Talk:Dennis Prager

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Untitled[edit]

This article has an error in it. The word "popularity" is misspelled, under the "Articles...." heading. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 75.24.209.168 (talk) 06:02, 5 July 2008 (UTC)

Biography section[edit]

The biography section leaves much to be desired. Where did he grow up? What college did he go to? What jobs did he have before he went into radio? I don't expect to discover his shoe size on Wikipedia, but some more facts of his past are in order.


The citation in the biography section says he majored in Anthropology and History, NOT Middle Eastern Studies! — Preceding unsigned comment added by 165.124.86.188 (talk) 23:06, 14 November 2011 (UTC)


Dplistener2 6 December 2006

I am trying to fill in the biography section with some background. I have put in until about 1976. The outline of the parts that need to be fleshed out to cover the next 30 years are:

*Director of Brandeis Bardin Institute. *Marriage to Janice Adelstein. *Birth of son, David. *First talk radio host position moderating Religion on the Line on KABC Los Angeles.

  • Launches of self-published newsletter, Ultimate Issues, later The Prager Perspective.
  • Divorce.
  • Start of Dennis Prager Show Sunday nights on KABC.
  • Second marriage to Francine Stone. Stepdaughter Anya.
  • Dennis Prager Show moves to weeknights on KABC.
  • Dennis and Fran adopt son, Aaron Henry Prager.
  • Dennis Prager Show moves to weekday afternoons on KABC.
  • First talk radio show outside of Los Angeles, one-hour show weekday mornings on WABC New York.
  • Sort-lived Dennis Prager TV show.
  • 1999 Dennis Prager Show is nationally syndicated with Salem Communications.
  • 2000 KABC goes all local. Dennis Prager Show home studio moves to KRLA.
  • 2005 Prager announces divorce from second wife Fran.



Explanation of edits:

1. "In terms of his political affiliations, he describes himself as conservative. "

What does the phrase "In terms of" mean, exactly? To me it seems like pointless filler.

Also, the reference to "political affiliations" make it sound like he belongs to the "Conservative Party" (that's what an affiliation is). Why not just use the 3-word modifying phrase "self-described conservative" and avoid the wordy misdirection?

2. "Much of his radio material centers around religion and his Jewish faith."

The "Jewish faith" you refer to is also called "Judaism," fortunately wikipedia provides a direct link to it, thus we can abjure the use of indirect references.

By way of comparison, does "Falwell make frequent mention of his Christian faith"? Do you see what I mean here?

3. "the bulk of" is a nice turn of phrase but doesn't work well in this context.

4. "the proponents of politically-liberal ideals " - why not just say "liberals" and link to the wiki entry for "liberalism"? Unneccessarily wordy!

5. "recent trends in European politics" - how have these lead to a "a breakdown in American Society"? I don't think even Prager would argue that. Edited to just "recent trends" (thus can refer to culture and religion as well as politics, US as well as Europe).

6. No reason to capitalize the "S" in society.

7. "Many liberal Americans have expressed indignation at his broadcasts and articles for persistenly espousing a theme that they feel unfairly attacks their political views."

People express indignation AT something, e.g, "He expressed indignation at the idea that he was cheap," or "she expressed indignation at the accusation that she was a communist." You even go so far as to mention that his "articles and broadcasts.. persistently" espouse something but you don't say what it is, just a "theme" (albeit one that some people "feel unfairly attacks their political views".)

And yet, in the very next paragraph, you discuss the object of this indignation in an explicit manner - the misuse of "sweeping generalizations and straw man fallacies". This was well-written to begin with but it would be much more effective to combine these two sentences and draw all of the points you are trying to make into one idea. SO that's what I've done.

8. "His flagship online article entitled "Are You a Liberal?" (http://www.dennisprager.com/areyouliberal.html) has drawn criticism from Leftists, who accuse Prager of marginalizing leftism by means of sweeping generalizations and straw man fallacies.""

I've never heard anyone accuse Prager of "marginalizing leftism." I have heard people accuse him of marginalizing "liberalism" though.

In a very similar was Clinton was rarely accused of "marginalizing rightism," since right-wingers usually prefer to describe themselves as "conservatives" (as opposed to "rightists"). Please reply if this doesn't make sense to you.

9. "best-selling of which." Clumsy. Will edit.

10. "In addition to his job as a radio host and author, Prager serves as a spiritual mentor to Los Angeles-based porn gossip columnist Luke Ford." Restoring internal links.


First of all, your complaints numbered 2 and 9 are not my edits. The beginning and ending of the article were not written by me. I don't particularily care if his faith is described as "Judaism" or the "Jewish faith".

Secondly, you seem to have a thing for semantics, which is fine, except the qualifier "the bulk of" is necessary. The topic of America's moral fall from grace features in the overwhelming majority of his writing, but it does not comprise all of it.

Secondly, before you attack me on what Prager's beliefs are, perhaps you should read his literature yourself. Here's what Prager is:

1)He is a conservative. Phrase that however you like, I don't care. "Self-described conservative" is unnecesary.

2) He makes the semantic distinction in his writing between liberals and leftists (there is a difference, read him to find out more...) therefore, I make the semantic distinction here to make sure his intentions are not missed.

3) Prager believes, and this is not up for debate, that leftist European policies have damaged American society. It is not up to me, nor you, to argue whether he is right in his assertions. He believes it, so it's part of his bio. Again, refer to his writing for confirmation.

4) "Many liberal Americans have expressed indignation at his broadcasts and articles for persistenly espousing a theme that they feel unfairly attacks their political views."

has been changed to

"Many liberal Americans believe that Prager's work persistenly espouses a theme that they feel unfairly attacks their political views."

...in order to satisfy all the semantic hair-splitting. Nevertheless, the sentence is necessary as a primer for the following sentence, which you admittedly spliced quite well.

5) Read the article. Please read the articles before you write about them. "Marginalizing leftism" is exactly what Prager had done in that piece, it exemplifies his style of argument and rhetoric, it has to be left in. Your comparison to Clinton is fallacious. Remember, Prager is a 'small c' conservative without a political affiliation. For the sake of clarity, we must use the technical definitions here. Clinton is a (big D) Democrat, perhaps with some leftist policies, but he is not a 'liberal'.


Hi 132.216.39.97

I certainly was not attacking you. I thought your article was well-written. I just thought it could be clearer. I do think the current edit is MUCH better with the exception of:

"Many liberal Americans believe that Prager's work persistenly espouses a theme that they feel unfairly attacks their political views."

This is unclear in the following ways:

1. What is this "theme" you speak of?

2. Can a "theme" attack people, let alone their "political views"?

I'll maybe take a look at this article again in a couple of weeks when I get back from Xmas vacation etc. I just wanted to clear that up - I'm not attacking you I just thought the writing could be improved. Oh, BTW, RE:

"2) He makes the semantic distinction in his writing between liberals and leftists (there is a difference, read him to find out more...) therefore, I make the semantic distinction here to make sure his intentions are not missed.

3) Prager believes, and this is not up for debate, that leftist European policies have damaged American society."

OK, thanks for bringing that to my attention.

happy holidays

- Dragula

P.S. Just out of curiousity, WHO has accused Prager of marginalizing "leftism"? Did someone actually say to him, "Hey buddy, I don't like the way you've been marginalizing leftism lately?"


I added the paragraph regarding his recent debate with John Shelby Spong, and it was recently deleted. I would like the person who deleted it to explain how I misrepresented his comments, because I wrote what I actually heard on the show. The comments I referred to were made at the beginning of the third hour of his show, the hour following his debate with Spong.

Cryptico 1 July 2005
I didn't cut that part, but I agree with the cut--the comments about Spong were true, but not encyclopedic. The article should try to distill the basics of Prager's ideas and describe his public role. I'd actually argue that the bit about him turning from Democrat to Republican could go, too: unlike, say, David Horowitz, this change really isn't important to understanding Prager. I am concerned that all the info that is critical of Prager has been removed: it would be best if properly sourced and attributed, but he's a controversial figure and his critics' views should be reflected here. BTfromLA 1 July 2005 23:00 (UTC)

________________________________________________________________________________________________

Dplistener 10 August 2005

I cut out the part about Spong. The excised part said, "...believing that Spong's refusal was evidence that liberal opinions, when challenged, have little merit or substance to stand on." Prager did not say that Spong's refusal in and of itself proved that Spong's opinions, when challenged, had little substance to stand on, let alone that refusal proved that liberal opinions in general can't stand up to challenge. It would be more accurate to say that Prager said that Spong's responses to challenges were weak, as in general he finds the responses are for many liberal opinions. Prager also added that if he were Spong, he wouldn't want those words reprinted either.

While I'm commenting... There are many more things about this article that I feel should be changed. To me, it seems that there are many representations here of Dennis Prager's views that are off.

For example, "Prager argues that monotheistic religion is essential to civil society." What does that mean? The Taliban was monotheistic but not civil. When Prager talks about the value of religion, he usually refers either to "ethical monotheism" or to "Judeo-Christian values."

"...most modern domestic and international crises stem from the absence of religious values in American life." That is off too. Nuclear weapons in North Korea is an international crisis, but how could that stem from lack of religious values in America?

"Prager often presents his political positions in moral terms." Is that true? As opposed to what? Sometimes Prager presents political positions in terms of the values that animate them. It might be tolerance vs. standards, good vs. evil, liberty vs. equality, or what works vs. what makes one feel good.


I thought the phrase "Prager often presents his political positions in moral terms" was the strongest piece of writing in the whole article. Whoever contributed that line managed to capture, in the most insightful and impartial way, the core of Prager's beliefs, arguments, and literary style. The myriad of values you mention are all moral values and can be succinctly and accurately condensed into the word moral.

--Warren


Since is there is no section for this and I'm unsure how to edit it, I just want to bring this up... the initial introduction:

"...He is noted for his fear-mongering conservative political views..."

Fear-mongering?! Are you serious? Says who? I listen to him every day and he is quite positive/up-lifting in his overall message. If you believe he is a fear-monger, fine, but that's clearly an *opinion* which thus has no place in an initial introduction. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 130.166.87.66 (talk) 05:50, 15 November 2008 (UTC)


"...He is noted for his fear-mongering conservative political views..."

Is it possible to deny that describing Prager's views as "fear-mongering" in the introductory paragraph is a blatant attempt to negatively frame those views, and is therefore in violation of wikipedia's standards of neutrality?

Say that there are those who find his views to be "fear-mongering"; fine. But to objectively categorize his view that way is not honest. He would not describe himself as a fear-mongerer, and there are millions of listeners to his show every day who would also not agree with the characterization. This is not in itself enough evidence to show that he is NOT a fear-mongerer, but it is compelling evidence that such a description is probably not an objective one. --75.90.167.237 (talk) 23:44, 15 November 2008 (UTC)


For the reasons described above I removed the unnecessary modifier "fear-mongering" from the sentence:

"...He is noted for his fear-mongering conservative political views..."

I hope all can see that this is a needed edit in the spirit of maintaining neutrality in the article's introductory paragraph.--75.90.171.169 (talk) 04:55, 16 November 2008 (UTC)

Style of argument section[edit]

I think the analysis of Prager's rhetorical style and of shortcomings of some of his arguments is largely accurate. But it isn't suitable for wikipedia--it is an independent analysis, clearly with a POV, not an encyclopedic report. Criticism of Prager shuld definitely be included in the article, though--can someone find credible published sources that criticise Prager? It would be appropriate to summarize or quote similar arguments to the ones included in this section if they can be cited from some credible source. BTfromLA 05:59, 14 September 2005 (UTC)

The only reason Prager has any public presence is because he interrupts and talks over people, and such people draw audiences and thus moolah, yet there's now no mention of this at all in the article. -- 68.6.40.203 05:51, 13 December 2005 (UTC)
Not true at all. In fact, his interrupting and talking over people is not a significant part of his radio show, as he always gives his liberal guests substantial air time when they appear. If he interrupts them, it's often because commerical radio has "hard breaks," where the commercials starts at a pre-determined time regardless. He is a frequent public speaker and has written numerous books-- this has nothing to do with interrupting people. Most of his stated opinions are terrifically logical: that a child is better off with both a mother and a father, thus adoption agencies should give preference to married couples over same-sex couples and single applicants; that males and females are profoundly, innately different, an idea feminism has taken issue with for four decades now; that feminism is more anti-male than it is pro-female; that opposing the death penalty in all cases is every bit as radical as opposing abortion in all cases; that secular extremism, which lead to more murder and enslavement in the 20th century than religion has been responsible for in 5,000 years, is not singled out in the media as being "secular" the way religious extremism is often singled out as being "religious" (how often do your hear the term "Secular Left" used in media today?); that much of the gun control movement has contempt for the Second Amendment which, if abolished, would empower the government and criminals but not the people of the United States of America; that lack of racial & ethnic consciousness is far more beneficial to society than the intense focus on racial and ethnic differences provided by multiculturalism; and that academia, Hollywood, and much of the mainstream media (ABC News, NBC News, CBS News, CNN, The NY Times, The LA Times, The Boston Globe & The Chicago Tribune) are as transparently liberal on most issues as talk radio, The Fox News Channel and The Washington Times are transparently conservative on most issues (meaning Bill Moyers' claim that all American media is basically right-leaning is absurd). He is also one of the few radio talk show hosts who bothers to debate and discuss such philosopical issues as the existence of God and the historical issues as the impact of the Founding Fathers on the world to date.
Charles Krauthammer is one of the premiere thinkers in America today, hardly a simpleton. He admires Prager enough to appear with frequency on his radio show. There are numerous people of distinction, many liberal, who are anything but simpleminded and who frequently appear on his radio show, and whom he debates and/or interviews. If his views are considered, on the whole, rather puerile by his detractors (not bloggers but columnists and thinkers), then I think it would be worthwhile for someone to create a "Criticism" section and link the reader up to one or two such critiques that are available on the Internet. That's not necessarily an easy thing, as many such critiques may come in newspaper and magazine interviews/articles/columns that are not available on the Internet (or cost a fee), as well as books and radio commentary. But, it would certainly not be considered POV to state "His critics on the Left often accuse him of being shortsighted..." and end the sentence with an example or two in the form of a link. Bill Moyers has many critics on the Right and I was able to find a good half-dozen criticisms on the Net-- mostly at Townhall.com and Jewishworldreview.com-- even though most of the criticism I've heard and read is not available on line (or very hard to find if it is). -- Gerkinstock 15:13, 30 April 2006 (UTC)

I strongly agree with BTfromLA. The "Style of Argument" section is completely POV and does not belong in this article at all. (Although, as a personal criticsm of Prager's shortcomings as a wholly illogical pundit, I have to say it is very insightful and accurate.) But this is wikipedia, this is not about your PERSONAL dissertation on Prager's work. The style of the article is supposed to be encyclopedic, which this is not, and neutral which it is certainly not. Again, BTfromLA is right, this is not the place for independent analysis.

Independent analysis seems subjective. Posters should simply listen to the show and note how many times callers are not given a chance to have the last word. It IS Prager's show and it is his right to turn the volume down on anyone for a variety or reasons including the need to move the show along and keep it interesting. But after listening to the show more than once, I think you will agree that his callers who are obviously angry with him never, ever get in a last word. Prager allows them to speak initially, has a give and take with them, but inevitably makes his last point with the caller seemingly silent, as a result of "potting down" the volume of the call. This is unusual in talk radio, so it is given as information in this article. Prager is well within his rights to do this to callers, but Wikipedia readers also are within their rights to know that he does it.


In short, this article is a mess. Here is what we have to do:



Do provide a description of his arguments on the major themes and motifs that run throughout the body of his work.

Do NOT describe the minor, idiosyncratic positions he holds (such as his defense of cigar smoking). That is not encyclopedic. We want someone unfamiliar with Prager to come away with the essential body of his beliefs, not a comprehensive and intimate knowledge of every little thing he supports or rejects, including his preffered tastes for tunafish or tobacco or anything like that.



Do present his core beliefs in a neutral manner.

Do NOT expound on his arguments or deconstruct his arguments, or decide that they are fallacious or explain why they are fallacious.

Do not be subtle or clever and try to deconstruct his arguments in a flippant or back-handed way. It comes off as vitriolic and petty. This is the main reason why the article is so poorly written. Remember, let his beliefs speak for themselves. Just present them accurately, and let the reader decide if they are valid or not.

Do not use weasel words. This means never mask your own criticsm of his work by referring to some unseen opponent of his: "Critics of Prager believe that..." or "Many believe that..." Never. It is being subtle and sneaky as I mentioned before. Wikipedians hate this.



Do make reference in brief to his peripheral political likes and dislikes.

Do NOT make an exhaustive list of every right-wing cause he supports, or every left-wing insitution he does not support. We're not writing out his entire genome here, we're just summarizing. Do it in general terms.

--Warren

  • Isn't an article that complies with all of these rules enumerated above destined to fail when the topic is a biography of someone whose business is opinion? I would go as far as to say that Prager himself is guilty of most of the "Do Nots" listed above, but that is his job. How do you adequately describe this behavior, then without appearing partisan, or resorting to these techniques? I think it's probably impossible, therefore, to cover controversial individuals in a biographic format following the wikipedia rules you list.

Well it's obvious that whoever wrote about his ideas hated Dennis Prager. Because if they liked him, or if they were just indifferent towards him, they wouldn't have written the things they did. In other words, they just chose the little stupid stuff that makes him sound bad. Why not present his arguments that are actually very intelligent and would make him look good? Because it is COMPLETELY BIASED, in fact, just get rid of that whole stupid section. Just say he's conservative and he's a strong advocate for this, this, and this. How often does he really talk about circumcision and breastfeeding? If you actually watch the show and know something about him (hm, what a novel idea), you'd know that he never talks about this.

-Brad


WARNING: Discussion will be now be Godwin'ed: Not including his views on controversial things is incomplete, and it doesn't give the full picture of the man. A debate about the Third Reich could focus on the advent of the Volkswagen, but it wouldn't really do justice to the topic, although it would just focus on the positive. If Prager has "stupid little" ideas about circumcision and breastfeeding that some find objectionable (which appears to be the case), then it's part of his person, and it belongs in an encyclopedic biography (look up the root of "encyclopedic" for guidance on this). Let the readers decide how much weight to put on it. I will say what I said earlier again: this man's business is opinion. His work product is thoughts and opinions intended to generate thoughts, feelings, and actions in others. It is therefore impossible to describe him and his daily activities without at least LISTING the thoughts and opinions he has. Given the rules about NPOV on wikipedia, however, this is always going to piss someone off, because thoughts and opinions are so incredibly subjective, and probably not even rigorously documentable (i.e. how can you "prove" how he feels about breast feeding with a line of text?).

I think this all gets at the inevitable failure of wikipedia to satisfy all of its customers in the area of biography. Humans are contentious and subjective beings, and just about the only thing you could print about anyone that was truly objective would be their genome sequence. Given that, biographies will ALWAYS be "biased," and there's no way communal editing will ever get around this. The best one can hope for is a situation in which all parties involved disagree to the same extent.

Dennis Prager makes a point of always letting callers with whom he disagrees get the last word. This article states the opposite, with a "citation" to his web site, which says nothing about the issue. If you believe he turns down the volume to get the last word himself, please cite a specific primary source on this issue, not just the general web site of the person being accused. I have removed the paragraph for now. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 24.9.77.229 (talk) 23:59, 20 March 2008 (UTC)

Marriage[edit]

  • Did he and his wife reconcile? -- Gerkinstock 17:37, 24 August 2006 (UTC) (No. A show that was recorded before Prager's divorce was rebroadcast after the divorce. In the show, Prager referred to his wife, which confused some listeners who did not realize that the show was a rebroadcast.)
Okay, thank you. -- Gerkinstock 23:55, 18 December 2006 (UTC)
I recall him talking once about marriage and how one ingredient in a successful marriage is "believing in marriage". Oh, the ironing of it all! Wahkeenah 00:16, 19 December 2006 (UTC)


There is a use of "weasel words" as one of the moderaters up it in terms of the Sheehan controversy. I removed the passage: (Despite .... claims that he is a defender of marriage that preceded the statement that Patrick Sheehan had a moral duty to divorce that woman.) This is a blatant POV that the writer sees as an inconsistency because he is not familiar with Mr. Pragers views. Prager does not relate the health of marriage with divorce numbers, and so whether you agree or disagree, he holds no incosistencies with advocating divorce and defending marriage. He claims that not engaging in marriage hurts the institution, not the fact that there is divorce. He has clarified it literally dozens of times on his radio show, because of just this sort of assumption. Whether someone disagrees or not, the statement shows a clear POV, and runs on the assumption that Dennis Prager views the relationship of divorce and defense of marriage in the same way the writer does. Therefore it is an inaccurate statement that reflects the beliefs of the writer, and not the beliefs of Prager.
Had to make another change with regards to the Cindy Sheehan quote, because using only the part about having a moral duty to divorce, was taken out of context to the point of making it POV. He clarified that if the reason for divorce was because of her claiming her son died for nothing, then he was supportive. It was not blanket support, and therefore the entire quote should be used to give context.

Organization[edit]

Is there some way to reorganize this article such that the themes of Prager's shows and writings can be made more clear? The current organization makes it hard to understand his philosophy beyond who he supports and who he criticizes. If I were trying to summarize Dennis Prager's philosophy, I would list his big categories with a few words to explain what each means. The list would include things like this:

  • Prefer clarity over agreement
  • Judge actions not motives
  • Ethical Monotheism
  • Happiness is an obligation
  • Compassions vs. Standards
  • What was once considered Liberal is now considered Conservative
  • Men and women are different
  • Prefer shared values over shared tribe
  • etc.

Questionable Passage[edit]

Dennis prefers clarity over agreement and states that when discussing an issue, first you tell the truth and then give your opinion. However, this does not prevent him from making mistakes that any schoolboy would avoid, such as the erroneous belief that America is a "Christian" rather than secular nation.

Hey, that line might violate Wikipedia's guidelines. No, I'm sorry...I'm probably wrong here. --LeCorrector 05:23, 3 December 2006 (UTC)

  • I don't know about that, but a lot of these Christio-fascist commentators who claim to be strict constitutional constructionists conveniently forget that it is the U.S. Constitution that is the supreme law of the land, not the Christian Bible. Wahkeenah 05:30, 3 December 2006 (UTC)
  • Just for the record, he's JEWISH, not a Christio-fascist (or whatever you said)! Just because you don't agree with someone, you should not leap to conclusions of fascism; I'm sure that you're not fond of the term "Islamo-Fascism".

The statement that the US was founded as a Christian nation, or built on Judeo-Christian beliefs, is either true, false, or an opinion. In order to know the difference, you have to know what Judeo-Christian philosophy and beliefs are, and how that would manifest itself in public policy, especially at the time of the founders. Cherry picking a phrase or a sentence out of a random letter or a speech given by a politician 250+ years ago does not accurately represent the mood at the time. There is no doubt that the settlers were very Christian, that colonial governments were very Christian, that the founders were overwhelmingly Christian, that terms used in the day such as providence, creator, ordained, etc... were coming from a belief in Christ and/or references from the Bible. Christ specifically, and God in general, were mentioned in numbers too many to count in writings of the day, and were used as the moral compass to govern, start institutions, and to form our ideas on freedom and liberty. Just because a "schoolboy" did not learn that in school does not mean it isn't true, or a "mistake" to share this knowledge. There is no doubt about the founding of this country as the evidence is found in abundance in the writings of the time. So, it certainly would not be a "false" point of view. It would only be true, or when discussing the reason for its decline, the degree it had on society, and the importance of its decline or effect, it would be considered his opinion. And regardless of what a person believes to be true, there is in fact, truth. That truth is independent of what somebody wishes were to be true or what they think about it. Those who say we were not founded by Christians, but rather Dieists, or that the founders left their beliefs at the door when they entered Independance Hall simply WISH that were the case and try to re-write history to make it true.

The fact that Prager is Jewish and still recognizes and espouses the importance of Christianity in society is testament to his belief that the truth is more important than what you wish to be true. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 71.254.134.50 (talk) 16:49, 17 July 2008 (UTC)

Deleted bit about Prager's opinion contradicting Article VI[edit]

I deleted the sentence that said that Prager's opinion that people who are incapable of swearing on the Bible should not serve in Congress, contradicts Article VI. That is a matter of interpretation; obviously none of the Founders who wrote the Constitution, including Washington and Madison, considered swearing on the Bible to be a "religious test." So it's not fair to say Prager's opinion is against what the Constitution says.

  • "Obviously?" What's your evidence for that assertion? Wahkeenah 00:40, 4 December 2006 (UTC)
    • It's not obvious at all, of course. The founders were perfectly familiar with the Quaker position on oath-swearing, and would have been aware of the anti-Catholic policies of the English monarchy of the near-past, when office-seekers were specifically required to swear on a "protestant" bible in order to serve. This was very much a "religious test" which required candidates to abjure their Catholic faiths.

Richardjames444 16:15, 5 December 2006 (UTC)

i think the issue of the constitution is irrelevant to the discussion. prager's latest column[1] is a follow up and response to the criticism. there he says:

I am for no law to be passed to prevent Keith Ellison or anyone else from bringing any book he wants to his swearing-in, whether actual or ceremonial.

so he merely has an opinion and a request. there are probably countless examples of someone making a request of someone where the latter has protection under the law to follow the request or not. it seems odd to mention the law in that context...in my opinion

for example, "John doesnt want Lucy to have an abortion. however, john's request is in violation of the supreme court decision." or "Herb is opposed to pre-marital sex and wants his daughter to wait. Yet this is in direct conflict with US laws that allow consenting adults to engage in sex." it seems only to regurgitate an argument that, in my opinion, misses the point.

with regards to a religious test, he responds:

I never even hinted that there should be a religious test. It has never occurred to me that only Christians run for office in America. The idea is particularly laughable in my case since I am not now, nor ever have been, a Christian. I am a Jew (a non-denominational religious Jew, for the record), and I would vote for any Muslim, Christian, Buddhist, Mormon, atheist, Jew, Zoroastrian, Hindu, Wiccan, Confucian, Taoist or combination thereof whose social values I share. Conversely, I would not vote for a fellow Jew whose social values I did not share. I want people of every faith and of no faith who affirm the values I affirm to enter political life.

Doovid 20:09, 5 December 2006 (UTC)

Keith Ellison controversy[edit]

Just a Question: Why doesn't it say anything about the Keith Ellison controversy? It merits at least a sentence or two. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 76.17.167.223 (talkcontribs) 18:58, December 9, 2006 (UTC).

This section of the article was gone from Dec 7 (00:03 UTC) to Dec 10 (00:41 UTC). The current version has 7 sentences on the issue. --Spiffy sperry 17:15, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

Some information right from the source -

UNITED STATES HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL COUNCIL

EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE RESOLUTION

On December 20, the Executive Committee of the United States Holocaust Memorial Council adopted the following resolution.

Resolution

WHEREAS, the United States Holocaust Memorial Council, the governing body of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, is charged with implementing the mission of the Museum as a living memorial to the victims of the Holocaust devoted to teaching the lessons of the Holocaust for the benefit of all mankind; and

WHEREAS, Dennis Prager, a member of the Council, has recently publicly expressed and disseminated certain statements which have been widely interpreted as being intolerant;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Executive Committee of the United States Holocaust Memorial Council, while recognizing that Dennis Prager has the right to express his personal views freely, disassociates itself from Mr. Prager’s statements as being antithetical to the mission of the Museum as an institution promoting tolerance and respect for all peoples regardless of their race, religion or ethnicity.

Dara Goldberg Director, External Affairs United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

  • Lacking a link (or even your own wikipedia signature), it's fair to assume you invented this yourself. Wahkeenah 20:18, 21 December 2006 (UTC)

While I didn't post the resolution here, it can be found at http://www.ushmm.org/museum/press/archives/detail.php?category=07-general&content=2006-12-21 . All this info is found at The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council and the Quran Oath Controversy of the 110th United States Congress where the topic is gone through in depth. The paragraphs on this Prager page seem to be sufficeint for a basic understanding and the links are availible for further reading.--Wowaconia 21:12, 23 December 2006 (UTC)


There is now almost no direct reference to the quite large scale controversy. The controversy needs its own small section and should not be diluted or whitewashed by being linked to other non-related items, i.e. the holocaust, both these items deserve their own separate sections. I doubt anyone will bother to create a new section and even if one was created it would quickly be deleted. I find this sort of behaviour pathetic.

I agree with the above paragraph, and it has been completely taken out of context to say that Prager supports Christian culture to the point of saying Jews should swear on the bible when taking office. That is a non-sequitir with regards to Christian culture, and has very little if nothing to do with where he differs with Jews. This has been removed until someone can give a good non-POV account of the Kieth Ellison controversy.

--- I would like to add that Dennis Prager has addressed the Keith Ellison controversy in his new book, "Still the Best Hope" (See footnote on Page 242). I'm not sure whether Wiki permits a citation of this length from his book, but I think it should at least be noted that Mr. Prager apologized to Mr. Ellison and Mr. Ellison "graciously accepted" his apology. That should be sufficient to close this issue as a "controversy." regards, -tpkatsa

— Preceding unsigned comment added by Tpkatsa (talkcontribs) 01:04, 23 May 2012 (UTC)

  • It's still a past "controversy" and warrants mention. His apology should also be mentioned. You can add the citation. If it's too long, someone will let you know. Ace-o-aces (talk) 16:34, 24 May 2012 (UTC)

Breastfeeding[edit]

Do Prager's views on Breastfeeing merit more detail? Ace-o-aces 06:33, 27 December 2006 (UTC)

  • They definitely need more exposure. Wahkeenah 06:51, 27 December 2006 (UTC)


I personally don't think this adds very much. We should focus on the larger themes of Dennis. Delving into small issues detracts from the bigger picture of what Dennis is about. Spaffrath 04:33, 4 October 2007 (UTC)

His views on breastfeeding are as important as his producer's views on honey (all Prager listeners will recognize that reference!) He belives that breastfeeding has become an obsession for some of its advocates and a woman who bottle feeds her child should not be harassed or made to feel guilty. Those who feel that this is actually an issue of tantamount importance should consider that in this wide world of thorny moral issues and terrible conflicts, perhaps we can trust mothers to make this decison on their own. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 75.106.200.195 (talk) 21:21, 11 January 2009 (UTC)

Antartica[edit]

Well, at least I've solved the mystery about his "lectured on all seven continents" thing. He obviously means it as a joke (a comedian he is not) Ace-o-aces 16:32, 28 December 2006 (UTC)

Thanks for the clarification. It's much improved with that, although we would probably be better off just removing the whole thing anyway. Lecturing on any amount of continents doesn't necessarily add credibility to a person's message. But at any rate, the new version is better than it was. Kafziel Talk 16:53, 28 December 2006 (UTC)

Can we at least spell Antarctica right? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Bt10ant (talkcontribs) 18:25, 27 May 2008 (UTC)

Pass It On, Share The W.I.S.H.?[edit]

Note the alleged release date, April Fool's Day. Wahkeenah 00:26, 16 January 2007 (UTC)

removal of blatant POV[edit]

I removed the text "He continues to defend traditional marriage against such innovations as same-sex and polygamous marriage." due to the blatant POV. Any objections, or suggestions for rewording? --jonasaurus 07:06, 13 February 2007 (UTC)

Seems to me there's a way you can say that without the built-in editorializing... assuming the article doesn't say it already elsewhere, in which case the comment is merely redundant. How about "He continues to criticize non-traditional unions, such as same-sex and polygamous marriage." Or you could leave it as is, and balance it with something like "However, given his divorce, he has no comments on the subject of 'serial monogamy'." Well, no, not really. Wahkeenah 10:03, 13 February 2007 (UTC)

Circumcision[edit]

I am a long-time listener and reader of Mr. Prager, and the Circumcision section claim is a serious defamation and a violation of Wiki Biographies of living persons policy (which actually states that this should be removed immediately) - he has never said nor implied anything to that effect. I plan to delete that section since there is no support for the claim.
Regarding the Marriage section: writing "While an outspoken defender of marriage, Prager has participated in the dissolution of his own two marriages by divorce" is a non sequitur, a logical fallacy - it's like saying someone is a defender of marriage yet wears yellow sneakers. Supporting marriage and divorcing a spouse are utterly compatible actions - supporters allow for the fact that some marriages, even between kind people, are so wrong and turn so toxic that it's best (even for the children of that marriage) to part ways. Just as one can strongly advocate the importance of attaining a college education while allowing for the fact that not every student and college are a perfect match - that some students are overwhelmed and drop out, while others have to transfer and get it right on the second attempt. So I plan to delete that sentence also, but am proposing it here first out of courtesy. Jking309 01:05, 25 September 2007 (UTC)

You have it exactly right, Jking.

Prager has consistently and stridently said that he is not one of those "stay together for the sake of the kids" types; he believes that such an environment is highly (emotionally and psychologically) toxic to the children and that they come first. He took on the argument that people who endorse Marriage should never divorce with one simple statement (and I paraphrase it here):

"People who strongly endorse Marriage, even if they later divorce themselves, are no more hypocritical than someone who endorses driving but who gets into a car crash."

Circumcision[edit]

I am the radio talk show caller to whom the section refers. I discussed the circumcision issue with Prager on-air when he worked for KABC, and he clearly stated that he believed that fathers who do not circumcise their sons were more likely to molest them. Should it be necessary, I shall seek further evidence to this fact by attempting access to the transcripts of our debate. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Shanbo5150 (talkcontribs) 22:11, 27 September 2007 (UTC)


Although I highly suspect that this is misquoted and erroneous it is also irrelevant. The biography should focus on recurring themes that he discusses. This is certainly not one of them.

Spaffrath 04:22, 4 October 2007 (UTC)

Circumcision[edit]

As the caller referenced in the circumcision section, I reiterate that Prager's claims regarding molestation by fathers who do not circumcise their sons was indeed made and broadcast. My contention is neither a case of misquoting nor erroneous claim. He has since discussed and debated circumcision on various occassions subsequent to my call both at KABC and KRLA - so this is a recurring theme. More importantly Prager makes part of his stock in trade quoting the inanities and absurdities of his ideological opponents; often as an attempt to show how the political Left thinks. He will often playback audio of those whom he finds most politically or theologically disagreeable, pausing the tape frequently to enage in psuedo-debate. Lastly, Prager will soon have published a book that will endeavor to explain men's sexual nature with a view to doing so to a primarily female audience. Prager's bizzare circumcision and molestation views are hardly irrelevant when he has deigned himself an authority on such a complex issue as male sexuality. Incidentally, I maintain a copy of a letter from the American Urological Association dated June 6th 1995 addressing Prager's peculiar claim that the foreskin is not considered part of the penis. My call to Prager's show was made only a week or so prior to that date should any enterprising journalist wish to gather up the transcripts from KABC. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Shanbo5150 (talkcontribs) 14:32, 11 October 2007 (UTC)


Even assuming that your assertion is correct the fact that he mentions it more than once does not make it a major theme of his ideas. Your "more important" claim that Prager plays back the silliest ideas of his ideological opponents is part of an opinion show; he is not writing short biographies of them. This is a site that should contain a short factual overview of the major content of his life. It is not a place for people to try to take pot shots at him in an attempt to make him look silly. Even if, as you claim, he does that on his show.

Your attempt to justify this under the cover of "male sexuality" does not work either since even in that context circumcision is a very minor part. The fact that you picked this little part of it to focus on is clearly evidence of lack of desire for a serious interest in his opinions on that issue. And if you are going to cite a future book as evidence of his ideas I suggest you wait for the book to be written before assuming the content of it.

Spaffrath 03:30, 12 October 2007 (UTC)

While I appreciate that many hold Prager in high esteem, I would politely ask that you desist from repeatedly vandalizing his biography with censorship regarding his bizarre views relating to circumcision. Sycophants often have a tough time swallowing the negative aspects of their idols, but just this once try and gulp. Prager is an admired public figure but has the same human frailties towards silliness as his opponents. The totality of the man's views weird or wise need to be transparent if people are to have a biography rather than a puff piece. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Shanbo5150 (talkcontribs) 00:15, 13 October 2007 (UTC)

No, that's not the point. The point is that it was only put in there because it was so controversial and the writer knew that it would make Prager look bad. Way to try to be sneaky and attack Prager fans on that one. Admit, that was real sneaky. This is not important. It says nothing about Prager's life work whatsoever. There are topics that he gives literally 1000x more airtime to. 'Sycophants often have a tough time swallowing the negative aspects of their idols, but just this once try and gulp.' So you're calling the circumcision section the "negative aspects" of Prager. Show me where the positive aspects are located in this biography.... Exactly. This is just a political whack job. Do you watch the show? How often do you hear Prager talking about circumcision vs. the war in Iraq, exposing double standards on the Left. These are the things he's about. You may as well talk then about his support of Hillary Clinton when she was accused of being anti-Semite. Why not talk about that? Because it makes him look mature and wise, and by God you don't want any of that for the public to see. Read what I wrote above under "Style of Argument" section. Just answer me that one question. Is this an accurate representation of major recurring topics on Prager's radio show?

-Brad

—Preceding unsigned comment added by 128.175.81.47 (talk) 05:21, 15 October 2007 (UTC)

Shannon, I have explained to you why your content is inappropriate. Brad looks like he has been on this page much longer than either of us and agrees with this assessment. Please respect that he is a good third party evaluator in this dispute. Thank you.

Spaffrath 03:28, 17 October 2007 (UTC)

amusing censorship[edit]

An IP from Salem Communications, the owner of townhall.com, has been invovled in deleting criticisms of Prager: [2], [3]. I don't want to get in a flamewar, but looking at what that person deleted, it all seems sourced and valid material and should be restored. Sdedeo (tips) 18:25, 29 September 2007 (UTC)

Cindy Sheehan[edit]

As I've said about a couple other issues this is not a major theme of Prager's discourse or a particularly important event and doesn't belong in a short biography. A brief mention may be appropriate as an example in a larger discussion about his views on divorce. Spaffrath 04:40, 4 October 2007 (UTC)

To all the Prager Proponents protrolling this page=[edit]

Stop censoring objective data you find to your dislike. If you want to censor something you have to have a reason, such as a questionable source, ect, ect. Or you must flat out disprove it with another source. Stop censoring this article. This is an objective encyclopedia. Not a pro-prager page. The good, the bad, and the ugly all have a say here. Knock it off.

P.S. I already played in the sandbox. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 24.21.30.180 (talk) 23:08, 20 January 2008 (UTC)

I'm glad people are patrolling this article. If only there were more. Here's a test for you: pick a dozen articles about conservatives and a dozen about liberals and see how many of each contain a "criticism" section. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 64.69.46.199 (talk) 06:01, 27 June 2011 (UTC)

If you're referring to the various issues discussed above on this Discussion Page, I have to say that I agree with the deleters. There seems to be an interest here in listing stupid, weird, and tiny details, often themselves unsourced (with all the discussion, I still haven't seen any source for the circumcision stuff nor do I have any coherent idea what he was supposed to have said) in an effort to make Prager look bad. I imagine one could do that to anyone, but it has no place in a biography.


The lefties have taken over wiki....which is why this page is in dispute. Question....why in the hell would someone who is not a lefty give money to wiki? Don't donate!!!! —Preceding unsigned comment added by 66.171.53.212 (talk) 18:59, 7 December 2008 (UTC)

The use of the term "Some Jews feel that Prager uses his own politics as a form of religiton" (paraphrasing) is blatant POV and is unsourced. What is the point of it? Some is what? You and your Jewish friends say it around a game of cribbage? Also, the paragraph following this statement just describes his religious preferences and in no way substantiates the statement that he uses his politics as a religion. The idea of his show is that he takes specific hours where politics are not allowed because they are not the only, or single-most important thing in life. Given no sourcing and no understanding of the statement as it is used, it needs to be deleted as POV and misleading.

The link to feminism being "the reason" that women are depressed is a very blatant POV and misrepresentation of the article it links to because the article is written to explain what reasons other than feminism can also contribute to the gap in depression between men and women, not just the fact that they have depression. Also he has never used the blanket statement that it is the only reason women suffer from depression and to put it as such a blunt statement is a misrepresentation. He was talking about a specific niche of why women nowadays are being reported as more likely to be depressed than men. He has gone into this topic in depth on his show and presented numerous reasons some of which fall under the rubicon of the effects of feminism, but some of which are inherent to women having the stress of working moreso now than they did before and seeing their kids, or the fact that there are less masculine men to support their wives in all their endeavors. It's not as simple as one line with no detail, left to look like a POV statement. What if I were to edit a Democratic politician or liberal talk show host to say that they supported the murder of unborn children. This would raise immediate POV flags because supporting reproductive rights in women is far from supporting the murder of unborn children. One has a blatant POV issue and the other does not. Some would argue which is more accurate, but the statement itself reflects POV. Please note I'm not trying to say abortion is murder, just trying to show an extreme example to bring to light the subtle use of POV by deliberate misleading wording of Prager's ideas.

It should also be mentioned (although I did not edit the statement) that on his "Religion on the Line" segments, he routinely featured Muslim imams, and has had a very good relation with the Muslim community prior to the Keith Ellison incident, which he has apologized for the wording, saying he should never have said that Ellison should be required to do anything, but just that it was his opinion that Ellison should respect the historical significance and observe tradition. That was his point. Not to force anyone to do anything. The article as it stands seeks to highlight the misunderstanding for the sake of smearing Prager and while those seeking this POV, have called it censoring to remove these ideas, they have no problem censoring his apologies or subsequent clarifications. Very little beyond the biography of stated facts is more than POV designed to marginalize him and try to portray him in as negative a light as possible. No mention of his charitable works, his Prager-listener cruises, very little of his books, in fact assuming he dropped out of school for the purposes of writing a book, with no citation. This is a very sloppy entry, as is usually the case with a conservative icon. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Robert167.94.2.15 (talk) 23:14, 28 January 2009 (UTC)

Dennis Prager does not believe in evolutionism.[edit]

Since wikipedia likes to portray such people as "bible thumpers", the fact that he is not a fundamentalist, evangelical, or any sort, of Christian makes his non-acceptance noteworthy. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 208.127.59.65 (talk) 15:38, 15 May 2009 (UTC)

First of all the word is "evolution". Scientists stopped using the redundant term "evolutionism" over 100 years ago. Secondly, Prager is Jewish and even hosted a show for years called, "Religion on the Line." The main argument against evolution by Christians is that it differs from the account in Genesis of how God created everything, including man. The Torah happens to consist of the first 5 books of the Old Testament including Genesis so I fail to see how Prager would refute evolution from a non-religious position.

Just as an aside, Prager has all but said outright, that he believes that God created the physical Universe and all the physical processes within it, including Evolution. More to the point, he has said repeatedly that it doesn't matter to him one way or the other. I for one suspect that he is carefully tempering his remarks so as not to offend his largely Christian audience, but he has also, on many occasions over the years, said that he doesn't take each and every account in the Old Testament/Torah 100% literally.Thanos777 (talk) 00:49, 22 May 2010 (UTC)
Ii think you nailed it with your last sentence. Prager doesn't actually deny evolution and as far as I have seen he doesn't even formally embrace the notion of "god directed evolution." Rather, he tends to bristle with real or feigned indignation at the notion of teaching evolution as having happened "all by itself", which he polemically equates with "teaching atheism", which he regards as another religion. The implication is that if you don't mention god while teaching evolution you are advocating atheism, which is polemical nonsense. Of course, he chooses his words very carefully so that he can be interpreted as anti-evolution to conservative Christians in his audience while also allowing for some to interpret him as taking the more reasonable position that teachers ought not explicitly declare that "god had nothing to do with it." There isn't a thing he says that isn't carefully worded so as not to offend his predominantly conservative Christian audience, which he knows is likely hostile to the idea of evolution. CannotFindAName (talk) 16:15, 21 October 2013 (UTC)

Sabbath observance has nothing to do with "political views".[edit]

see subject

Incongruent Statement[edit]

The article states, "He has lectured in 46 states and on six continents and traveled in 98 countries and the 50 U.S. states." He cannot have lectured in 46 states and 50 states. It's one or the other. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 74.240.108.100 (talk) 15:30, 6 June 2010 (UTC)

There's no contradiction. It just means that he went to 4 states without giving lectures. DanBishop (talk) 13:17, 8 May 2011 (UTC)

Is DP a "critic of Islam" as a religion? I think not.[edit]

I have been listening to DP for years and while i have heard him criticize many actions of people who are Muslim. I have never heard him criticize Islam as a religion. He did in fact question Keith Ellison's use of the Quran for his swearing in ceremony. Please see Quran_oath_controversy_of_the_110th_United_States_Congres but his explanation was that he objected due to the US tradition. For the record i disagreed with him at the time(and still do) but that does not make his position anti-Isalam.

"Asked if it would be a problem for a Jewish legislator to take the oath on a Bible that included only the Old Testament, Mr Prager responded, 'Yes, it would,' because he said the point is to honor the 'Bible of this country." @Ace-o-aces: Moshekaye (talk) 14:10, 22 September 2013 (UTC)