Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Chomsky and the Media: From the Inside

How many letters of yours have [The New York Times] printed?

Occasionally, when an outlandish slander and lie about me has appeared there, I've written back to them. Sometimes they don't publish the letters. Once, maybe more, I was angry enough that I contacted a friend inside, who was able to put enough pressure on so they ran the letter.

This was pointed out by a Oliver Kamm on Amazon.com. He stated:
The booklet [The Prosperous Few and the Restless Many] concludes with a section entitled 'Outside the Pale of Intellectual Responsibility'. The words are apparently a description of Chomsky by Martin Peretz, and Barsamian implicitly invites the reader to be shocked that so damning a judgement could be uttered of so upright a man as Chomsky. But then Chomsky discloses something remarkable. He complains that the New York Times doesn't always print his letters, and reveals that on at least one occasion, and possibly more, "I contacted a friend inside, who was able to put enough pressure on so they ran the letter." Read that statement again. On Chomsky's own account, he used personal connections in order to gain access to newspaper columns reserved for the public, rather than allowing his arguments to be considered on their merits. So far as I am aware, this aspect of Chomsky's political activism has received little comment, and it deserves to be better-known.

I guess the media isn't so bad after all; well at least not when Chomsky controls it with his friends from the inside.

30 Comments:

At July 23, 2004 at 1:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At July 23, 2004 at 1:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

One letter does not bespeak "control." Control would be Chomsky and Herman in the paper on a regular basis. As for Oliver Kamm, his entire life is a Quixotic quest to "destroy" Chomsky via the Internet. It isn't working.

- Strelnikov, with one-thousand pardons for posting the same thing over again.

 
At July 24, 2004 at 12:07 AM, Blogger Dhimmi said...

It’s called sarcasm. I think the point is a valid one: Chomsky holds the media to a high moral standard yet refuses to abide by those standards himself.

 
At July 27, 2004 at 4:54 AM, Blogger LukaB said...

The fact that he had to use connections inside the paper for it to retract lies that were printed about him (and this only after he sent a letter denouncing the lies) shows he doesn't abide by his own standards?

BTW, what standards are you talking about?

 
At July 27, 2004 at 1:12 PM, Blogger Dhimmi said...

Chomsky claims the media has to be free from outside influence (be it government, commercial or otherwise). When he goes and uses personal connections to make them run a piece he is abusing the system, which is to be free from outside influence.

 
At July 28, 2004 at 3:08 AM, Blogger LukaB said...

You are correct. Chomsky abused the system for the paper to retract lies that it printed about him, after he followed the normal procedure (writing a letter exposing the lies) and was rebuffed.

 
At August 1, 2004 at 3:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What lies? Where's your proof?

 
At August 1, 2004 at 10:32 AM, Blogger Dhimmi said...

Damn the lies there is a little thing called integrity, obviously the man has none and is a hypocrite to boot.

 
At August 1, 2004 at 12:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Of course, had the paper done the same thing to Elie Wiesel or somebody Dhimmi likes, then there would be torrents of praise for how Wiesel had "beaten the anti-Semitic system." Face the truth, Dhimmi; Chomsky can do no good in your eyes. I would have to call that bias.

- Strelnikov

 
At August 1, 2004 at 12:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Face the truth, Dhimmi; Chomsky can do no good in your eyes. I would have to call that bias."
That's a pretty big leap to say that to someone who is examining just one statement and simply holding Chomsky to the same standards that he holds everyone else to. I think a little proof would be necessary to back up that statement.

 
At August 1, 2004 at 11:10 PM, Blogger Dhimmi said...

"Face the truth, Dhimmi; Chomsky can do no good in your eyes. Blah blah blah blah ... " Strelnikov you can sit there and type until your fingers turn blue, but you will never be able to deny the fact that Chomsky abused the system (And as a loyal Chomsky-te I think you would at least want an apology from the man). Your argument about "what if's" regarding Elie Wiesel remind me of my nine-year-old-baby cousin's rambling after he is caught doing something he knows is wrong. Maybe it's time for you to face the music, the g-d like figure you call Chomsky can do no wrong in your eyes!

 
At August 2, 2004 at 11:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're avoiding the subject.

- Strelnikov

 
At August 2, 2004 at 10:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Anon.: The bias is up there at the top of the blog: "...debunking the work of Noam Chomsky and other self-hating Jews too". You know from the outset that in the eyes of the blogwriter that his subject is inherently flawed, and that the point of this site is to prove that assertion. So even a non-event like pressuring the NYT to print a letter becomes this big deal proving that Chomsky breaks the rules of the NYT's letters column. As I said from the outset, if Chomsky controlled the US media, then we would be hearing a lot more from him in mainsteam publications, be seeing him on CNN every other day, and hearing him on NPR. One letter does not bespeak control.

- Strelnikov

 
At August 3, 2004 at 12:21 AM, Blogger Dhimmi said...

Strelnikov you accuse me of going off topic why don't you read what you wrote yourself. Aren’t you the one who said something about Elie Wiesel and even if true that Wiesel did it the man isn’t a media critic so I can’t even see how such a comparison would be made (BTW you and luka have gone off topic on almost every single article that I have posted on this blog). Just admit it the man broke down and forced his words on the masses.

 
At August 3, 2004 at 12:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

About the use of the word "control" Dhimmi already said that he was being sarcastic so you are just beating a poor strawman to death.

Yes, of course he is biased, but how can you say that "Face the truth, Dhimmi; Chomsky can do no good in your eyes." There are plenty of things that I am biased against; individuals, countries, sports teams, but that doesn't mean that I am incapable of recognizing or admitting if they do something good. Maybe you should ask him before you make such sweeping generalizations. Dhimmi could easily turn around and say "Face the truth, Strelnikov; Chomksy can do no bad in your eyes. I would have to call that bias." Somehow I doubt that you would appreciate that.

"One letter does not bespeak control." That is true, but can we assume that it was only that one time, or that he could not do it again if he wanted. "I contacted a friend inside, who was able to put enough pressure on so they ran the letter." I could not do something like that and neither could you, but Chomksy had a friend inside high enough to put enough pressure on to get something done. The fact that he was able to do that is the issue not how many times it occurred.

So even if a person is biased or out to destroy Chomsky is it not a legitimate position to hold him up to a certain standard no matter how trivial the topic might seem?

 
At August 3, 2004 at 1:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is for all the Chomsky supporters out there. Hypothetically speaking of course, what would Chomsky's reaction be if Dick Cheney had contacted a friend who worked for a newspaper and got him to put pressure on others to do what he wanted? Note: The action is what is important, not who is "right" or "wrong."

Oh yeah as a preemptive strike against the usual smoke and mirrors that Chomsky supporters throw up it doesn't have to be Dick Cheney in particular. Any businessman, politican, or critic of Chomsky will do just fine.

Chomsky could probably eke out another five books on that question alone. You know he needs to make enough money just in case his investments in companies that exist within the boundaries of the Great Satan ever go sour.

Another preemptive strike is necessary here. Those last two sentences were dripping with sarcasm, no need to take it literally and get off topic from the question I asked.

 
At August 4, 2004 at 4:32 AM, Blogger LukaB said...

Hey, back from a (brief) vacation...


"This is for all the Chomsky supporters out there. Hypothetically speaking of course, what would Chomsky's reaction be if Dick Cheney had contacted a friend who worked for a newspaper and got him to put pressure on others to do what he wanted?"

He would scold him for doing that or at least he should.

When talking about hipocricy, one has to define a level in my opinion.
The NYT printed what Chomsky said were lies about him. He followed the usual procedure, sent a letter pointing out the lies.
The NYT did not print it.

He than used his connections for the NYT to retract the lies [to anonymous - this is how I know they were lies... if the allegations were true, the NYT would not retract them no matter what Chomsky did].

He is a hypocrite for doing so. If he wanted to be perfect, he should not have done so.
So Dhimmy just proved that Chomsky is not perfect. Bravo. :)

To return to hipocricy...
On what level was his hipocricy?

To help, ask yourself.
If the NYT had printed lies about you [let's say for the sake of argument that they printed that you abuse your children and now all your neighbours have read the article] and you used the regular channels to have them retracted and did not succed but had the option to have them retracted in another way, would you use it?

Just a comment on Cheney (I hope not too off topic):
If a lie about him were printed in the NYT, I don't think his letter demanding a retraction would be ignored. Do you?

Dhimmy said:
"Damn the lies there is a little thing called integrity, obviously the man has none and is a hypocrite to boot."

We are all hypocrites, aren't we?
It's the level of hipocricy that's important.

Dhimmy, you owe me replies here , here, and hereUnless you reply, either close down your site as you've been proven wrong and dedicate your energy to counter or disprove what Chomsky is saying instead of wasting your energy trying to attack and smear the man, or you are the biggest hypocrite I've ever had the occasion to talk to. And till you do, don't use the word integrity.

I said a while ago that you whole site was an ad hominem attack on the man. You asked for examples. This is one.

And so there is no confusion, here's the Merriam Webster definition of ad hominem:
1 : appealing to feelings or prejudices rather than intellect
2 : marked by an attack on an opponent's character rather than by an answer to the contentions made

Now go look at every one of your posts on Chomsky, look at what this website is dedicated to ['self-hating Jews'], to how you argue about him, and compare all this to the above definiton.

And it's interesting to find out you think Chomsky is a god like figure :)

Oh, and Strelnikov, you're welcome (MArk) :)

 
At August 4, 2004 at 4:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Just a comment on Cheney (I hope not too off topic):
If a lie about him were printed in the NYT, I don't think his letter demanding a retraction would be ignored. Do you?"
Of course they would. He's Vice-President of the United States. They would love the attention of having the VP write in to their paper. And they wouldn't want to mess too bad with somebody famous and powerful who can complain through other available mediums and potentially damage their reputation.

"He would scold him for doing that or at least he should."
Of course Chomsky would scold him for that because that's the kind of thing that hypocrites with lowly character would do. And somehow I bet Chomsky would use the example of a powerful politican using inside connections at a newspaper as proof that the media is just one big propaganda machine for the capitalist dominators or some such paranoid, conspiratorial garbage that he usually does.

"If he wanted to be perfect, he should not have done so."
That's right nobody is perfect so why does Chomsky selectively apply standards of perfection to others?

 
At August 5, 2004 at 12:47 AM, Blogger LukaB said...

" And somehow I bet Chomsky would use the example of a powerful politican using inside connections at a newspaper as proof that the media is just one big propaganda machine for the capitalist dominators..."

Well, you'd lose that bet. What Chomsky and Herman did was the opposite of relying on 'inside connections' influence on media. Read the book before you babble about you think he might have written or said.

" or some such paranoid, conspiratorial garbage that he usually does."

You will of course have no problem with supplying some quotes of the "paranoid, conspiratorial garbage" since it's what he usually writes, no?


"That's right nobody is perfect so why does Chomsky selectively apply standards of perfection to others?"

I haven't noticed him doing that. Examples?

 
At August 5, 2004 at 1:02 AM, Blogger LukaB said...

Just saw that the links above aren't working. I'll try again:
Here,here,and here.And just in case, here are the text links:
http://chomskywatch.blogspot.com/2004/07/meet-chomskys-foil-another-chomsky.html#comments
http://chomskywatch.blogspot.com/2004/07/bobby-fischer.html#comments
http://chomskywatch.blogspot.com/2004/07/read-what-chomsky-said-in-hanoi-on.html

 
At August 5, 2004 at 2:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Luka:
I said, "Hypothetically speaking of course, what would Chomsky's reaction be if Dick Cheney had contacted a friend who worked for a newspaper and got him to put pressure on others to do what he wanted?"

You responded by saying, "He would scold him for doing that or at least he should." I am assuming you answered that way based upon your reading of Chomsky's work.

So I said, "And somehow I bet Chomsky would use the example of a powerful politican using inside connections at a newspaper as proof that the media is just one big propaganda machine for the capitalist dominators."

And then you said that, "Well, you'd lose that bet."
How so? You said so yourself that Chomksy would either scold him or at least should. So why would it not be a good bet that if Chomsky was writing a book about propaganda in the media he "would use the example of a powerful politican using inside connections at a newspaper as proof that the media is just one big propaganda machine."

And I don't even know what book you are talking about or who the hell Herman is.

"why does Chomsky selectively apply standards of perfection to others?"
I haven't noticed him doing that. Examples?"
If you don't want to answer the question fair enough.

 
At August 5, 2004 at 11:05 AM, Blogger LukaB said...

"How so? You said so yourself that Chomksy would either scold him or at least should. So why would it not be a good bet that if Chomsky was writing a book about propaganda in the media he "would use the example of a powerful politican using inside connections at a newspaper as proof that the media is just one big propaganda machine.""

Well, he already wrote a book on propaganda (with Edward Herman) called Manufacturing Consent. There's a short overview of what it's about here or here. If you want to find out more, I think the book is available in any library. I'm sorry for not mentioning the name of the book but I (wrongly) assumed that anybody who would scold Chomsky on propaganda issues would know about the book.

My point was that you would lose your bet becuase the authors did not focus on examples such as the one you use (for example Cheney influencing the media directly) as that kind of stuff doesn't happen all that much - and they said so in the book. Click the above link to find out more about what they did say, but to make it short, they went for a structural analysis of the media and how they perfom in relation to state power and private power. This is an unfair abberation so if you're interested, read or at least browse through the whole thing, it's quite interesting.


""why does Chomsky selectively apply standards of perfection to others?"
If you don't want to answer the question fair enough."

My point was that he doesn't 'selectively apply standards of perfection to others'. I thought that was clear. I then asked for examples of him doing that...

 
At August 6, 2004 at 12:02 AM, Blogger Dhimmi said...

Luka,

You need to relax my friend and stop with the shrill and obnoxious statements. The way you structure your sentences seems to indicate that you are very angry (and this is especially bizarre given that you said you just came back from a vacation). Maybe you need go and draw some smiley faces or something, I don’t know what.

Contrary to your own beliefs I don’t owe anyone anything. I don’t know where you got this notion that I can’t have a blog unless I respond to you and that you have all the answers when it comes to conjecture (maybe you’re an egomaniac, sort of like Chomsky, no?). Also were you not the one who was an advocate of freedom of speech or was that a front (maybe you and Chomsky also got that integrity problem).

As for calling on Chomsky’s integrity well it was in context with regard to comments he has made about the media. I have in no way questioned the man’s intelligence or denigrated him, something you did to me. As for the assumption of whether Chomsky lacks integrity based on the fact that he forced his letter to be published that might be thin but the man has made it a habit of such activities, so I feel in no way that my comments were unjust.

And just for the record I don’t think Chomsky is a G-d like figure that is the way you and Strelnikov talk about the man and I was making note of it. Do any of you people understand what sarcasim is? Gees lighten up, why are you guys so dry.

 
At August 6, 2004 at 3:47 AM, Blogger LukaB said...

Dhimmy,

as you know it was not my intention when I came to your site to be obnoxious. I came to see valid ciriticism of Chomsky's work and to see whether there's any truth to him being a 'self-hating Jew' or an anti-Semite.

Firstly, of course you don't owe me anything.

You gave what I think are your best arguments (I think they are your best since you stopped posting on the other threads and I'm now assuming you agree with me on those points) and you not only did not persuade me, you showed everybody your claims are invalid.

I was being obnoxious and pissed off in the above post because you keep on smearing the man even though you've been proven incorrect. And you call him a hypocrite while you're guilty of hipocricy on a much higher level than he may be.

Omit from you line on top that Chomsky is a self hating Jew as you have been proven incorrect. Or provide extra evidence for it and we'll see where it leads us. But, as I already said, I would prefer if you "dedicate your energy to counter or disprove what Chomsky is saying instead of wasting your energy trying to attack and smear the man." (our first debate on the 1973 war was the best one we've had and I've learned most from it - that was the reason I came here -- to get a reality check).

You of course have the right to write anything you wish and I am not denying you the right but I am going to make sure you are aware that you are a hypocrite if you keep writing smears you cannot prove.

And I wrote that post before the vacation :)

To return to your post...
" I have in no way questioned the man’s intelligence or denigrated him"

'denegrate' --- from Merriam-Webster:
=defame=to harm the reputation of by libel or slander

This is exactly what you are doing. Are you really not aware of this?

As for the god like figure, I was just joking about the mistake you made... You said "... the g-d like figure you call Chomsky can do no wrong in your eyes."
That implys that you consider Chomsky a god like figure :)

And I don't treat him like a god. I do have enormous respect for him but that does not mean I think of him like a god (to top it of, I'm an atheist).

To conclude, I like the fact that you reply on your comments because that can bring us to some conclusions (and it did). You could have taken the road Benjamin took - first saying that "hate mail is subject to immediate publication with scathing retort" and then not daring to reply even to Chomsky -- the guy who is the reason for his site -- just because he would be proven incorrect in one instance. I think that's called a chicken-hawk. This enables him to print lies over and over and never get pinned on anything. A smear campaign at its best.

But you did not take that road. And I appreciate and respect that. But until you withdraw your comment about Chomsky being a self hating Jew or provide more evidence for it, you are still a hypocrite on a very high level. Unfortunately.

 
At August 6, 2004 at 10:49 AM, Blogger Dhimmi said...

I stopped posting because your comments started to get shrill and slip into the category of insanity (the claim that Chomsky did not mean Jews when he used the word tribe). I don’t debate people who want to dodge questions with ridicules answers about what if regarding Holocaust deniers; they are what they are. And I don’t like to engage with people who want to make absurd statements about Holocaust denial and not even want to research the topic for themselves. Also, I do not agree with you on any of your posts, just because you have the last word does not mean you’re correct. A debate can end with you saying what you want to say and it would be implied that I disagree with you (after 50 posts I guess you would have got the picture but sadly I was wrong). If you can’t see how Chomsky is a self hating Jew that is your problem. I believe that I have a reasonable understanding of certain passages, that we have disused before, that point to the fact that Chomsky does not regard Jews in a positive light – so the label fits. If you really want a full long reply I will give it to you but it is going to have to wait because it takes a lot of my time and this is a hobby of mine and when I comment it takes time away from other articles. I did not defame Chomsky in anyway; the man’s integrity is in question because of the numerous stances he has taken.

As for Benjamin I consider the man to be very bright and he can defend himself. But I will say that there wasn’t much to reply to Chomsky. I don’t think Benjamin prints lies, I find his articles to be refreshing and very enjoyable.

 
At August 6, 2004 at 10:51 AM, Blogger Dhimmi said...

Oh and the G-d comment it’s called sarcasm and I was referring to the post where you said you just came back from a brief vacation.

 
At August 7, 2004 at 1:28 PM, Blogger LukaB said...

A hypocrite it is then...

 
At August 7, 2004 at 4:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Off topic, but Ben has admitted to me that he considers Horowitz "a loon." Check out the comments for "Mainstreaming the Chomskyites."

- Strelnikov

 
At August 7, 2004 at 5:27 PM, Blogger Dhimmi said...

I pefer not to comment on Horowitz. He is a complex man and I won't get into it.

 
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