Saturday, September 23, 2006

Hugo Chavez, Noam Chomsky, and the New York Times All Say Stupid Things

Apparently, while I was on my two week trip to the States, Noam Chomsky died and was resurrected, prompting a grateful puff piece from the New York Times, which appears to have forgiven Chomsky his innumerable slanders against it over the course of his career. When ideological purity is question, personal insults can always be forgiven. The Times, of course, refers to Chomsky as a "scholar", which, in the realm of politics at least, he most certainly isn't, and then prints a flattering portrait of him surrounded by the books which, judging by the man's own writings, he clearly doesn't read.
At a news conference after his spirited address to the United Nations on Wednesday, President Hugo Ch├ívez of Venezuela expressed one regret: not having met that icon of the American left, the linguist Noam Chomsky, before his death...[Chavez] urged Americans to read one of Mr. Chomsky’s books instead of watching Superman and Batman movies, which he said “make people stupid.”
One could, of course, say that making people stupid is not nearly as evil as making people stupid while convincing them they are, in fact, extremely intelligent and well informed, which is generally the most common effect of reading Chomsky's books. But I digress, since I find it interesting that the Times would refer to a clearly psychotic statement as "spirited". One doubts they grant the same indulgences to the rantings of say, Pat Buchanan or David Duke. Hitler must have been "spirited" too when he made all those marvelous Nuremburg addresses. No amount of insidious propaganda and leftist conspiracy mongering is, apparently, enough to shock the Times. Which is probably why they can print quotes like this with straight face:
Mr. Chomsky said that he would not choose to use the same harsh oratory, but added that the Venezuelan leader was simply expressing the views of many in the world.
This is, of course, describing the man who referred to the Reagan Administration as "Washington sadists", claimed that every American president since World War II could be hanged as a war criminal, that Vietnam-era America was in need of de-Nazification, and that the Jews are a "privileged people" who exploit the issue of antisemitism in order to gain total control over the United States. This, of course, only scratches the surface of the seemingly endless parade of slanderous, violent, insulting, and self-evidently racist statements Chomsky has applied to anyone and everything unwilling to acknowledge his genius. Indeed, in regards to harsh oratory, we should regard Chomsky as the guru and Chavez the dutiful pupil. If the Times had bothered to do any research into Chomsky's previous statements they would know that. Or, perhaps, it is simply a case of what they wish their readers to know and, more importantly, what they wish them not to know.

This would seem to explain the total erasure of such inconveniant facts as Chomsky's defense of Holocaust Denial, his support for the communist governments of Cuba and North Vietnam, including their brutal oppression of their own people, his whitewash of the Khmer Rouge genocide, and the lifelong plethora of lies and evasions he has employed to dismiss or justify these atrocities. As the Times quotes:
“We should look at ourselves through our own eyes and not other people’s eyes,” [Chomsky] said.
This maxim explains a very great deal. It explains how Chomsky can continue his ridiculous charade of moral rectitude in the face of a half-century's worth of blood on his hands, as well as his pathetic and venal assaults on the country which has made him rich and famous as well as, most importantly, allowing him to retain the wealth which lets him live in such rarified confines as Lexington Massachusetts where, as he notes, "I continue to work and write."

At least we can take comfort that Chomsky's unrelenting support for the most murderous and oppressive of political leaders has now been resurrected as farce. If the blubbering clown that is Hugo Chavez is the best fan Chomsky can come up with these days, we all have reason to hope.