Right wing troll Will Witt (right) tries to lure a university student in, by inducing him to babble bollocks to be used on a Prager U Reich wing podcast
I've often been curious about why the Right gets off so much on trolling and engendering "snowflakes" on the left. Though as Bill Maher and I have observed there are just as many on the Right, e.g.
WHO Are The Real "Snow Flakes"? Conservos, Of Cour...
But a January 5th (p. 1A, 6A) Denver Post exploration left no doubt the Reich wingers find it abundantly useful to elicit reactions from unwary dupes - especially on college campuses. Evidently, this has become a specialty of a "PragerU" troll named Will Witt - who enjoys roping dopes into fake news interviews to fuel content for the loopy, eponymous website. As noted in the Post piece (p. 6A):
"The goal of the people behind all this - Dennis Prager, the conservative talk show host and impresario of this (Prager U) digital empire, and the venture's billionaire funders- seems simple: more Will Witts in the world. More pride in U.S. history, more religion (especially in the Judaeo-Christian mold), and more young people laughing at people on the left."
In other words, these trolls and goofballs want to lure more "young people" - presumably Millennials and Generation Z - into mocking the side which will do the most (if we ever get the 'pukes out of the Senate) to lower their student debt, make way for more affordable housing as well as affordable health care options.
The "star" of this roving clown show is Witt himself, who we learn (ibid.):
"Was raised in a relatively liberal home by his mother "
Which makes us wonder if he got dropped on his head or was fed strychnine-laced milk as an infant. Anyway, "by the time he arrived at the University of Colorado he was leaning conservative- but found his zeal for the culture war on campus." His ideological fire was lit when in one class students were told they'd get extra credit by going to a political protest. However his lecturer informed him that going to a Milo Yiannopoulis event wouldn't count.
That isolated him, and pissed him off so the next thing is he found like- minded renegades while watching YouTube videos from Prager U. He suspected the first one he watched hooked him, which "railed against feminism" but can't be sure. According to Witt:
"I stopped going to class pretty much all the time".
And as you might suspect he became the classical college dropout (think Scott Walker). But he found his niche with Prager U, delivering 5 minute videos for those with the attention span of a somnolent slug and moderately low IQs, featuring topics such as: "Why Socialism Never Works" (Well, uh, it did in launching Social Security), "Fossil Fuels- The Greenest Energy", "Where Are The Moderate Muslims?".
From the Prager U jokesters and con artists we learn (ibid.):
"Youtube is a way to circumvent brick and mortar classrooms - and parents- and appeal to Generation Z".
Why? Because Prager sees young people as "too indoctrinated by left wing views." According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, an organization to which I've belonged for 25 years:
"Prager U's five minute videos have become an indispensable propaganda device for the Right."
And it certainly helps to get hilarious takes on issues from immigration, to race, to gender from the likes of Witt. I mean give the clown credit. He has a knack for disarming too many viewers into believing it's just funny stuff. NO biggie.
For example, Witt's shtick is to approach students on campus like the one shown at the top and smile then ask "Do you have five minutes?" Once the kid agrees it's game on. It's sealed when Witt says he has a question for them and they agree to answer. The Witt fires away, e.g. "How many genders are there?" Before turning and staring deadpan at the camera. If the dupe says "Three" or any other number besides two, look for Witt to dispatch it to Prager U- there to get yucks on the Prager U website.
Whence does PragerU's power come from? Mainly from the humorous interviews which lance and jab at political correctness, but also "carefully avoidng the news cycle and Donald Trump. According to one media specialist, Chris Chavez, doctoral program director of the University of Oregon's School of Journalism and Communication:
"That is part of its power." Also:
"Taking old arguments about the threat of immigration, and feminism - for example- and wrapping them in common sense."
In other words, plain old sophistry.
A more precise assessment if offered by Lawrence Rosenthal, Chairman of the Berkeley Center for Right Wing Studies: "It sits at this border between going off a cliff into conspiracy thinking and extreme prejudice in the name of anti-political correctness."
The best remedy for clowns like Witt and sites like Prager U? Critical thinking and mastering actual political thought and reasoning - as opposed to the 5 minute 'microbytes for morons' sort.