might listen to me again?”
6. “You have to be interesting with every sentence. That’s one thing every talk show host is good at — being interesting.”
7. “You can’t umm and ahh. Silence is ok.”
8. “Variety of topics is my trademark.”
9. “Do not be offended by people who call me bad things… If you think you are the greatest when you are complimented, you will think you are the worst when you are insulted… I had a colleague at KABC who took this stuff in and he had a few heart attacks. He just took it in. If he was insulted, it bothered him. If he was complimented, he thought he was the king of the hill. If I get one, it won’t be because of the show.”
10. “You cannot aim to be loved.”
11. “Nothing is allowed to intrude [on my concentration on the show]… You are tuning in to interesting, high-energy Dennis every day.”
12. “Don’t talk about what you don’t know about.”
Dennis Prager & Orthodoxy
During the 1980s and early 1990s, Dennis spoke regularly for Aish HaTorah, then he said something permissive about masturbation, and I don’t believe he’s spoken for Aish since 1992.
“We failed with Dennis,” Aish founder Rabbi Noah Weinberg said to his faithful supporters (relayed to me by several Aish HaTorah sources between 1994-1997).
In 2000, Prager rejoiced in the Democrats’ nomination of Orthodox Jew Joseph Lieberman for vice-president. He wrote in the September 2000 issue of The Prager Perspective:
If Senator Joseph Lieberman is indeed Orthodox, it is an Orthodoxy that is considerably more elastic than the modern Orthodoxy…that I studied and saw practiced 12 years of yeshiva…
…Had I been cut this much slack growing up in the Orthodox world, I might still call myself Orthodox.
By contrast with his friendship with the late Chabad rabbi Shlomo Schwartz, Dennis has long had a difficult relationship with Rabbi Shlomo Cunin, the head of the Chabad Lubavitch movement in Southern California. Around the year 1995, Rabbi Cunin prevented a talk Dennis was going to give for Chabad in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Around the year 2006, Dennis became a monthly speaker on Sabbath mornings at the Persian Orthodox Nessah synagogue in Beverly Hills. Even though it is against Orthodox Jewish law, Dennis would drive to the shul on Saturdays to give his talks until the shul was forced to stop this (even though most of its members drive to the shul on the Sabbath), and insist that Dennis not drive if he was going to speak in shul on Shabbos.
“I am part of a religion that has roles,” Dennis said Apr. 13, 2010. “While I am not Orthodox, I am a fellow traveler in many ways. I have great admiration for things that they do. I happen to endorse the idea of roles. I don’t know what would be gained in Orthodox Judaism if women became rabbis. You say equality. All right, but equality and sameness are not the same thing. There’s nothing that argues that women are not equal. Maybe it is good that men have some specific roles because then they embrace them. Men deeply need an area to carve out as their own and it is very good for boys to see men in religion. Everybody knows that women gravitate to religion more than men, so it is particularly important that boys have male models of men in religion.”
Dennis got up on Tuesday, September 11, 2001, expecting to take the day off the radio so he could take his son David to the airport to fly to Israel to enroll in yeshiva.
In a lecture on “Secular Religions”, Dennis said: “We allowed our oldest son to go to Israel during the worst of the terror. He spent six months in Jerusalem. He heard two terror bombings. He felt he wanted to go. It had been scheduled for years. His ticket to Israel was 9/11/01. I was going to take the day off from radio to take him to the airport to say goodbye to send him off to terror-filled Israel. Then it was terror-filled America and his flight was delayed for a month.”
Between 1995 and 9/11, terrorism expert Steve Emerson said that Dennis Prager and Geraldo Rivera were the only broadcasters to have him on. (May 5, 2010)
On the Sabbath morning after 9/11, Dennis Prager told the Mountaintop Minyan at Stephen S. Wise temple, “I stand before you as a proud member of the world’s two most hated peoples — Americans and Jews.”
Dennis said in a January 2002 lecture on his ideological autobiography, “Before September 11, I was very pessimistic about this country. I believe Osama Bin Laden did more good for America than any other single person in my lifetime. He has turned this country around. People are asking what’s so special about us? People are allowed to be patriotic now.”
Sept. 11, 2002, Dennis wrote that "it is clear that 9-11 did far more good than harm. America has become a better place because of that attack."
From the perspective of 2023, that seems absurd. The quality of life in America deteriorated as a result of the 9-11 attacks with increased security bureaucracy and needless Middle East invasions of Afghanistan in 2001 and Iraq in 2003.
February 6, 2023, Dennis said about his first two divorces: "In the first case, it was very mutual. In the second case… Husbands and wives should make love outside of the bedroom and have sex inside of the bedroom."
On his January 16, 2023 Youtube show, Dennis said: "I know I worked my tail off to make the second one work. For a long time. It was 17 years. I was up against an insoluble dilemma. She's the mother of my second child. She had been sexually abused by a relative as a child."
Julie: "Did she have issues in her previous marriage?"
Dennis: "I don't have the answer. I never posed the question to the ex-husband… The bad things came to fruition."
In 2004, Dennis cited personal reasons for not running for the Republican nomination for the US Senate.
Fran Prager filed a petition for divorce (BD431230) on August 11, 2005.
Dennis did not mention this on air for more than four months.
Sept. 28, 2012, Dennis said to a caller: "If your wife leaves you and your little kids and you loved her, that's going to create a hole, but I tend to think that holes that are made in adulthood are really in most cases widening holes that we've had from childhood. That's been the case in my life."
During the second hour of his show Dec. 30, 2005, Dennis, crying, read an announcement that he was getting divorced.
He said he did not regard the marriage as a failure. They had many good years together and they raised good kids.
He said they had tried for years to work out their problems. They had gone to therapy.
Dennis said that he was worried that his listeners would take his moral teachings less seriously because of his divorce.
After telling his kids about the divorce, Dennis said his next priority was to tell his listeners.
“I received after that announcement 800 emails within a day, 799 of which were something like, I can’t believe this, Dennis, but I had tears in my eyes. I just stopped my car for a minute and took a breather. I felt like my father was telling me he was divorcing mom.
“I was stunned. I had no expectation, but I learned… that people were relating to Dennis as much as they were relating to what I was saying.” (2008 lecture on 25 years in broadcasting)
“That’s a very tough phrase, by the way, ‘Better to have loved and lost than never to have loved,’” said Dennis Prager July 10, 2009. “It’s a tough one. I have believed that. I think it’s true, but it’s a toughie.”
When it comes to love and marriage, Dennis believes he's the victim of bad luck. Jan. 5, 2010, Dennis said: “Let me give you a realization I came to about life that I did not know 20 years ago. The role of luck in good marriage. I am now convinced that the vast majority of long-term good marriages are good because they’re lucky that they found the right person for them. Period. End of issue.
“Had you asked me this 30 years ago, I would’ve said, shared values and a lot of noble-sounding things. People who worked hard on their marriage.
“I look at my parents who had 69 years of marriage. And they would be the first to tell you that they had a great marriage…because they were unbelievably lucky. They met the right person for themselves. People in happy marriages should be very humble about judging people who are less happy or are in divorce situations.”
La Canada Flintridge
In 2006, following his second divorce, Dennis Prager bought a home in La Cañada Flintridge.
"Shortly after his arrival in La Cañada Flintridge, Prager initiated local celebrations of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur in 2008 and 2009 at the La Cañada Flintridge Country Club. The event attracted hundreds, but very few of them locals, he said, and was moved west last year to Studio City.”
“I call this place Norman Rockwell-ville. This is a beautiful slice of America, that’s why. First of all, I like the way people treat each other. It has the very best small town feel. I like that a lot of times people know each other. I like the kids who work at Penguin’s yogurt, and I like the celebrations of July 4 and Memorial Day. There’s a lot to like here. It’s a decent place. A nice mixture of backgrounds. I live in a cul de sac, and one neighbor’s parents came from Syria, another came from Korea, and I’m Mr. Jew. We get along great.” (La Canada Online, Dec. 14, 2010)
May 16, 2012, Dennis said: "I've never understood the relationship between divorce and leading a war against marriage. I consider a divorce to be a tragedy and to be like a car crash. People who have car crashes have not decided to change the definition of a car. There are two people who are changing marriage. Those who don't marry. The singles. People like the new president of France who simply has a girlfriend of many years. That's a war against traditional marriage because you didn't marry. To marry and remarry does not mean you are against traditional marriage. It means your marriages didn't work."
From PragerRadio.com, on Jan. 5, 2009:
Dennis and Sue were married December 31 by Rabbi Michael Gotlieb at his synagogue, Kehillat Ma’arav, in Santa Monica, California.
The former Susan Reed [her mom is a psychiatrist], known to all as Sue, was raised in the Los Angeles area, graduated from Occidental College, obtained her law degree from Loyola Law School and was admitted to the California Bar in November 1994. After a half-year practicing business transaction law, Sue left her career to be a full-time mother to her two boys, one of whom is autistic, and shortly thereafter also to raise her two nieces after the death of their mother, Sue’s 35 year-old sister, Cyndi, [died] from cancer.
Sue met Dennis at a speech he gave for the Jewish organization Chabad in San Diego, where she lived until 2008 when she moved to Los Angeles.
Dennis Prager wrote on his website:
As many listeners and my friends and family know, my divorce after 19 years with Fran was a very painful period of my life. Happily, Fran and I remain friends and share the raising of our son, Aaron.
Many people advised me against marrying again. After all, they argued, I had no plans to have more children. And we live in a society that hardly demands marriage, let alone the remarriage of middle aged individuals. More than a few men additionally argued that I would come to value my “freedom.”
To be honest, I understood these arguments, but I believe that marriage is the greatest of all social institutions; I happen to agree with God who said in Genesis, “It is not good for man to be alone.”
Nevertheless, with all my belief in marriage, I would not likely be getting married at this time were it not for Sue, whose goodness, love, intelligence, and emotional stability have been a blessing to me and to all those who know her.
Through all that I have experienced, I believe I can fairly say that I have learned a great deal about men, women, and marriage. It is one reason I began the “Male-Female Hour” to help others in relating to the other sex and in their marriages.
Over time, I hope many of you will get a chance to meet Sue.
I thank all of you who have shown me such warm and loving support over these past few years. You have no idea how much that has meant to me.
Susan is available on Facebook name, Susan Springett Reed Prager. Her profile picture is a cute little pup which seems to be an English Mastiff pup. Likewise, Susan has no public photos uploaded, but she did mention her academics… Susan, graduated from Loyola Law School in Los Angeles. She further mentioned her major at Occidental College as political science.
Sue…was raised in the Los Angeles area. She graduated from Occidental College with a major in Political Science and got her law degree from Loyola Law School. She was later admitted to the California Bar in late 1994. Moreover, after a half-year practicing business transaction law, Dennis Prager’s spouse left her career as a full-time mother of two boys…
The Prager couple first met at a speech Dennis gave at the Jewish organization Chabad in San Diego. Sue, aka Susan, used to live in the area until she moved to LA…
The pair exchanged vows on 31 December 2008 in an intimate ceremony…. Sue’s [non-autistic] son attended LA Canada High back in 2010…
Sue also raised her two nieces after the death of Sue’s 35-y/o sister Cyndi from cancer.
Jan. 23, 2013, Dennis said: "I wish the advocates for the mentally ill at the people who push the position that mental illness is a source of evil. The vast majority of people in human history who committed massive evil were not mentally ill… I have a grown step-son who is autistic. He knows as clearly as I do that murder is wrong."
La Cañada Flintridge “is both [the Pragers' current home and] the childhood home of his wife Susan (who as Susan Springett graduated from La Cañada High School, which her son from a previous marriage now attends)…”
Dennis met Sue (who came from an evangelical Christian home) in 2004. With a female friend acting as her cheerleader, Sue came up to him after a speech he gave in San Diego and the mutual attraction was immediate. "It took me two minutes to figure out that this was the woman I should be with," said Dennis October 11, 2022.
Dennis drove home, presumably to his wife Fran, and got an email from Sue and their relationship began.
December 12, 2022, on his Youtube show with Julie Hartman, Dennis said: "I talked about this with Jordan Peterson. Here I am 21 years old, and I am being sent to places to give lectures. Generally, it is lecture and Q&A. Everyone assumes the lecturer goes home after Q&A. People would line up to ask me more questions… I said to myself, who am I to leave? I am younger than all of these people. I've done it the rest of my life. That's how I met Sue. She was the last one in line to ask a question."
In January 2010, I received emails from educator Deanna Bregman. She said she was Fran Prager's best friend. She said she had lived with Dennis and Fran. She said that Dennis had a relationship with Sue while still married to Fran. She complained to me: "You painted a pretty picture [of Sue]."
Sue is 15 years younger than Dennis. She is a convert to Conservative Judaism.
Francine Prager died February 4, 2014.
Hilda Prager 1919 – 2009
“I gave a high holiday lecture on honor your father and mother [on the first night of Rosh Hashanah] on the night that I knew my mom wouldn’t be with us long. She in fact died that night.” (Dec. 21, 2010)
Three Back Surgeries
Dennis has suffered from sciatica since he was 21. He was due for back surgery in 2007, but found a controversial drug (Bextra) that enabled him to delay the operation.
“Bextra is now illegal [since 2005],” said Dennis March 25, 2010. “I can’t get it anywhere on earth. I would risk the heart attack to get rid of my sciatica pain because otherwise I have to take steroids, which is a helluva lot worse. You can’t take that for long. Of course you can get surgery, but that’s my last desire in this matter.”
For the first six months of 2010, Dennis was forced to give all of his speeches sitting down. He frequently (more than a dozen times) alluded to his sciatica on his radio show.
On June 11, 2010, he had surgery to fix the problem.
Contrary to Prager’s claims about having no interest in achieving political power, at age 15, Dennis was talking to his best friend Joseph Telushkin about what he would do in the U.S. Senate one day, long before he had a plausible political platform. Contrary to his claim of having no desire for the spotlight, Dennis will fly across the country for 90 seconds on the Sean Hannity Show.
By the mid 1970s, Dennis Prager was getting asked when he was going to run for political office. In 1983, he filed papers to run for the Democratic nomination for Congress but dropped out. Since then, Dennis has usually said that he would only run for president.
July 31, 2009, Dennis was asked why he didn’t run for president. He replied: “Number one, I have no personal desire to run for public office. I have however an idealistic desire because…I am certain that I can articulate conservative values better than almost anyone in the Republican party… It is very distressing to me that the finest values do not have the finest spokesmen. That is what draws me to the idea of running for any public office.
“However, in the United States at this time, for example, US Senate in California, entails a minimum of $40 million. I could raise $40 million if Democrats and some Republicans did not sign a bill limiting the amount of money people could give. Now all you can do is spend all your life, unless you’re a multi-billionaire, is to raise money from tens of thousands of people and I would not have my job to live on.”
Dec. 14, 2009, Dennis said: “When I see some of these people on TV, there’s no doubt in my mind, I’m sorry if this sounds self-serving, that I would have a more entertaining, let alone more intelligent TV show, than the vast majority of those who have them today, but I don’t come with the correct perspective.”
On Prager’s radio show, Dec. 21, 2009, a man calls. “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.”
Jan. 15, 2010, Dennis said: “If I went to Iowa and just started saying these things, and I love people, and I love shaking hands with a lot of people, I like meeting people, I like saying over and over what I believe in, in that sense I’ve given it thought.”
Mar. 23, 2010, Dennis said: “Leaders don’t make America, Americans make America… I don’t want leaders to shape America.”
“God was entirely opposed to having a king. The Israelites asked for a king. Instead, He just wanted the prophets to tell people what is right and wrong and let them lead their own lives.”
“I don’t want leaders. I have a leader — God. Every single religious person in a denomination with any traditional values has the same view. Do I want somebody to collect the garbage on time? Yes, I do. Do I want somebody to make sure that what the government spends is spent honesty, I sure do. But to lead me? No, thank you. We lead ourselves in America. The very notion that leaders will lead us is left-wing.”
In his fifth lecture on Deuteronomy (in 2003), Dennis said: “Why anybody would go into public life when he is happy in what he is doing puzzles me entirely. Moses is a classic example of a guy who had it good and then became a leader.”
In his 13th lecture on Deuteronomy (in 2003), Dennis said: “Any success I’ve had in my field is because I’ve always tried to ask myself, what does God want me to do? If I lost that, I think that I would fail in my profession overnight. That is entirely what gives me the strength to do what I do every day.
“God gave me the ability to speak. What did I do for it? I took one speech course in college. I got a C. She said, you speak well but you’re a lousy listener. That’s because I fell asleep. I couldn’t fake it. I’ve got ADD for boring people.”
On May 27, 2011, Dennis said: “The ideal candidate would have at least two things — a conservative aka American-values-based system. Understands that small government is a moral good, not just an economic good. Two. Be able to articulate it with great clarity.”
“Three. The person has to have gravitas. President Obama has gravitas. He exudes seriousness of purpose. I don’t want politicians to decide to be just like the people when they talk to the people.”
“When you’re a candidate, you already look less presidential than the president of the United States.”
On Jun. 21, 2011, Dennis Prager said: “If I ran for president, and if I had the money, I would, I would be attacked as a kook. Right-wing nut case.
“The dismissal is in direct proportion to how much one understands the injurious nature of the left.”
In reaction to Barack Obama's expansion of the federal government, Dennis Prager in 2009 developed the saying, "The Bigger the Government, the Smaller the Citizen." He wrote Sept. 1, 2009:
Those of us who oppose a massive increase in the role the national government plays in health care ("ObamaCare") do so because we fear the immense and unsustainable national debt it would incur and because we are certain that medical care in America would deteriorate. But there is a bigger reason most of us oppose it: We believe that the bigger the government becomes, the smaller the individual citizen becomes.
…Not only does bigger government teach people not to take care of themselves, it teaches them not to take of others. Smaller government is the primary reason Americans give more charity and volunteer more time per capita than do Europeans living in welfare states. Why take care of your fellow citizen, or even your family, when the government will do it for you?
This preoccupation with self includes foreign policy: Why care about, let alone risk dying for, another country's liberty? That is the view of the world's left. That is why conservative governments are far more supportive of the war efforts in Iraq or Afghanistan than left-wing governments of the same country. The moment the socialists won in Spain, they withdrew all their forces from Iraq. The new center-left government in Japan has promised to stop helping the war effort in Afghanistan.
On July 25, 2011, Boehner responded to President Obama's nationwide speech on the budget deficit: "You know, I’ve always believed, the bigger government, the smaller the people. And right now, we have a government so big and so expensive it’s sapping the drive of our people and keeping our economy from running at full capacity."
In a May 14, 2012 three hour show with Dennis Prager, Hugh Hewitt said: "At the Baltimore retreat of the National Republican Congressional Committee [in 2009], Dennis gave this big speech. I had to follow him. I’ve now learned go before Dennis, don’t follow Dennis. And so he gave this big speech, standing ovation, he had turned around like Beethoven, couldn’t see that they were standing, I had to poke him and say turn around and look at the audience. And what brought them to their feet was the saying the bigger the government, the smaller the citizen…"
"I saw grown men…now the hardest-bitten, the most cynical, the toughest to reach audience in the world is an audience of radio program directors and general managers. They are absolutely cynical about talk show hosts, because that’s all they ever deal with. And most of them, not Dennis or me, are prima donnas, and they are very difficult to deal with. And so when you get a whole bunch of them, a hundred of them in a room, it’s a tough audience. It may be the toughest audience, because they’ve heard every shtick, they’ve seen us for years, there’s nothing we can do or say to get them to actually listen to us. They’re just ah, it’s Prager, it’s Hewitt, it’s Bennett, it’s Gallagher, it’s Medved. They just turn us…it’s Pastore, whatever. However, the last time we were together at a Salem general managers meeting, reduced to tears by my friend Dennis Prager, because he talked about why he is so much a fan of this radio network and of Christians…"
Is it true that the bigger the government, the smaller the citizen? For example, on March 13, 2023, the US Defense Department noted: "On March 9, 2023, the Biden-Harris Administration submitted to Congress a proposed Fiscal Year (FY) 2024 Budget request of $842 billion for the Department of Defense (DoD), an increase of $26 billion over FY 2023 levels and $100 billion more than FY 2022."
If the defense budget were half as much, would American citizens be bigger? If so, how? I don't see it. If the defense budget were twice as big, would American citizens be smaller? If so, how? I don't see it.
If the American government housed all of its citizens and insured that all of its streets were safe and clean, would Americans be diminished by that spending?
American states spent $538 billion on education in 2022. How would American citizens be smaller or bigger if the states spent half as much or twice as much?
Public restrooms in the United States tend to be poor, nasty, brutish and rare. If instead they were lavish and plentiful, would American citizens be smaller? If they provided thick luxurious toilet paper instead of the cheapest kind, how would American citizens be smaller? How are we enlarged as individuals by reduced spending on public infrastructure? If we spent twice as much on public parks or public roads, how would American citizens be smaller? If we had nicer airports, nicer public transport, how exactly would America citizens be smaller? If we spent more money to clean up our air and water, and made more government interventions into the economy to reduce pollution, how would Americans be made, on net, smaller by these increases in the size of government? If Americans had Medicare for all like all other first world countries, how would we be smaller? If we spent twice as much on law enforcement and had an accompanying rise in public safety, how would we be smaller? If we doubled prison sentences for violent crime, and therefore spent twice as much on such prisons, how would we be smaller? I have spent about 12 years of my life (as of 2023) in Australia, which has more lavish welfare spending than America. Australians don't seem to be smaller than Americans. They have different values. While Americans venerate freedom, Aussies venerate fairness. Why is one value inherently superior to the other?
As a conservative, I love the sound of Prager's maxim, but it doesn't stand up to examination.
Dennis wrote: "Those of us who oppose a massive increase in the role the national government plays in health care (“ObamaCare”) do so because we fear the immense and unsustainable national debt it would incur and because we are certain that medical care in America would deteriorate." Medical care in America has changed in America because of Obamacare, but has it deteriorated? Are Americans noticeably smaller because of Obamacare? Obamacare cost the federal government $1.683 trillion for the first ten years. If it had only cost $300 million, would Americans be bigger? If it had cost $4 trillion, would Americans be smaller? A 2020 academic analysis of the full cost of the 2003 Iraq invasion put the figure at $1.922 trillion. If the war had turned a profit, would Americans be bigger? If the war had cost twice as much, would Americans be smaller?
Dennis wrote in 2009: "Here are five reasons why bigger government makes less impressive people. 1. People who are able to take care of themselves and do so are generally better than people who are able to take care of themselves but rely on others."
We could hire our own police and build our own roads and privately raise funds for a national defense, but it is more efficient to do it through government. How are people worse because of government roads and defense? A man who does zero housework but earns a million dollars a year relies on other people to take care of many parts of his life for him. How is he worse for doing what he does best instead of vacuuming, shopping, and tending to children?
Dennis wrote: "Even if one believes, as the left does by definition, that the ideal society is one in which the state takes care of as many of our needs as possible, one must acknowledge that this has deleterious effects on many, if not most, citizens’ moral character. The moment one acknowledges that the more one takes care of oneself, the more developed is his or her character, one must acknowledge that a bigger state diminishes its citizens’ characters."
If you concentrate on doing the things you do best in life and rely on others to do things you comparatively do less well, how is your moral character diminished by that? If you rely on the state to provide parks, police, roads, and schools, how are you morally diminished? As is typical with his public pronouncements, Prager makes assertions but he does not propose testable hypotheses.
"The essence of good character is to care of oneself…" How is one not taking care of oneself if you leave much of life to government or to your spouse or to your community while you focus on other things?
"The more people come to rely on government, the more they develop a sense of entitlement…"
If you rely on police to enforce the law, instead of hiring your own police, are you bad? If you rely on the government to provide roads and parks, what bad things happen to you?
"First, the more one feels entitled, the less one believes he has to work for anything. Why work hard if I can look to the state to give much of what I need, and, increasingly, much of what I want? Second, the more one feels entitled, the less grateful one feels. This is obvious: The more one expects to be given, the less one is grateful for what one is given. Third, the more entitled and the less grateful one feels, the angrier one becomes. The opposite of gratitude is not only ingratitude, it is anger. People who do not get what they think they are entitled to become angry."
If you feel entitled to roads or parks or defense, whether it comes from individuals, a community or the government, how does it follow that you don't need to do anything in exchange? If you make deals with people that in exchange for you providing X, they will provide Y, do you not need to work? If a society makes a collective deal that they will jointly provide certain goods and services, persons will have to work to fund that. If public goods and services are lavish or poor, how exactly are people made bigger or smaller by that? When I am in Australia, I notice that by and large, public facilities are cleaner and nicer than they are in America. Australians aren't noticeably angrier than Americans, in fact, they seem to be happier.
"One of the effects of the welfare state on vast numbers of European citizens is disdain for work. This is in keeping with Marx’s view of utopia as a time when people will work very little and devote their large amount of non-working time writing poetry and engaging in other such lofty pursuits. Work is not regarded by the left as ennobling. It is highly ennobling in the American value system, however."
Americans, by and large, work longer hours than Europeans. How exactly are Americans ennobled by that? In my adult life, I've had periods where I worked longer than average hours and other times when I've worked fewer than average hours. To whatever extent hard work ennobled me, it is not exactly clear. I know many people who work hard and work long hours. I'm not clear on how they would be less noble if they devoted more time to friends and family.
"Along with disdain for work, one witnesses among Western Europeans a preoccupation with not working. Vacation time has become a moral value among many Europeans. There have been riots in countries like France merely over working hours. In Sweden and elsewhere, more and more workers take more and more time off from work, knowing they will be paid anyway. In Germany and elsewhere, it is against the law to keep one’s store open after a certain hour, lest that give that store owner an income advantage and thereby compel a competing store to stay open longer as well."
I see strengths and weaknesses in the various approaches to life. I don't see how it is clear that the American way is inherently and universally superior. How are citizens rendered smaller or bigger by government regulations about shop hours and minimum vacation times? Australians all get a minimum of a month holiday a year. How are they made smaller by that?
"Not only does bigger government teach people not to take care of themselves, it teaches them not to take of others. Smaller government is the primary reason Americans give more charity and volunteer more time per capita than do Europeans living in welfare states. Why take care of your fellow citizen, or even your family, when the government will do it for you?"
If you vote for government to tax you more to provide social services instead of your giving charity and volunteering, why is that inferior?
"This preoccupation with self includes foreign policy: Why care about, let alone risk dying for, another country’s liberty? That is the view of the world’s left. That is why conservative governments are far more supportive of the war efforts in Iraq or Afghanistan than left-wing governments of the same country. The moment the socialists won in Spain, they withdrew all their forces from Iraq. The new center-left government in Japan has promised to stop helping the war effort in Afghanistan."
From the perspective of 2023, it seems like those who wanted out of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars were more right than those who wanted to stay in.
"Of course, there are fine idealistic individuals on the left, and selfish individuals on the right. But as a rule, bigger government increases the number of angry, ungrateful, lazy, spoiled and self-centered individuals. Which is why some of us believe that increased nationalization of health care is worth shouting about. And even crying over."
According to Wikipedia (checked on April 20, 2023, the following governments spent the lowest percentage of their GDP (the following list is in ascending spending order): Somalia, Turkmenistan, Haiti, Venezuela, Sudan, Iran, Equatorial Guinea, Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Yemen, Guinea, Nigeria, Guatemala. How many Americans wish their country operated more like these countries? How many Americans would think citizens of these countries are so much bigger and more impressive than Americans?
The only first world countries that have distinctly lower government spending than the US that Americans might like are Singapore, Taiwan, and Ireland. How many Americans would consider these countries dramatically superior to their own?
Here are countries that spend more on government as a percentage of GDP than the United States, listed in ascending order of government spending as a percentage of GDP: Norway, Latvia, Cyprus, Estonia, Malta, Canada, Maldives, Montenegro, New Zealand, Brazil, Luxembourg, Serbia, Japan, Poland, Slovakia, Netherlands, Vanuatu, Czech Republic, United Kingdom, Croatia, Portugal, Tonga, Iceland, Slovenia, Sweden, Spain, Denmark, Germany, Hungary, Austria, Belgium, Finland, Greece, Italy, France, Ukraine.
According to the 2023 World Happiness Report, the ten happiest countries are, in descending order: Finland, Denmark, Iceland, Israel, Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, Switzerland, Luxembourg, and New Zealand. All of them have bigger governments than the United States.
On their Aug. 2, 2022 show, Prager's Youtube cohost inadvertently gave a good rebuttal to his claim that the bigger the government, the smaller the citizen. Julie Hartman said, "I was driving up to Starbucks and I thought… that the road is paved and I don't have to worry about getting shot, I can go to a Starbucks and I don't have to worry that my drink is contaminated, every step we take, we are so lucky."
On his November 14, 2022 Youtube show with Julie Hartman, Dennis said: "I'm not looking for great lines to make a better living and get a bigger audience. I'm looking for important points to touch people's lives."
Like Deepok Chopra, Dave Rubin, and Gwyneth Paltrow, Prager undoubtedly touches lives. He says many things that sound profound. In the final analysis, though, many of his crowd-pleasing points are epistemic sabotage.
Max Prager 1918-2014
Dennis’s dad died Aug. 16, 2014. When he returned to the air Aug. 20, Dennis devoted three hours of his show to Max.
In 2009, Dennis Prager created Prager University (it was his producer Allen Estrin's idea), a website offering five minute videos making the conservative argument on dozens of issues ranging from happiness to the war in Vietnam.
Dennis often talks on his radio show about how many views his Youtube videos get (frequently when fundraising for Prager University), but when you click on the statistic button for these videos and then click on daily views, you see that for weeks on end, the videos get very few views and then for a couple of days they get tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of views and then just as suddenly, the views stop coming. This indicates that many of the views are bought.
The Daily Signal Nov. 4, 2015:
Radio host Dennis Prager and his business partner Allen Estrin had a big problem on their hands.
It was October, 2013. Several years earlier, the duo—friends for decades—co-founded PragerU, a small digital university for conservatives with a modest audience. Now, a stranger was suing them.
The man, a photographer in Ireland, alleged through a Houston lawyer that PragerU had used one of his photographs in an online educational video without his consent.
Estrin, a former Hollywood screenwriter with little experience navigating the intricacies of digital copyright issues, calls the episode “traumatic.”
“We had a visual style that used photographs, and someone really almost out of nowhere sued us for the use of a photo,” Estrin recalls in an interview with The Daily Signal. “As a result of being sued, we did a lot of investigation into [how you can] use photos on the Internet, and the copyright ramifications of photos, and what to do going forward.”
What Estrin and Prager did was overhaul their entire visual video aesthetic to a streamlined, animation-based model, abandoning four years of work and 80 educational videos.
“And in one of those things that doesn’t happen very much in life but I’m happy to say I’ve experienced, this very traumatic experience was the best thing that could have possibly happened to us,” Estrin says.
“This year we will have more than 50 million views as confirmed by YouTube and Facebook,” Prager says in an email to The Daily Signal, adding that “the largest single demographic of our videos are people under 35 years of age.”
Like his fellow gurus Deepok Chopra, Malcolm Gladwell, Oprah Winfrey, Dave Rubin, Bret and Eric Weinstein, Bill Maher, Konstantin Kisin, Daniel Schmachtenberger, Jamie Wheal, Jordan Hall, Alex Jones, John Vervaeke, Sun Myung Moon, Jordan Peterson, Mikhaila Peterson, Lex Fridman, Tim Pool, James Lindsay, Michael O'Fallon, Robert Malone, Peter McCullough, Joe Rogan, Brene Brown, Gad Saad, Gwyneth Paltrow, Nassim N. Taleb, Douglas Murray, Scott Adams, Russell Brand, J.P. Sears, Robin DiAngelo, and QAnon, Dennis says many things that sound amazing but fall apart upon inspection. His idea that Jews don't trust anybody is against all evidence (most Jews in America, for example, marry non-Jews). His idea that Jews walk around wondering about Christians — would this person persecute or rescue me or just stand by — is without evidence.
You can't predict from normal interactions how someone would behave in an abnormal situation. As philosopher John M. Doris noted in his 2005 book, Lack of Character: Personality and Moral Behavior:
Behavior is – contra the old saw about character and destiny – extraordinarily sensitive to variation in circumstance. Numerous studies have demonstrated that minor situational variations have powerful effects on helping behavior: hurried passersby step over a stricken person in their path, while unhurried passersby stop to help…The experimental record suggests that situational factors are often better predictors of behavior than personal factors, and this impression is reinforced by careful examination of behavior outside the confines of the laboratory. In very many situations it looks as though personality is less than robustly determinative of behavior. To put things crudely, people typically lack character.
The most concise definition of a guru is “someone who spouts pseudo-profound bullshit”, with bullshit being speech that is persuasive without any regard for the truth. Thus, all these properties relate to people who produce ersatz wisdom: a corrupt epistemics that creates the appearance of useful knowledge, but has none of the substance.
On his Youtube show with Julie Hartman November 21, 2022: Dennis said: "I am so committed to always telling the truth to the best of my human ability, when I receive scripts from sponsors, if there is something in there that isn't true, and there almost always is, I omit it."
Six minutes later, he read this ad: "Focus & Recall is not a pill. It is a patent-pending gell with ultra-absorption of science-backed ingredients to help you immediately sharpen focus, concentrate longer and strengthen recall. Super charge your brain and see the difference. Go to healthycell.com. Use the limited time code Prager for 20% off your first order, risk free."
Decoding the Gurus notes: "…[G]urus may be surprisingly willing to undertake activities such as shilling health supplements, that would otherwise be a little surprising in an intellectual of their calibre."
More Sinned Against Than Sinning
April 26, 2022, Dennis wrote that "all the Left’s charges against me are lies."
Dennis Prager was consistently awful with regard to the coronavirus.
In the Spring of 2020, Dennis had Covid minimalist Michael Fumento on his show five times saying that current concern about Covid was hysterical. Dennis agreed. Pragertopia.com noted for February 25: "Dennis talks to Michael Fumento, investigative reporter and science writer. What is going on with the coronavirus?… The Left fears everything…" March 2: "Fumento sees no need to change his original prognosis: this is a media-generated panic…" March 10: "Dennis has a hard time understanding why we are panicking about the coronavirus. Why is it so different than the regular flu? …The virus is now past peak in both China and S Korea."
We Go From Hysteria to Hysteria
We now endure multiple hysterias at once.
The latest, of course, is COVID-19, better known as the coronavirus. In addition to China, where the virus originated, major cities in Italy and Japan are in lockdown mode, and Japan has closed all its schools. In the United States, where, as of this writing, six people — most, if not all, of whom were already ill — have died, the states of Washington (where all six deaths occurred) and Florida and the city of San Francisco have declared states of emergency…
Unless the coronavirus becomes a worldwide mass killer, it will be fair to say that the hysteria over coronavirus will cause much more suffering than the virus.
In his column March 17, Prager wrote: "If the government can order society to cease functioning, from restaurants and other businesses to schools, due to a possible health disaster, it is highly likely that a Democratic president and Congress will similarly declare emergency and assert authoritarian rule in order to prevent what they consider the even greater “existential threat” to human life posed by global warming."
April 14, 2020, Dennis wrote in his weekly column: "Why are governments the world over rendering hundreds of millions of their citizens jobless, impoverishing at least a billion people, endangering the family life of millions (straining marriages, increasing child and spousal abuse, and further postponing marriage among young people), bankrupting vast numbers of business owners and workers living paycheck to paycheck, and increasing suicides?"
April 28, 2020, Dennis said: "The lockdown is the greatest mistake in the history of humanity."
David Simon responded: "Never mind the burning of the library at Alexandria, European colonialism, the 1914 alliances that provoked the Great War, the Weimar left and center failing to unite against Hitler…"
Former U.S. Representative Joe Walsh: "I worked for the same conservative media co. @DennisPrager works for. Prager is no dummy. He can’t believe this. But this is what sucks about conservative media. You get rewarded for being outlandish, for enraging your audience. I did it at times too. It’s wrong. It’s dishonest."
Frank Luntz: "Galaxy Brain stuff from the University of Prager."
Jonah Goldberg: "Let’s assume it’s a mistake. The biggest in human history? The reparations on Germany after WWI? Sending Lenin back to Russia? Carve out for slavery in the US Constitution? The Fire of Alexandria? Canceling Firefly?"
Prager's producer Allen Estrin said about Dennis: "Through his radio show, his writing, and now PragerU, he changes the way you live – for the better. He makes you a better a person – a better father, a better son, a better mother, a better daughter. Name another public figure who does that."
Not all right-wing pundits were as wrong as Dennis Prager on Covid. For example, on April 21, 2020, The Wrap reported:
Counties where viewers of Fox News’ “Hannity” outnumbered “Tucker Carlson Tonight” were associated with a higher number of COVID-19 deaths in the early stages of the pandemic, according to a new study from the University of Chicago’s Becker Friedman Institute for Economics.
Although the two most-watched cable shows air on the same network, the study’s authors analyzed transcripts from each and concluded that “Carlson warned viewers about the threat posed by the coronavirus from early February, while Hannity originally dismissed the risks associated with the virus before gradually adjusting his position starting late February.”
…The study found that Hannity’s viewers changed their behaviors five days later than other Fox News viewers, while Carlson’s viewers changed their behaviors three days earlier than other Fox News viewers.
On October 18, 2021, Dennis said on his show: "I'm broadcasting from my home because I'm not going into the station as I have COVID. I was tested positive last week and I have been steadily improving. At no point was I in danger of hospitalization. I have received monoclonal antibodies, that's Regeneron. I have, of course, for years — a year and a half, not years — been taking hydroxychloroquine from the beginning, with zinc. I've taken z-pack, azithromycin, as the Zelenko protocol would have it. I have taken ivermectin. I have done what a person should do if one is not going to get vaccinated.
"It is infinitely preferable to have natural immunity than vaccine immunity and that is what I have hoped for the entire time. Hence, so, I have engaged with strangers, constantly hugging them, taking photos with them knowing that I was making myself very susceptible to getting COVID, which is, indeed, as bizarre as it sounded, what I wanted, in the hope that I would achieve natural immunity and be taken care of by therapeutics. That is exactly what has happened. It should have happened to the great majority of Americans.
…if these therapeutics [ivermectin and hydroxychlroquine] were acknowledged to work, the vaccinations would be rendered largely unnecessary and Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson would lose a great deal of money. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institutes of Health and state medical boards essentially work for Big Pharma.
Based on the rule that those who censor are almost always lying, we must come to the frightening conclusion that the American medical establishment has been lying to us…
In its suppression of scientific dissent, the American medical establishment mimics the medieval Church’s treatment of Galileo.
On November 9, 2021, Dennis wrote his weekly column on why natural immunity to Covid is better than vaccine immunity. "Nor does the study warn that getting the vaccine may also induce harmful consequences. To its everlasting shame, that is a taboo subject in America’s medical community despite the fact that the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) website of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lists over 700,000 cases of suspected injury and more than 17,000 otherwise unexpected deaths temporally associated with COVID-19 vaccines."
Anyone can make a report that they had a negative reaction to the Covid vaccine. That's hardly a convincing argument about the dangers of vaccines. And we have no evidence that Covid vaccines have killed anyone. Reuters noted April 2, 2021: "Of the 145 million COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in the United States from Dec. 14, 2020 through March 29, 2021, “VAERS received 2,509 reports of death (0.0017%) among people who received a COVID-19 vaccine.” Having reviewed “available clinical information including death certificates, autopsy, and medical records,” the CDC found “no evidence that vaccination contributed to patient deaths”."
With his love for Bible-based morality, Dennis Prager might have pointed out that social distancing is a tactic endorsed by the Torah. Notes Wikipedia:
Although the term “social distancing” was not introduced until the 21st century, social-distancing measures date back to at least the 5th century BC. The Bible contains one of the earliest known references to the practice in the Book of Leviticus 13:46: “And the leper in whom the plague is… he shall dwell alone; [outside] the camp shall his habitation be.”
So where do public health officials get the right to shut us down? Prager might have learned from Michael Lewis's superb 2021 book, The Premonition: A Pandemic Story: "If there is the faintest possibility of a catastrophic disease, you should treat it as being a lot more likely than it seems. If your differential diagnosis leads to a list of ten possibilities, for instance, and the tenth and least likely thing on the list is Ebola, you should treat the patient as if she has Ebola, because the consequences of not doing so can be calamitous."
The prestigious Nature magazine published February 18, 2021: "The average years of life lost per [Covid] death is 16 years."
What is the true Covid death toll? The Economist magazine, using academic estimates that the true Covid death toll is multiples of the official death toll, as of May 11, 2023, estimates the true worldwide death toll at between 17 and 29.9 million.
On his December 12, 2022 show with Julie Hartman, Dennis said: "How do they [Julie's peers] decide what is true? By [expert] consensus. A consensus of scientists say that we have to stop all carbon emissions by X year. So they take a vote on what is true. The consensus was that masks had to go on two-year-olds [during Covid]. Now that is regarded as child abuse, which is how I regarded it during the time. I have been right on virtually every issue that I have differed with the majority on in my life."
Dennis: "And lockdowns. I said the greatest international mistake in history. All you need to do is think and read. Science is based on consensus? Truth is based on consensus?"
"All these revelations are coming out about Twitter suppressing conservatives. My favorite insight of  — how do I know who's telling the truth? Whoever is suppressing speech is lying. We [conservatives] don't suppress speech." Holocaust deniers are true evil but I am not for suppressing their free speech. If truth is allowed out, there is no Left. And Twitter proved it."
Julie: "We've lost our ability to think clearly. I had a friend who was going to get vaccinated [against Covid] for the fourth or fifth time and I said to her please do not do this. There's all this evidence coming out that the vaccine causes harmful effects in young people… I sent her all these studies including Naomi Wolf on Substack that your wife Sue sent to me… My friend couldn't see what was really happening. She bought whatever excuse the Danish government is saying. A government isn't going to admit that we forced this vaccine on you citizens and now I feel bad about that it is harmful. "
Dennis: "Does your friend know about all the scientists who are now speaking about myocarditis in young people?"
Julie: "I know about that because of your wife who spends all day investigating this stuff."
April 24, 2023, Dennis said: "People sacrifice their lives to the god of safety. We saw that during Covid. Preferring to have their children meet no other children for a year, two years, not go to school for safety, we're putting masks on two-year-olds on airplanes, getting a vaccine that was never properly tested."
October 3, 2022, Dennis said: "The lockdowns only did harm. They did no good… Will they acknowledge that the vaccines did a lot of harm? They may have done some good."
April 24, 2023 on his Youtube show with Julie Hartman, Dennis said: "The more I'm hated, the more my job future is guaranteed… I never tell anyone to come out of the closet [as a conservative]."
On his November 14, 2022 Youtube show with Julie Hartman, Dennis said: "Finally, I'm back to cruising with my listeners and viewers after two years of nonsense, lockdowns. We're going to the gems of Eastern Europe. Book today… Four private lectures with me and Allen Estrin. Nightly cocktail receptions, spacious state rooms… chefs table experience, beverages included. Champagne, select wines, beer and nightly specialty cocktails. Unlimited free wifi."
On his November 7, 2022 Youtube show with Julie Hartman, Dennis said: "An article in The Atlantic that just came out, we have to bury the hatchet, and no recriminations over mistakes made during two years of Covid. Like locking kids down for two years. Don't get angry at teachers. Everyone makes well-intentioned mistakes. It was evil what they did and it was done all over the world. Teachers hurt kids without giving a damn about them. They're hypochondriacs. And they're woke. I'm so angry at what they did. I'm so angry at what medicine did — not allowing people to visit their dying relatives because of Covid. In the name of health, the amount of evil that is done in the name of health. More vile things have been done in the name of health than in any other name."
Julie: "I grew up thinking doctors, alongside teachers, were the most morally upstanding people… For a time, I didn't believe that doctors were wreaking that much havoc. I thought, maybe they truly believe the Covid vaccine is effective. Maybe they truly believe that lockdowns are effective. I look around now in our society and think who can I trust?"
Dennis: "My heart breaks for your generation. I trusted every institution when I was growing up."
Julie: "I don't trust any."
Dennis: "You're right not to… The Atlantic says 'we need to forgive everyone for what we did and said when we were in the dark about Covid.' I wasn't in the dark about Covid. In April 2020, I headlined, tweeted, and wrote a column and broadcast that it is the greatest international mistake in human history. I said that it was vile what was being done to children. I said it was cruelty, sadism not allowing people to be with dying relatives. I wasn't in the dark and I'm not a doctor."
Julie: "What about the Department of Homeland Security working alongside Silicon Valley to suppress "misinformation"?
"What scares me is that so many of my friends totally trust these institutions and don't know how corrupt they are… When they take many doses of the Covid vaccine and something happens to their health, they're not going to be happy."
"One thing that amazes me is how little people know about what is truly going on in this country… I said to a 65-year old corporate lawyer. He was, in some ways, quite well read. He was talking about integrity. I said, do you think that what the Clintons did with the Russiagate scandal is morally upstanding? Are you aware of the Steele dossier? No. He had no idea. Are you aware of the special counsel John Durham investigation that has found that both James Comey and Robert Mueller lied about some very important things. No. Did you know that Mark Zuckerberg gave $450 million to privatize election procedures?"
"They laugh at me."
Dennis: "It's one of my mottos – we know what they don't know."
(Decoding the Gurus notes: "We’ve noticed that gurus tend to act in a manipulative fashion with their followers and potential allies. This often takes the form of excessive flattery, such as intimations that their followers are more perceptive, more morally worthy, and more interested in the pursuit of truth than outsiders… It is necessary that the orthodoxy, the establishment, the mainstream media, and the expert-consensus are always wrong, or at least blinkered and limited, and are generally incapable of grappling with the real issues.")
Julie: "They laugh at me like I was on QAnon… Some of my more peripheral friends have this false notion that I've been radicalized. They truly believe that the things that I just mentioned to you, which are 100% true and shouldn't even be deemed right-wing beliefs because they are facts, they believe those things are conspiracy theories. They believe I have gone on to QAnon, whatever that is. They think I go on these crazy right-wing sites and come up with these conspiracy theories. There are really bad things going on and they think it is just made up. I get the sense that a lot of them want to distance themselves from me because they think I'm nuts."
Dennis: "I got a question from a young person on my Fireside Chat — how do I know what to trust? How do I know what's true? I said, those who wish to censor others are usually lying. If you are telling the truth, you are OK with other people speaking their minds."
That sounds great, but is there strong evidence for this? Many people on the Left want to censor "misinformation" about vaccines. Where is the evidence that they are lying? If you are a scientist who has devoted his life to virology and you believe you are telling the truth about the efficacy Covid vaccines, why would you be unbothered by people without expertise denigrating vaccines to millions of people? Many on the Left want to censor Nazi and ISIS propaganda because they claim it is dangerous. Where is the evidence that they are lying? Many on the Left want to censor racial slurs. Where is the evidence that they are lying? Prager's point sounds profound, but it falls apart upon examination.
October 24, 2022, Dennis said he believes that Covid vaccines for people under 50 do more harm than good.
Feb. 15, 2022, Dennis wrote: "In September 2021, for the 15th consecutive year (except for 2020), I led Jewish High Holiday Services for about 400 people — no masks required, and no vaccination necessary. Other synagogues could have done the same thing — but nearly all rabbis and synagogue boards were too scared and too obedient to do so. And of course, the same holds true for most churches, whether Catholic, Protestant or Mormon. Too scared. And too obedient to irrational dictates."
July 26, 2022, Dennis wrote: "The average 12-year-old student at a yeshiva has more wisdom than almost any student at Harvard or most other universities."
The great thing about making wisdom claims is that they cannot be falsified. There's no objective test for wisdom. When you hear Prager make these statements, it's easy to feel that you are getting some profound insight into life.
The greater a person's expertise in the area Dennis comments on, the less likely it is that the person cares about Prager's perspective. On the other hand, the more excited the person is about Prager's opinion, the less likely it is that the person is learned. Excitement about Prager's wisdom is inversely proportionate to knowledge. Dennis Prager's modus vivendi is epistemic sabotage. It's great for his career but it is terrible for the rest of us.
Is Dennis Prager Conservative Media’s Biggest Covid Jackass?
It's a lofty title, but his recent argument that the unvaccinated are the biggest American pariahs since slavery puts him in the running.
…Prager claimed last year that the disease is “not a killer” while continually drawing and erasing and re-drawing the line for when the U.S. should take real action to combat it. He even called the lockdown “the greatest mistake in the history of humanity.” He’s since touted a number of unproven therapeutics, including the “Zelenko Protocol,” a treatment plan developed by conspiracy theorist doctor and Jan. 6 rally attendee Vladimir Zelenko.
Prager is unvaccinated, of course, and during a recent even for Awaken Church felt compelled to play a game of Who’s the Biggest Pariah between the unvaccinated and “the gays … during the AIDS crisis.” It isn’t hard to guess who Prager thinks is more oppressed. “Were people with AIDS banned from travel? Were they banned from restaurants? Were they fired from their jobs? Were they deprived of a way of feeding their family?” he asked, neglecting to mention that anyone who is unvaccinated could have retained these things if they’d elected to take a live-saving shot, whereas people with AIDS were shamed and left to die in huge numbers by people who didn’t care about the disease because they didn’t care about the population it was killing.
Why stop with AIDS, though? Prager is well-versed in the history of humanity, remember?
“The unvaccinated are the most hated group since slavery,” he added.
It’s worth noting here that Prager comparing his oppression to that of the slaves was in service of his point about how the left “has a monopoly on victimhood.”
…Some of Prager’s conservative radio brethren learned this the hard way. Five such hosts, at least who bashed the vaccine have died from complications stemming from Covid. Nashville radio host Phil Valentine posted a statement in July saying that he “regrets not being more vehemently ‘Pro-Vaccine'” before dying less than a month later…
“I have engaged with strangers, constantly hugging them, taking photos with them knowing that I was making myself very susceptible to getting covid,” the 73-year-old said on his radio show. “Which is — indeed, as bizarre as it sounded — what I wanted, in the hope I would achieve natural immunity and be taken care of by therapeutics.”
…Who isn’t lying to you? Prager, of course. He knows what he’s talking about because he’s done “a lot of homework” on Covid — unlike the scientific and medical communities, which want to kill you … or something … for some reason.
Oct. 5, 2020, Dennis said: "I take zinc every day and I take hydroxychloroquine every week. The fact that the people feel intimidated is only because we have communists running medicine, just like we have running everything else. I never used this term before. I can't — You prefer leftists? I'll use leftists. They shut you up. Free speech has never existed in anything that the left controls. Never. Whether it's the Soviet Union, China, Eastern Europe under communism, or the universities today in America."
Aug. 24, 2021, Dennis said: "Why should doctors be any better than lawyers, or professors, or any other group that has disgraced itself in American life? There's no reason. Doctors have the same degree of wisdom as gender studies professors. The issue isn't medical knowledge. The issue is wisdom and courage. There are plenty of doctors who have it. Read about The Great Barrington Declaration….Your doctor knows nothing about COVID, nothing. All they know is how the virus works, that's all they know. It is an amazing thing that listening to this show, of a non-doctor, you have learned more about COVID — more about masks — than your doctor probably knows. Not only is it not a boast, it is totally meant to be an attack on the medical profession. I should not know 10 times more than your doctor about all of the issues with therapeutics. And if your doctor thinks ivermectin is dangerous, change your doctor. And I mean it. Might be a nice guy — go golfing with him, or her — but check out another doctor."
Sep. 29, 2021, Dennis said: "Many doctors have killed patients because of their ignorance, obstinance, and arrogance. It is not odd that the Talmud — the second holiest work in Judaism — stated 2,000 years ago that the best doctors go to hell. Doctors, even when they could do nothing 2,000 years ago, were known for their arrogance. There are some wonderful doctors in America — some, just for the record. Never said this in my life, my eyes have been opened in the darkness of the last two years. And they have been dark. Why haven't all Americans' eyes been opened? Like to teachers, and teachers unions, and colleges. Every student going back to college has to have a vaccine? Despite the fact that their age group is virtually untouched by this — untouched, I mean no fatalities. In fact, the more young people that get COVID the better it is for them and society, they have natural immunity. But your college doesn't accept natural immunity."
Jan. 10, 2022, Dennis said: "Robert F. Kennedy Jr., whom I had on the show with the publication of his book on Dr. Fauci, has gone from being regarded as a kook to being regarded as a very serious, very courageous man. That's very big. In a sense, the left has lost. They've lost half this country that believed them on these matters just two years ago. "
People like Dennis Prager, in the words of DTG, "produce ersatz wisdom: a corrupt epistemics that creates the appearance of useful knowledge, but has none of the substance. …the guru is highly motivated to undertake epistemic sabotage; to disparage authoritative and institutional sources of knowledge."
When I argue that someone like Dennis Prager engages in epistemic corruption, I claim that he manipulates knowledge for his personal, professional and monetary gain, and by so doing, he pollutes public and private discourse.
Dennis Prager's March 7, 2023 column is a classic example of his habit of epistemic sabotage. The innumerate pundit normally disdains academic studies, but because he found one that he thought supported his point of view, he embraced it as a truth bomb against the Left without regard to what it actually said. To push his personal and ideological agenda, he treated truth like a used tampon.
Prager reminds me of the protagonist of the 1970 Paul Simon song The Boxer. "Still a man hears what he wants to hear/And disregards the rest"
On Monday, Nov. 1, Dennis Prager began his popular radio show with a very strange boast. “I rarely say, ‘I did the following.’ It’s not my style,” the 73-year-old conservative host and YouTube culture war impresario said. “But I believe I am responsible for the CDC announcing the following: that if you have natural immunity you are less immune than if you have the vaccine.”
Prager was referring to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study, released on Friday, Oct. 29, which found, basically, that the immunity conferred by full vaccination with an mRNA COVID vaccine is more effective than the “natural immunity” gained by having had and recovered from COVID-19. Good news, right? Ha! If you welcomed the CDC’s findings, you are almost certainly not in Dennis Prager’s target demographic.
The CDC’s conclusions are broadly in line with the scientific consensus on the efficacy of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. And they directly contradict Prager’s contention, voiced over and again on his long-running, nationally syndicated show, that natural immunity to COVID-19 is superior to vaccinated immunity. To Prager, the CDC’s latest findings did not mean that he, Prager, was wrong—they meant that the liberal, corrupt health agency had ginned up a bogus study in order to cloud the debate and specifically silence his voice.
“All I did was open up to you, my audience,” Prager said, referring to his advocacy for natural immunity. “I had no idea that I would shake up the nest to the extent that I did.” Assuring his audience that he had done “a lot of homework on COVID,” and highlighting an Israeli study from August (even though it has not yet been peer reviewed and had certain limitations that ought to make any prudent person think twice before citing it as definitive), Prager weaved a fantastical counternarrative as a way of underscoring his central point: that the CDC study in question was a dirty, rotten lie. “To some of you, it is stunning to say the CDC is lying,” said Prager. “To me, it is like saying the sun shines brightly when there are no clouds.”
Huh? Why would the CDC rush out a false study—co-authored by more than 50 people—just to neutralize a random right-wing radio host? Why would Prager presume calumny and conspiracy in the agency’s motives? These fair questions naturally beget another fair question: Why are so many right-wing talk show hosts still being such dicks about COVID measures?
…“I took ivermectin for the last year and a half as a prophylactic, believing, and I put my actions where my mouth was, believing that ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine and zinc, et cetera, over the course of time, that it would prevent COVID from being seriously injurious to me,” Prager said on that Nov. 1 show, railing against those fools in the media who dared to characterize ivermectin as a mere “horse dewormer.” As per the irrationalist imperative to willfully confuse correlation with causation, the host presented his victorious bout with COVID as clear evidence both of the merits of Dr. Prager’s Curative Elixirs and of the superfluity of the various vaccines. By ostensibly proving that his ivermectin use was what prevented him from dying from COVID, Prager hoped to demonstrate that he was once again privy to the “real truth” that the liberal establishment is determined to suppress.
For decades now, the most successful conservative broadcast media sources have sought to isolate their audiences by constantly sowing distrust of any news outlet or official entity that exists outside of the hard right. The unifying theme is the notion that there are no depths to which the deep state, liberal media, and elitist professoriate will not stoop in order to advance their godless, anti-American, and culturally transgressive agendas.
So for committed Pragerheads, it is perfectly rational to believe—even as 750,000 Americans have died due to COVID-19—that the media is still suppressing the real truth about ivermectin and that the CDC is basically SPECTRE, because right-wing media has literally spent decades convincing its audience that politics is as conspiratorial and simplistic as a James Bond movie. “It’s impossible, virtually impossible, to live in a right-wing bubble,” Prager said on his program on Wednesday, in a statement that is so un-self-aware as to be almost entirely self-aware. Prager surely understands how right-wing media works, even as he also surely understands that he can never, ever publicly admit it…
Even Prager is not explicitly anti-vaccine. He does not say that the vaccines don’t work, or that they are actively harmful to those who take them. Instead, he disparages them via a boatload of logical fallacies that he presents as plain common sense. “I have never once told any of you or anyone not to take the vaccine; it is not my province to tell you what to do. But it is my province to tell you the truth, and the truth is that natural immunity is stronger,” said Prager on Nov. 1. “Alex Berenson wrote about this. He’s the guy who was with the New York Times until he started telling the truth.”
As always with right-wing anti–virtue signaling, deflection is the point here. Prager and his peers’ goal writ large is to get their audiences so hot and bothered about federal government overreach and the scurrilous rascals in the elitist media that those audiences do not stop to think critically about what these hosts are actually selling. When Prager threw his show to commercial break, his announcer reported that The Dennis Prager Show was broadcasting “live from the Relief Factor Pain-Free Studio.” The ad gave away the game.
On Monday, Prager led off his show by blasting the city of Los Angeles for a new ordinance that would require patrons to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test in order to dine inside a restaurant, get a haircut, or engage in certain other indoor activities. Prager warned of “the communist hell that all communists create, and will in the United States if allowed,” and bemoaned “the love of power and the hypochondriacal fear, the maniacal fear that pervades the left about [COVID] and global warming.” Then, he threw the show to a commercial for Relief Factor, in which he spoke glowingly about the supplement’s “100 percent drug free ingredients, each helping your body deal with inflammation.”
When Prager came back, he was at it again about natural immunity and the CDC—“who I believe are professional liars,” he clarified. By sowing doubt over the vaccines and crying foul over mandates, Prager and his peers are running through the tribal script of right-wing infotainment, otherizing every idea and institution that could plausibly be considered “liberal.” But in a very real sense, they just don’t want the liberals’ miracle drugs, because they already have plenty of their own.
On May 4, members of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission delivered stark warnings to the members of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. The agency’s acting chairman, Willie Phillips, told the senators, “We face unprecedented challenges to the reliability of our nation’s electric system.”
FERC Commissioner Mark Christie echoed Phillips’ warning, saying the U.S. electric grid is “heading for a very catastrophic situation in terms of reliability.”
Dennis: "This is completely because of Joe Biden and the Democrats… Why do these people want to destroy the economy? Because it is all about chaos and power… We are in for quite a ride. What happens when you don't get electric power? Do you understand we won't have enough electricity?"
Does anyone without an agenda believe that Joe Biden and the Democrats want to destroy the economy and that the Democrats are the sole reason for strains on the electrical grid?
Dennis: "It's shocking that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission told the truth."
Prager's agenda is epistemic sabotage. He wants you to know that you are being lied by Big Government, Big Media, Big Law, Big Academia and the like, that he is on your side battling the nefarious elites, and that he will give you the truth to the best of his ability while the establishment sources will not.
Once Prager successfully conned himself that he was uniquely qualified to discern the truth and that the powers that be were lying, my guess is that this transformation happened in high school through the massive social reinforcement flowing from his charisma, it was easy to con the rubes.
Dennis: "Was this reported in the New York Times? The LA Times? Washington Post? CNN? MSNBC? NPR? PBS?"
Like the typical guru, Dennis tells you that competing sources of influence are lying to you while he gives you the truth.
Though this particular committee hearing was not reported in these outlets by May 15, 2023, they've all done numerous stories on strains to the grid. Between May 16, 2022 and May 16, 2023, the New York Times, for example, published 20 such stories, including:
In school, Prager's classmates were amused by his big mouth, but it never occurred to them that he was the best source for truth or morality. In the more than 50 years since his high school graduation, none of them, to the best of my knowledge, have changed their minds on this score.
George Perry Floyd Jr. (October 14, 1973 – May 25, 2020) was an African-American man who was murdered by a police officer in Minneapolis, Minnesota, during an arrest made after a store clerk suspected Floyd may have used a counterfeit twenty-dollar bill, on May 25, 2020. Derek Chauvin, one of the four police officers who arrived on the scene, knelt on Floyd's neck and back for 9 minutes and 29 seconds which caused a lack of oxygen… During the final two minutes Floyd was motionless and had no pulse, but Chauvin kept his knee on Floyd's neck and back even as emergency medical technicians arrived to treat Floyd.
The medical examiner found that Floyd's heart stopped while he was being restrained and that his death was a homicide, caused by "cardiopulmonary arrest complicating law enforcement subdual, restraint, and neck compression", though fentanyl intoxication and recent methamphetamine use may have increased the likelihood of death. A second autopsy, commissioned by Floyd's family, also found his death to be a homicide, specifically citing asphyxia due to neck and back compression; it ruled out that any underlying medical problems had contributed to Floyd's death…
Sep. 29, 2020, Dennis said: "I mean the more we know including George Floyd. The chances are miniscule that the knee on the side of the neck caused him to die. So the two premises of the issue that caused the protests and riots to begin with, is a lie. Or overwhelmingly likely to be a lie. He was not killed by the knee to the neck. The knee to the neck is a usual procedure in the Minneapolis police force — police department. And we have still not established that he did it because the guy was Black. If you see the entire video he's sort of hysterical from the beginning of his encounter with the police who were completely decent with him. He says he can't breathe, he can't breathe before they touch him."
Some people look outside their window and see trees of green, skies of blue, and think, what a wonderful world. Dennis Prager looks outside his window and sees dead people. How does Dennis see what you don't? Because he's better than you. He's wiser, smarter and more attuned to the signs of the apocalypse. Therefore, he is very important and you should listen to him.
Is there any pundit who does not constantly stress his own importance? Is there any pundit for whom self-advancement is not their primary underlying theme? Is there any pundit who notes that election outcomes in America won't noticeably effect 99% of Americans 99% of the time? Does any pundit say that your primary purpose, meaning, excitement and morality in life should come from your family (and if you have space after that, from your friends, community and pursuits)? If people get their purpose, meaning, excitement and morality in life from their relationship with their family and friends, then they have no need for pundits except for fun.
On March 30, 2023, former president Donald J. Trump was indicted by a Manhattan Grand Jury. For the first time in about seven years, I tuned in because I was curious about Prager's reaction. Like a good right-wing talk show host, he was outraged. It was a sign of the apocalypse. America was turning into Nazi Germany.
Communism — or if you will, left-wing fascism and totalitarianism — is coming to America and Canada, and (a bit more gradually) to Australia and New Zealand.
Our universities have become moral and intellectual wastelands — almost as ideologically pure as Moscow State University was in the Soviet era. As of December 2022, there were seven times more administrators (15,750) at Stanford University than faculty (2,288).
Our medical schools are embracing Soviet-like science. In more and more of them, incoming doctors are instructed not to use the terms “male” and “female.” Harvard Medical School officials use the terms “pregnant and birthing people” rather than “pregnant women.” And children’s hospitals are using hormone blockers (which, among other dangers, can impair future reproductive functioning) and mutilating perfectly healthy teenagers.
Students at elite law schools such as Stanford and Yale behave as if they were members of Komsomol, the Soviet Communist Youth League. On the rare occasions that conservative speakers come to their campuses to give a lecture, students heckle, shout and curse at them, disrupting their ability to speak in ways reminiscent of the Hitler Youth in 1930s Germany.
The greatest of all freedoms, that of speech, is disappearing.
In Ontario, Canada’s most populous province, the provincial agency in charge of education has announced that the notion that there is only one correct answer in mathematics is an expression of white supremacy. The Oregon Education Department has announced the same thing. The American Medical Association has declared that no American birth certificates should list the sex/gender of a child — the child will decide that later.
Teachers across the country are robbing children as young as 5 of their innocence. They are routinely taken to drag queen shows where men in women’s clothing dance for them (sometimes lewdly). Why? Because it is the aim of most American schools from first grade to postgraduate to have all American young people believe that sex/gender is “nonbinary” — that alone in the animal kingdom, human beings are not sexually divided into male and female.
In the COVID-19 era, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institutes of Health and virtually every other national medical and health agency largely abandoned science and even elementary decency (recall all the Americans who were forcibly deprived of any visitors and left to die alone in hospitals) and became tools of the Left. They and America’s Sovietized teachers’ unions ruined millions of American children by closing schools for nearly two years. In addition to the doomsday hysteria over climate change, the imposed gender confusion and the absence of religion, this has led to the highest rates of adolescent depression and suicide ever recorded in America.
Our justice department, about half of our judges and our security agencies are well on their way to becoming what the Soviet ministry of justice, Soviet security agencies and Soviet judges were: tools of the ruling party.
Our mainstream media, with few exceptions, are as uncommitted to truth as were the organs of the Soviet Communist Party, Pravda and Izvestia. The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, NPR and PBS play the same role for the Left and therefore the Democratic Party.
It was only a matter of time until the Left would arrest a former president of the opposition party.
I suspect that people who suffered under Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union would not find much of a parallel with the situation in the United States today.
None of the reasons Prager listed for how America is becoming more like Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union are unique to Nazi and Soviet regimes. None of the arguments that Prager lists for how America is becoming like Nazi and Soviet regimes stand up to examination. All of Prager's stated concerns about America have occurred in similarly in dozens if not hundreds of non-Nazi, non-communist nations. Hundreds of nations, for example, have restricted speech. Hundreds of nations have had institutions of higher learning decline. All medical schools have gone in false directions and have had to retract teachings. Medicine has never been a science. Justice has always been political because it has always been executed by human beings. Hundreds of nations have had people heckle and try to shut down speakers. Hundreds of nations have taught things about sex that many people today would find abhorrent. Hundreds of nations have had institutions supposedly dedicated to truth turn out to be not so dedicated to truth. Hundreds of nations have had their justice departments become tools of the ruling party. Dozens of non-communist, non-Nazi nations have had health departments operate as tools of the ruling party.
If free speech is disappearing in America, than where is it flourishing? It not now, when? In reality, the United States today retains more free speech protections than almost any nation that has ever existed. Restrictions on free speech don't make America Soviet, they make America more like every nation that has ever existed because all nations have restricted speech.
That the American news media is equivalent to Pravda is not an assertion that any knowledgeable person can take seriously.
After Trump was indicted, I listened to Dennis Prager's radio show for the first time in years because I suspected it would drive Prager to revealing over-statement. Within a minute of tuning in, I heard Prager talk about how America was on the path to totalitarianism.
Around this same time, I watched a video called "35 Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Tools | Trauma Informed Counseling Skills" by Dr. Dawn Elise-Snipes, who has a PhD in Mental Health Counsel. Early in her video, she said: "The first and most basic tool is a behavioral one and that is to create safety."
A nationally syndicated radio host such as Prager telling his listeners they lived in a country increasingly akin to Nazi Germany is not a good way of creating an appropriate level of safety in listeners who take him seriously. I remembered my insight from more than 25 years ago that listening to Prager consistently filled me with rage even though I largely agreed with him and even though he was ostensibly all about happiness. It became clear to me that the man pours poison into the American soul. Enraging people is a great way of getting listeners but it makes people less happy and less effective in life. Outside of a few murder zones, life in the United States for Prager listeners is overwhelmingly safe and free (compared to other countries on this earth). Inculcating gratitude might be a wiser path for a man intent on doing good rather than inculcating rage. There are situations in life where rage is more adaptive than gratitude, such as when you are fighting for your life in a dark alley, but they are few and far between.
April 3, 2023, Dennis said: "The USA Today is a rag sheet on the level of Pravda. 'Trump using anti-semitic rhetoric to raise money after indictment.' Let me say as a Jew who has done more to fight anti-semitism more than almost any living Jew… Who is on the Holocaust Memorial Board. Who has brought more good will to Jews than the entire Anti-Defamation League… This is a damn liar, Erin Mansfield, this piece of crap who writes this goddamn lie… [Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg] is a George Soros funded DA. That is enough to condemn him because George Soros is as close to diabolic as it gets on this planet. He doesn't even identify as a Jew… Soros has as much to do with Judaism, Jews and Israel as a rural Mongolian. And a lot of USA Today readers will believe this lie."
I doubt that many USA Today readers will change their mind because of this one op-ed. People weren't born yesterday. We haven't evolved to be gullible. The only minds that are going to be changed by an op-ed or a radio monologue are those minds looking for reasons to change. You can never change a man's mind against his will.
"Alvin Bragg is as bad a human being to occupy that office as has existed. The man is 100% responsible for some of the murders and rapes in New York City because of his completely lenient view of violent crime."
"How do you become a bad human being? …You accept money from bad human beings. You think of yourself as a victim. There is nothing more guaranteed to produce a bad human being than the victim mentality. I got hurt, I can lash out. I am freed from normal moral demands because I am a victim."
"The indictment of an ex-president for no valid reason except that they are filled with hate, they are Third World thugs. You cannot overstate the significance of the evil that has taken place. It is immoral to tune out."
"Rampant evil is what the Left has engaged in… Twenty years ago at least, I said there was a civil war in this country. If this is not obvious to you, then bad news is not something you want to handle psychologically. The Left and the Right have nothing in common. Like Florida and California at this time have nothing in common. They might as well be different countries on the opposite sides of the Iron Curtain. Whenever I went from California to Florida, I felt like I did when I went from Western Europe to Eastern Europe under communism."
"If you support the indictment, you are not on the side of truth or of concern for America."
April 4, 2023, Dennis said: "We are becoming like the Soviet Union. This is not in any way an exaggeration. I took a vow never to exaggerate because you lose your credibility. I try always to understate and to calm people's fears, but we are sliding into a Soviet system. The parallels are frightening. We have political prisoners [referring to January 6 protesters]. Joe Biden would be completely comfortable in a Soviet Union setting. So would Kamala Harris. So would most of the members of the Democratic party in Congress and in gubernatorial positions. The press functions the way the Soviet press functioned — as a mouthpiece of the ruling party… When you want to jail your opponents, you can find anything. It is difficult to overstate what the Left is doing to the United States in converting it into a Soviet-type country. Putin speaks of misinformation just the way the Democratic Party and the New York Times speak of misinformation — whatever we don't want you to know."
"Sorry to be this dark about the situation now. You have to two choices in life – to fight or to check out. Ideally, you get your kids out of the schools that are poisoning their minds, their souls, their hearts, their consciences, their ability to think. We sold our soul in the early 20th Century when we said the government should educate our children."
"People want to believe that we have more in common with our fellow American on the other side than what divides us. What do I have in common with the Left? I can think of one. A Leftist believes in taking care of his family and so do I… In the realm of ideology and ideas, what do we have in common? Nothing."
"I know from years of experience with home-schooled kids that overwhelmingly they turn out happier, finer, kinder and more intelligent…"
"Alvin Bragg [Manhattan DA] is a punk."
"What groups of Americans have been added to the list of Trump supporters? If there aren't any, then it is difficult [to see Trump winning the presidency in 2024]. Do you believe Trump has added any group? [Democrats may believe] that [indicting Trump] may make him so popular [among Republicans that he wins the nomination but loses the general election]."
Caller (Victor in Chicago): "With the media being so far to one side, how can our constitutional republic survive?"
Dennis: "That's a very fair question. You're listening to one of those chances — talk radio. Talk radio reaches more people than Fox News, for example. PragerU has over a billion views a year, 65% are under 35. The Daily Wire has an enormous reach. TPUSA has an enormous reach on college campuses. However, it is true that when the mainstream media are all in one direction, and with corporations giving hundreds of millions of dollars to left-wing groups and almost nothing to conservative groups, the odds are against us. The worst is Big Tech suppressing us. The suppression of dissent is the road to the Sovietization of this country."
April 5, 2023, Dennis said: "The great lack in young Americans' lives is religion. It is the direct cause, not only cause, of all the depression, lost sense of identity…"
"Do you think the American government under the Democrats is less corrupt than the Ukrainian government? I don't. Thirty four counts [in the Trump indictment] with no crime."
To sum up the level of corruption in the American federal system of government with one indictment out of Manhattan is absurd. In a big country like the United States, there have always been hideous examples of injustice. How could there be otherwise when justice is delivered by flawed humans?
March 27, 2023, Dennis said: "I have come to entertain the possibility of a devil. It has been so diabolic what I have experienced the past three years. It is hard to explain on rational grounds the madness that has taken over."
According to the 2022 Corruption Perceptions Index, the United States ranks 24th in the world while Ukraine ranks 116.
April 14, 2023, Dennis said: "All of Leftism is secularized religion."
He plays a clip from Joe Biden: "The single existential threat to the world is climate change. We don't have a lot of time and that's a fact."
Dennis: "Whenever he says, that's a fact, I assume he's lying. It's a signal that what I'm saying is not true.
"[Climate change] is the single best way for me and the Left to overthrow Western civilization as we know it and destroy the economies of the Western world. That would be the truth."
"All of these great threats…to take away the rights of people. He said that in Ireland. Did you see the Irish prime minister's dog start barking at him? Remarkable. I'm not using this as proof that the dog knows what I know — that this is the scummiest human being to be president of the United States in our history, but dogs are sensitive to human meanness."
"The WSJ: Biden's EPA remakes the auto industry. His new car rules are de facto orders to make EVs. They call out Donald Trump as fascist. When the government tells businesses what to do, that is one of the truth sign posts of incipient fascism."
Thousands of non-fascist governments have told businesses what to do. It's hardly a sign of fascism. People with power frequently tell people with less power what to do. That's less a sign of fascism than a sign of being human. As Thucydides put it: The strong take what they want and the weak endure what they must.
To those who take Prager seriously, his civil war talk has a significantly depressing effect. Prager's Youtube cohost, Julie Hartman, said December 19, 2022: "I have to tell you, Dennis, and this is a really depressing thought, and I can't believe I'm saying, I have really started to fear that I am going to see the demise and the downfall of the United States in my lifetime. I don't know if it is going to be around when I am forty. If we keep going down this path, it won't."
Dennis: "If we keep going down this road, there will be two United States."
Julie: "This will not impede my will to fight. If we descend into a civil war or if China comes for us… They are so much more technologically skilled than we are. They have a more robust military. We used to have the top military in the world and they have surpassed us."
Dennis: "I don't see China attacking us. I see China assuming we are going to commit suicide."
Julie: "China is trying to expedite the process. Look at what they're doing with fentanyl. They're trying to kill American citizens. They don't need to do much, we are self-destructing."
Dennis: "The left has been working to destroy this country for a century. They're an overnight sensation."
By claiming he sees American in civil war and on a road to Nazi Germany, Dennis Prager places himself at the very center of things. He feels confident that "there is nothing more pressing to consider" than his ideas.
October 31, 2022, Dennis Prager's Youtube cohost Julie Hartman said: "It's really really hard for me to be friends with people who would vote Democrat. Someone said to me, isn't that sad that a friendship must end over politics. But it's not politics."
Dennis: "It's not politics. That cheapens the issue."
Julie: "It's Western civilization on the table."
Dennis: "That's right…. We believe that if you vote Democrat, you are voting for the party that is destroying my country."
Julie: "This is a do or die situation that we are in."
Dennis: "We are obligated to fight like they did on Normandy Beach."
Julie: "After reading things by Mollie Hemingway, I'm very skeptical that we can run elections without major improprieties."
Dennis: "We no longer have an election day [due to mail-in voting]. And why did they get rid of paper ballots?"
October 3, 2022, Julie said to Dennis: "I've turned into you. I've turned into a coffee drinker."
Nov. 11, 2022, Dennis said: "A lot of bright people at Harvard and almost all of them are fools."
May 10, 2023, Dennis said: "We now have judges [referring to the judge who presided over the Jean Carroll rape and defamation civil case against Donald Trump, and some of the judges presiding over January 6 rioters] who are morally indistinguishable from the judges who served Stalin."
May 1, 2023, Prager's Youtube cohost Julie Hartman said: "There are some people on the Right who are government conspiracy theorists. They think there is an apparatus to create chaos and tear down the United States. I don't think those people are totally nuts because all of this seems too coordinated to be coincidence."
Dennis: "The desire is to bring down this country… They think they will be the leaders in the new America that replaced the great America that existed before… I've always elevated Americans. The past few years have been sobering."
Aug. 23, 2022, Dennis said to his Youtube cohost Julie Hartman: "For the first time in its history, freedom is under assault [in America]… The dismissal of humans based on the color of their skin. It is the opposite of liberalism to say that color matters. The Ku Klux Klan said color matters. The Nazis said color matters. And now the Left says color matters."
Color didn't matter much to the Nazis who murdered six million whites in the Holocaust as well as a greater number of white non-Jews during WWII while simultaneously allying with brown Arabs and yellow Japanese.
How is considering color the opposite of liberalism? According to Wikipedia: "Liberalism is a political and moral philosophy based on the rights of the individual, liberty, consent of the governed, political equality and equality before the law."
Wikipedia has an entry for "racial liberalism era": "Racial liberalism is an era in American history during the 1940s that is considered by many historians as the precursor to the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s."
Feb. 7, 2023, Dennis wrote:
for the first time in American history, the United States cannot be described as “a beacon of light, liberty, and justice.”
If we were to retain that part of the prayer, we would be involved in a deception before the community and before God.
For the first time in its history, because of the Left’s takeover of nearly every public and large private institution, the United States is now a net exporter of toxic ideas:
All white people are racist.
Healthy teenage girls should have their breasts removed if they say they are boys.
There are more than two sexes.
Western civilization is no better than any other.
Men who say they are women can compete in women’s sports.
The only difference between the American Left and communist totalitarianism is opportunity. All leftists want to control speech and eventually thought.
The next time you read about “thought control” in North Korea, understand that North Korea’s thought control differs from “Pride” days and nights at sporting events — and from the rest of the Left — only by degree. The Left in America, like the Left in North Korea, demands your mind, not just your behavior.
Dennis makes leftists sound like scary people who want to destroy you. To the extent that the average Prager listener takes him seriously, they will feel more fear, anger and hatred about their fellow Americans than they would feel if they didn't listen to him. Taking on these negative emotions about a large portion of the people you will likely encounter on a regular basis doesn't sound like something that will help you be happier and more effective in life.
May 25, 2023, Dennis said: "California is not the Soviet Union, but it is moving towards the Soviet Union… It's quite possible that society as we know will end."
Instead of juicing up needless hatred between people, Dennis could instead use his talents to promote understanding. He could explain that left and right politics are evolutionary adaptations that enabled our ancestors to pass on their genes. In some circumstances, a left-wing approach to reality was more adaptive. In other circumstances, a right-wing approach was more adaptive. Notes the 2013 academic book Predisposed: Liberals, Conservatives, and the Biology of Political Differences: “[T]he political left has been associated with support for equality and tolerance of departures from tradition, while the right is more supportive of authority, hierarchy, and order.”
The Left and the Right experience life differently and each have superior approaches to the other in different circumstances. We can learn from each other. On fighting Covid, for example, the left was generally more competent.
In a December 6, 2022 column against Holocaust denial, Dennis Prager wrote: "Big Lies inevitably lead to violence and can even destroy civilizations."
That sounds like an amazing insight, but is it true?
July 14, 2017, Dennis tweeted: "The news media in the West pose a far greater danger to Western civilization than Russia does."
On his March 6, 2023 show with Julie Hartman, Dennis said: "I asked [a major liberal] if he had ever heard of Jordan Peterson. No. I went through the list of the finest conservative minds and he had not heard of one of them."
January 30, 2023, Dennis said: "I think meat is the healthiest food there is. I got that from Jordan Peterson." The Atlantic noted in 2018: "The famous psychologist and his daughter swear by a regimen of eating only beef. Restriction can provide a sense of order in a world of chaos—but at what point does restriction become a disorder?"
Why would anyone regard Jordan Peterson, who recently was suicidal because of a benzo addiction, as an excellent source for advice about healthy living?
At the Prager Summit in Santa Barbara May 3-4, 2019, Dennis held a public dialogue with Jordan Peterson.
Dennis: "I never met Jordan Peterson in person [before], but I said to him right before lunch, something that is said to me by so many people who meet me. 'I feel like I know you.' That is the highest compliment. I never gave it to somebody before you. I have watched you for hours. I have listened to you… You open your heart and your mind and so do I. When I was very young, I realized that God or nature had given me a goodness detector. I always knew when I was in the presence of a good person. That's all I really care about… And I've always been right… I think brains are wildly overrated. You're not bright if you join MENSA. Why you would want to announce to the world your IQ?"
"When I hear you read your book, the passion comes from you just want to help people lead a better life. It's overwhelming. Everybody knows you're bright but I know you're good."
Jordan is on the edge of tears all through the dialogue.
Jordan: "I learned in the early '80s that people have a great capacity for evil. I would never claim to be good, but I came to be terrified about how evil I could be…that I tried to avoid the pathways that lead people to evil."
Dennis: "The parallels between us are eerie."
May 7, 2021, Dennis told Jordan Peterson: "I can't find a thing you have ever said that isn't ennobling. I love your work. I wrote the introduction to your biography."
So what type of people follow gurus such as Dennis Prager and Jordan Peterson? Anthropologist Chris Kavanagh from the podcast Decoding the Gurus said on his May 15, 2023 Patreon Hangout: “The type of things that would make anyone vulnerable to joining any kind of group would be people dealing with something difficult in their own lives, people who feel that something is missing. Those are risk factors. The message that guru types give you is that they are helping you see something special about the world that other people can’t and that you have these unique characteristics that make you willing to listen to the message and to look deeper. Having low self-esteem, dealing with traumas, it makes you more susceptible. I was watching this Matthew McConaughey stuff. It was Tony Robbins type self-help. You see them preying on people’s insecurities and giving them this false allure of community. Gurus are doing that for people who think they’re intellectual. It’s a risk factor if you wanted to go to university or you think you aren’t recognized, holding a grudge against the elites looking down at people seems to be common. If you are successful but you feel a sense of dissatisfaction, like the people in Fight Club, and you want something more… People like Jordan Peterson are telling people here’s the way to lead your life, I can make you feel better. It’s the same risk factors that would make you likely to fall prey to self-help cults or multi-level marketing with perhaps a more intellectual or political bent.”
May 1, 2023, Julie Hartman said to Dennis: "You're turning 75 soon."
Dennis: "Let's not talk about it. In the public's view, I don't have an age, so I don't talk about it much because it is not relevant to any part of my life. I feel the same as when I was your age and I act the same as I did when I was your age. I don't like to emphasize it. I prefer that people just think of me as Dennis."
Julie: "Your soul is ageless. I think that of other unique people. Donald Trump. He seems ageless. You seem timeless. Do you think you'll do anything for your 75th?"
Dennis: "I don't want to do a thing."
Julie: "Was turning 70 hard?"
Dennis: "Very hard."
Julie: "I feel like 70 is really leveling up."
Dennis: "My life is better than ever."
Polemicists of a feather flock together. Gurus respect the game of other gurus. Those who are working a solid angle respect their fellow anglers.
On the other hand, scholars aren't fans of hacks.
[A]cademia has what might be called the John Yoo line: the point at which nothing you write gets taken seriously, and so you might as well become a hack because you have no scholarly reputation remaining.
John Yoo, of course, became a hack because, I assume, he had nothing left to lose. In contrast, historian Niall Ferguson has reportedly been moved to hackery because he has so much to gain. At least that is the analysis of Stephen Marche…
Ferguson is looking for (as am I, in my scholarly domain) is influence. He wants to make a difference. And one thing about being paid $50K is that you can assume that whoever is paying you really wants to hear what you have to say.
The paradox, though, as Marche notes, is that Ferguson gets and keeps the big-money audience is by telling them not what he (Ferguson) wants to say—not by giving them his unique insights and understanding—but rather by telling his audience what they want to hear.
And so he slips under the John Yoo line.
On his January 30, 2023 show with Julie Hartman, Dennis Prager said: "This will sound pompous… When I read, and there are many people who hate my guts, and it has no effect on me, but it does tell me about them. If you hate me, it doesn't tell me anything about me, it tells me everything about you. I know that I aim to do good and I do good. I know there are many people who have happier marriages because of my male-female hour. There are many happy people because of my happiness book, lectures and radio hour. There are many people who have reconciled with their parents because they heard me. How many leftists who hate my guts can say that? Zero. How many people are kinder because they were influenced by a leftist? Zero. It's not possible to become woke and to become kind."
May 11, 2023, Dennis said: "Donald Trump announced that if he is elected president, he will pardon all or nearly all of the political prisoners. They are political prisoners. If they are not political prisoners, then Andrei Sakhorov is not a political prisoner in the Soviet Union. The definition of a political prisoner is someone who is placed in prison by the ruling authorities in order to shut them up or in order to set an example to others, not because of the crime they allegedly committed."
40 Years As A Talk Show Host
I believe I have talked with — not to, with — more people than any living human being… The single most important quality in communicating is being interesting… It is the one thing that characterizes all talk show hosts. Left or Right, whether they talk about politics, finances, sports or anything else, they are interesting.
One Sabbath morning in 1996 at Stephen S. Wise temple (Prager’s religious home from 1991 to circa 2016), I told Dennis Prager that I wished his ideas were more influential in Jewish life. He replied that it might take a thousand years for his ideas to take hold in Judaism.
“I feel quite satisfied [in what I've accomplished],” said Dennis May 14, 2010. “I feel I could do more good if I touched more people. I have that every single day. If I’ve touched X number of lives, why could I not do 5X if I had a vehicle to do so… I’ve been lucky and I’ve worked my tail off.”
May 21, 2010, Dennis said: “The Obama administration is destroying American credibility abroad in the attempt to be liked… If America is liked, it will not be right. That’s your choice…
"All of this compels me to fight harder and not despair… I will have to answer to God one day…for why I didn't fight as hard as possible for goodness during the years that I was given on earth. And if I say, 'Well, the news was bad, God, so I decided to spend more time watching TV or talking to friends,' I will be judged accordingly.
"Even if there is no God to whom I will have to account for my life, I will have to account to me for my life, and I am not prepared to sit back and to say the left ruined America…
"…The world is getting worse. Every single aspect of the world that I can measure at this time is getting worse and has been getting worse since Barack Obama became president. I want him to live long enough to be rated among the worst presidents in America history. The country and the world are worse as a result."
In a 2005 lecture on Deuteronomy 30, Dennis said: "I have Christian friends who find it incredible that I feel that God is satisfied with me. They're stunned. They walk around with this deep sense of unworthiness. I haven't felt unworthy for ten seconds."
On the happiness hour of his radio show March 26, 2010, Dennis Prager said that when he had to die, he wanted to be at home with friends and family.
“We should all have that opportunity,” said Dennis. “Hospitals. I get depressed when I see the word. I know where I want to go when I go. I was once in a hospital overnight and I snuck out at 6 a.m. I didn’t check out. I just had to get out of there. And I wouldn’t put on the gown. Why? I was just being observed. Why would I wear one of these buttocks-showing gowns? As soon as you put the gown on, you get depressed. I did a whole show about hospital gowns, about how they lower people’s dignity and make people feel sicker. Putting one on says, hello, I’m sick. Wearing normal clothing says, I’m well but I’ve got a problem.”
May 18, 2010, Dennis said: “I bank my psychological/intellectual stability on the existence of an afterlife… I have felt this since I was in high school. Given the amount of unjust suffering in this world, I can only live with this… in the belief that there is ultimate justice after our death. It is one of the only propositions of my life in which I have never wavered, even for a second.”
Said Dennis in a 1996 lecture on Exodus 12: “I’d much rather die at 55 [yo] and have a life in the next world than die at 70 and with no life in the next world.”
Said Dennis in a 1998 lecture on Exodus 22 about the movie Alive: “I did the same flight. They ate their friends to survive. I was stunned that there were commentators who spoke about the moral problem of cannibalism. Baloney! There was no moral problem at all. I hereby announce that should you be in a crash with me and I am the only thing left to eat, you have perfect permission to have me. I am very big. You will have a lot to eat. You should have no compunctions.
“Should I be murdered, I want you executed. I want you to know that I don’t blithely give my body away.”
In a 1998 lecture on Exodus 24, Dennis said: “My primitive concept [of the afterlife] is pretty much disgusting — ever ongoing carnal joy interspersed with great symphony orchestras at your disposal and an endless supply of my favorite fountain pens.”
Dec. 11, 2012, Dennis said: "Everything I stand for is changing people's minds."
Apr. 8, 2014, Dennis said: "Ninety percent of what weighs on me is macro. I'm pre-occupied with my society's problems."
Tom called Dennis Feb. 1, 2013: "Recently I found out that I have an expiration date [cancer] and I got a little depressed and I decided I was really tired of the pain. I was a POW in Vietnam. I am familiar with a little bit of pain. I decided it was time to eliminate the problem. A shotgun was involved. I found myself in Death Valley looking down the barrel when a line you said from Religion on the Line days that I had some worth and it so impressed me and hit me so hard sir, it stuck in my chest like a knife. I came home and gave the shotgun to a friend and went about my life and I was able to watch my grandchildren grow up. I want to thank you. What you say means a lot. I know how carefully you phrase your words. What you said many years ago means something today."
Dennis: "I am aware every day that words that I utter can affect a life in all directions. I'm careful to be both direct and yet only in a positive way because direct is a gamble."
He Had A Blast
In a public dialogue with Adam Carolla Feb. 25, 2012, Dennis said: "Very very few people can play the violin. Everybody can speak. Yet, there are far more great violinists than great speakers."
"Our job is to have the listener think this is the easiest job in the world, but it's very hard."
Adam: "It's like sex."
Dennis: "No, it is not."
Adam: "If you're doing it right, it seems very natural."
"How much of your off-time is consumed with scratching out notes on things?"
Dennis: "It's frightening."
Mar. 10, 2012, Dennis says: "You think that its inherently so exciting to have a national radio show that of course, there's no challenge to being happy under those circumstances, but you must know that is not true. Among my colleagues is the same exact representation of happy and miserable as among any other job."
August 2, 2022, Prager's Youtube cohost Julie Hartman said: "You said to me a few days ago, 'On my tombstone, it will say, 'He had a blast.'"