In an exclusive story from North99, we uncover how Canadian think tank Frontier Centre for Public Policy is connected to a leading American far-right video site accused of pushing ideas connected to the alt-right movement.
Here is a screenshot of the video and link to the post.
PragerU and the Alt-Right
PragerU is a far-right online education service promoting Conservative ideas in a slick, well-packaged product. Their goal according to Buzzfeed is:
To “undo [the] damage” inflicted by an education system that teaches US students that their country is “a land of inequality and racism” and a place of which to be “ashamed.”
Some of their speakers are a who’s-who of the international far-right movement, including Ben Shapiro, Dinesh D’Souza, Nigel Farage and Jim DeMint.
Some topics seem innocuous, like “Do You Understand the Electoral College?”, but according to Buzzfeed they hide a sinister motive:
Sites like Prager U,” Tripodi argues in a report from Data & Society that will be published in May, “create an opportunity to dabble in content that seems extremely innocuous, yet makes connections to the same kinds of ‘revelations’ pushed out by the alt-right.”
Here is just one example:
Take just Dave Rubin. On his show, Rubin has thoughtful segments featuring mainstream guests like Laura Kipnis and David Sirota. But he has also twice interviewed Milo Yiannopoulos, whose connections to white nationalists and neo-Nazis are well documented; Paul Joseph Watson, a host of the conspiracy site InfoWars; and Stefan Molyneux, a popular YouTuber who is fond of discussing the scientific differences between races.
Frontier Centre for Public Policy and PragerU
As we’ve reported previously, the Frontier Centre for Public Policy is part of a vast network of far-right Canadian think tank and advocacy groups funded by the Atlas Network, a libertarian network supported by the Koch brothers.
The Frontier Centre’s expert advisory panel includes Sir Roger Douglas, who’s spoken at Atlas Network events and was responsible for deregulating and cutting social services in New Zealand, and David Bieto, who’s spoken at the Cato Institute, a Koch-funded libertarian think tank who’s also part of the Atlas Network.
Peter McCaffery is listed on the Atlas Network site as the Director of Research at the Manning Centre and policy analyst at the Fraser Institute, another Atlas Network-funded Canadian think tank.
The Atlas Network also highlighted the work of the Frontier Centre, with the creation of the Freedom Index, described as a way to measure “threats” to personal freedoms from Canadian provinces.
The Frontier Centre’s involvement with PragerU involves Patrick Moore. He’s a senior fellow at the Frontier Centre whose focus is on “energy, ecology and prosperity”. Moore has a controversial past. He is incorrectly referred to as the founder of Greenpeace and is a well-known climate change denier.
He has narrated five videos for PragerU focused on climate change and CO2 emissions.
“What They Haven’t Told You about Climate Change” has 3.7 million views and attempts to discredit man-made climate change with the argument that the climate is always changing. He closes out the video by saying:
The science is not “settled.” The debate is not over. The climate is always changing. It always has. And it always will.
His second most popular video is called “The Truth about CO2” which has over 2.2 million views. Moore argues that more CO2 in the atmosphere is actually good for the planet.
No, we aren’t making this up. Here’s a direct quote from Moore:
In fact, we’re already seeing the positive effects of increased carbon dioxide now. Satellite measurements have noted the “greening of the earth” as crops and forests grow due to our higher levels of CO2. It turns out that carbon dioxide are not “dirty” words after all. We should celebrate CO2 as the giver of life that it is.
It’s nice that plants are growing faster. Too bad we won’t be able to enjoy it after the oceans swallow our cities.
It’s troubling to see Canadian “think tanks” like the Frontier Centre publishing discredited theories masquerading as facts. It’s even more worrying to see them promoting far-right American organizations with connections to the alt-right movement.
It’s important that groups like ours continue to hold these influential organizations accountable.