PragerU, a website and YouTube channel founded by talk-show host and author, Dennis Prager, is a fixture of right wing social media, a platform that is best known for short videos of high production values and broad use of logical fallacies on race relations, global warming, socialism, feminism, and public religion, among other matters of concern to conservatives. Prager is a religious Jew, so the religious advocacy is of the usual type for the right, the belief that America is a Judeo-Christian nation — Judeo added here for Prager’s benefit — and must remain so if we are to survive. Wiccans, Muslims, and, gasp, atheists need keep quiet — though practicioners of Norse heathenry often lean conservative, so perhaps they could find welcome. But overall, the purpose of the site is to sell a socially conservative, scientifically rejectionist, and economically libertarian point of view to those who come upon the media.
And now I find that PragerU is in search of a writer. The job description calls for a candidate who “will have deep knowledge and interest in conservative topics, can write in an engaging manner while respecting brevity, and has experience in creating public-facing content targeted to the 18–34 demographic.” A qualified candidate will have years of experience explaining concepts to audiences in a writing style that is engaging and grammatically acceptable. Said person should also be able to do research.
In other words, and leaving out the ideological requirement, this is a job for me. I have two decades of experience teaching college freshmen and sophomores the techniques of writing and the themes of great literature. I have worked in various parts of the publishing industry and have written for magazines — including two gun magazines, as PragerU might be interested to know. And I am a regular brawler in debates over politics and religion on Twitter. If I could accept being an intellectual mercenary — and if I could credibly work under a pseudonym, given my long record in my own name — I would be a good fit for this job.
But contrary to the stereotype of the leftist that PragerU offers, I have a conscience, and I care about the progress of my nation. But since the days of Ronald Reagan, the right has had an advantage in rhetoric — in the ability to present their ideology in witty slogans and wisecracks that fit well on bumperstickers or in tweets. That these are often divorced from reality is a fact that requires discernment to notice and time to work out the full tissue of errors being presented. PragerU uses this tactic because it works.
All of this has me thinking. We on the left need an antithesis to the right-wing propaganda of PragerU. I do mean we on the left. I have no interest in aiding the Democrats, a party that straddles the center when they are not racing to the right. What I am calling for here is a site that will use the rhetorical skills and production polish that PragerU employs to present progressive values and policies to a wide audience.
What would this new site need? Writers and copy editors, of course, though I would cover that for the present. A video editor, graphic artist, and animator are three other essential employees, as would be a business manager to deal with financial things and someone who can deal with any legal matters that might arise. And perhaps most important, this would need someone who understands how to bring eyes and ears to the site.
This is a serious proposal, and I am looking for persons who are willing to commit to make this happen — commit with the understanding that making money is a future goal. Those who are interested may communicate with me on Twitter @gregcampnc or by e-mail using the same handle at gmail.com.