News and Society

Southern Poverty Law Center Attacks PragerU



The left-wing Southern Poverty Law Center claims it’s dedicated to “fighting hate and bigotry.”

But recently, the SPLC once again attacked a group that is neither hateful nor bigoted — but which is a prominent voice for conservativism.

PragerU is a conservative nonprofit that publishes five-minute educational videos on a variety of subjects, ranging from the Ten Commandments to crony capitalism.

Eight months ago, PragerU published a video labeling the SPLC, “the ‘anti-hate’ group that is a hate group.” To date, the video has racked up over 1.6 million views on YouTube.

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The SPLC last Thursday published a misleading article about PragerU on its “Hatewatch” blog, which the SPLC claims “monitors and exposes the activities of the American radical right.”

The article was misleading in two ways.

For one, it listed no actual ties between “the American radical right” and PragerU.

The SPLC “could provide no evidence of hatred from PragerU (since none exists), because they know that just placing [the article on ‘Hatewatch’] conveys the message that we’re ‘haters,’” Dennis Prager, the conservative nonprofit’s founder, noted to The Daily Caller News Foundation.

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The SPLC’s report cited sociologist Francesca Tripodi, who claimed that “some PragerU presenters” have associations “with white nationalist thinkers.”

The only support for that claim the SPLC cited was that Dave Rubin, a Jewish liberal YouTube host who made one video for PragerU, has interviewed on his podcast hard-right figures including Milo Yiannopoulos and Stefan Molyneux. (As others have noted, this amounts to making PragerU guilty by association by association.)

“As it happens, some of the admittedly little I have seen of Molyneux’s views, I strongly differ with (for example, I believe the entire race and IQ issue is utterly pointless, and on occasion racist),” Prager told TheDCNF. “But how does the fact that one PragerU presenter interviewed a guy he disagrees with in any way impugn Dave Rubin — let alone, PragerU?”

Second, the SPLC suggested that PragerU is guilty of extremism because the “related channels” that populate next to PragerU videos include Molyneux’s channel.

But PragerU has no say over what related channels appear next to its videos. That’s determined entirely by YouTube’s algorithm.

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“I do not know if our video exposing the SPLC prompted their article on PragerU,” Prager added. “But to illustrate the particularly low moral level of the SPLC — even for the left, two major left-wing outlets, Buzzfeed and Mother Jones, in their much longer articles on PragerU, never accused us of ‘hate,’ let alone giving succor to white supremacists.”

The SPLC has done this before.

The well-funded left-wing organization has consistently labeled conventional conservative organizations as “hate groups” and has been directly tied to violence against conservatives in the past. Floyd Lee Corkins, who opened fire at the Family Research Center in 2012, said he chose the FRC for his act of violence because the SPLC listed it as a “hate group.”

The SPLC has been plagued by inaccuracies so far this year. In March and April alone, the SPLC deleted four different articles after challenges to their accuracy were followed by legal threats.

Much to the concern of many conservatives, the SPLC plays a significant role in policing hate speech on some of the world’s biggest tech platforms. Facebook, Amazon, Twitter and Google (as the parent company of YouTube) all have working relationships with the SPLC in their efforts to police hate speech and hate groups, TheDCNF reported last week.

“That the leading tech companies trust and use the SPLC is the main reason it is so important to expose the SPLC,” Prager said.

A version of this article appeared on The Daily Caller News Foundation website. 

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