How Fracking Billionaires, Ben Shapiro, and PragerU Built a Climate Crisis–Denial Empire - 2022-08-25

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F0.png How Fracking Billionaires, Ben Shapiro, and PragerU Built a Climate Crisis–Denial Empire August 25, 2022, Geoff Dembicki, Vice News

n 2015, not long after the donation to PragerU, Farris Wilks provided $4.77 million in seed funding to start the Daily Wire, a right-wing news website and media company co-founded by Ben Shapiro. Then an aspiring conservative influencer, Shapiro would go on to have a personal Facebook following of over 8.6 million followers.

"Their contribution essentially enabled PragerU to expand more rapidly," Prager said of the Wilks brothers in an email to VICE News.

In 2013, the same year Farris gave his sermon on "polar caps," the brothers decided to donate more than $6.5 million to Prager University, which doesn't have a campus and isn't actually an accredited university. Founded by conservative talk-radio host Dennis Prager to fight against "liberal bias" in American classrooms, it packages right-wing ideology into viral videos aimed at young people. That model, aided by YouTube recommendation algorithms, has resulted in billions of views across their digital platforms.

Wikipedia cite:
{{cite news | first = Geoff | last = Dembicki | title = How Fracking Billionaires, Ben Shapiro, and PragerU Built a Climate Crisis–Denial Empire | url = https://www.vice.com/en/article/y3p33j/fracking-farris-dan-wilks-prageru-climate-crisis-denial-shapiro | work = Vice News | date = August 25, 2022 | accessdate = June 6, 2023 }}