"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Wednesday, September 06, 2023

The Evolution of Propaganda and the Dangerous Lies from PragerU

Back in the old days of the early 2000s, education reform propagandists and other enemies of the unfettered pursuit of knowledge through learning (democratic schools) depended upon conservative think tanks for the ammo to conduct their propaganda campaigns aimed to alter the realities both inside or outside of people's heads.  The "researchers" at the Fordham Foundation, Manhattan Institute, and the Hoover Institution were on the payroll to massage statistics, bend rhetoric, and to limit research questions in ways that produce the illusion of disinterested research that just happened to coincide with all the preconceived conclusions that undergird the neo-conservative political and social agendas. 

That was the way that "conservative" social steering was justified for those whose sought to return America to a golden age that never was--when white was right.  

Now that's all changed.

Shaped by the toxic bloom surrounding the entry of Donald T----- into our political moment, today's policy influencers opt for much coarser tactics and strategies to bend Americans to the will of liberated unabashed fascists and unashamed racists.  Spurred on as they are by their national spokesman for everything crude, rude, and previously unacceptable (either socially or politically), today's propagandists do not couch their lies in semantic niceties, charts, or turgid text.  It's all out front and in your face, in bald-faced lies captured with the cheapest, soul-expunged computer generated animation tools of the billionaire-funded ideological chop shop called Prager U.  

Take five minutes to learn some basics about these bare-knuckled social influencers and intellectual abusers of children and adults. Here is the intro from an excellent piece from The Guardian:

A rightwing media outlet promoting climate-change denialism and other “anti-woke” staples to young students and adults via social media has become a fundraising Goliath, raking in close to $200m from 2018 to 2022 with big checks from top conservative donors, tax records reveal.

Founded in 2009 by the conservative talkshow host Dennis Prager, the eponymous Prager University Foundation is not an accredited education organization. But via online media its PragerU Kids division has become a key tool in spreading false claims to young people with short videos aimed at undercutting widely accepted science that climate crisis disasters are accelerating due, largely, to fossil-fuel usage.

PragerU’s influence in pushing false narratives about climate change and other far-right shibboleths such as airbrushing the brutal reality of American slavery gained ground when the Florida board of education in July gave the green light to using its videos and other materials in classrooms, a move that PragerU is trying to capitalize on in Texas and other states. On Tuesday, Oklahoma’s school system also approved the use of PragerU’s materials. . . .

Read on here.

No comments:

Post a Comment