July 14, 2005
Prager in Liberal Land
Conservative Jewish radio host Dennis Prager is expanding his audience-into the bleeding heart of the liberal media he so eschews.
Prager is one of two featured columnists in the Los Angeles Times' "Faith Front," a column in the Times' newly revamped Sunday Opinion section, called "Current."
"This is a column about religion, and religion and its intersection with culture and politics," Bob Sipchen, Current's editor, told The Journal.
Prager, who hosts a nationally syndicated radio show (heard in Los Angeles on 870 KRLA-AM), represents the conservative side, and alternates with USC religion scholar Diane Winston, who represents the liberal perspective. They have each written three articles for "Faith Front."
This past week, in "Evil Targets God's Chosen," Prager attempts to tie the London terror attacks to Jews being the chosen people. Prager also wrote two other recent columns. In "Our Father Is No 'It' or Gal God," he asserted that God should be masculine. In "The (Culture) War of the Word," he divided the world into people who believe the Bible is literally from God and those who don't.
"I represent the large number of Jews and Christians who believe the Torah is a divine book," he told The Journal.
Upcoming topics? An open letter to Muslims about the sanctity of life, the nature of Judeo-Christian values, and the moral gulf between Israel and its enemies. "How can it not be obvious?" he said in his resonant radio voice.
How does Prager feel about appearing in a paper whose coverage of Israel he has criticized?
"You have to give credit even to your ideological opponents," Prager said. "I think the L.A. Times awakened one day to the fact that it had been increasingly perceived as the mouthpiece of the left."
"I'm extremely aware that the average [Times] reader will not agree with me," he added. "So I'm trying to incorporate that reader's objections into the column."
But in the end, Prager said he is "thrilled" to be speaking to an audience that may not normally hear his point of view.
"I hope to get the open-minded liberal reader to hear an articulate statement of traditional Jews," he said. "Whether they agree or not, at least they hear a rational statement."