Noam Chomsky on Biden vs. Trump, His New Book, and Why Manufacturing Consent “Is Much Easier Now”

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    • #416904
      eridani
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      • Total Posts: 8,630

      https://readersupportednews.org/opinion2/277-75/68827-noam-chomsky-on-biden-vs-trump-his-new-book-and-why-manufacturing-consent-qis-much-easier-nowq

      This is why I’ve always admired Chomsky a great deal, even if I sometimes disagree with his politics (or his takes on sports for that matter). Unafraid of criticism, few people of his stature in American life are willing to do what he does. He is clearly a man of principle, a character trait that might have gotten him in even more trouble had he come of political age in the Internet era. His defense of the speech rights of Holocaust denier Robert Faurisson is still brought up by critics and sticks to his name like flypaper on Twitter.

      More evidence that he’s honest broker lay in the fact, as Christopher Hitchens once noted, that over time, “the more Chomsky was vindicated, the less he seemed to command ‘respect’” from mainstream pundits. His fame has grown in inverse relationship to the number of his green room invites. Although American political life has moved toward him, as noted below, he’s still largely an unperson to the networks and the newsrooms of the great dailies like the Times, who’ll never forgive him for being right about everything from the civil rights movement to Vietnam to Iraq. Even his views on Russiagate (“farcical,” he said) identify him as an outside-the-tenter, confirmed in his shameful lack of deference to the manufacturers of consent.

      Chomsky has other, little-remarked-upon qualities that mark him as a true egalitarian, like his habit, still, of trying to answer every serious query sent to him. Although not a fan of tweets — “If you thought for two minutes… you wouldn’t have sent it” is his mordant assessment of a lot of Twit lit — he gives nearly every other kind of correspondence generous consideration. He’ll prioritize responding to an obscure blogger over a major daily newspaper if the blogger has the better question.

      Chomsky’s stubbornness is clearly his great strength, but it can make interviewing him a challenge. When I approached him before writing Hate Inc., which I initially tried to model after his great book of media criticism, Manufacturing Consent, I tried over and over to get his take on how the press had changed since he and Edward Herman first started looking at the subject forty-odd years ago. What about the role of Facebook, Google, Twitter?

      Jesus: Hey, Dad? God: Yes, Son? Jesus: Western civilization followed me home. Can I keep it? God: Certainly not! And put it down this minute--you don't know where it's been! Tom Robbins in Another Roadside Attraction

    • #416943
      closeupready
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      I admire him for many different things, not just whether he endorsed/condemned today’s political savior/pinata.

      He was anti-Establishment during the 80’s when the Establishment could have destroyed him, career-wise. They did not do that, I suppose because prior to Manufacturing Consent, he was seen as a harmless old hippie turned professor, like Timothy Leary, and well, back then, academia was sort of loopy.

      What nobody counted on was how Consent resonated. There must be a fitting parallel with an old Greek fable here – Emperor’s New Clothes…? He revealed all the tricks, the man behind the curtain.

      Regardless of how he’s admired, though, he’s no more perfect than anyone else. I still say his endorsement of Biden was wrong. That’s okay. This is a democracy.

      His wiki entry gives a great summary of his life:

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noam_Chomsky

      The opinions and personal views expressed herein are solely those of the author, and should never be taken seriously.

    • #416965
      Ohio Barbarian
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      • Total Posts: 20,143

      That doesn’t mean he’s always right. He was flat-out dead wrong about Joe Biden, and was very arrogant and condescending to people who criticized him for that at the time. At least that was my impression.

      It is better to vote for what you want and not get it than to vote for what you don't want and get it.--Eugene Debs

      You can jail a revolutionary, but you can't jail the revolution.--Fred Hampton

      • #417129
        eridani
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        • Total Posts: 8,630

        –candidates at the presidential level?   Some of them do serious voter outreach at the local level, but are far from expanding to state level, let alone national.

        Jesus: Hey, Dad? God: Yes, Son? Jesus: Western civilization followed me home. Can I keep it? God: Certainly not! And put it down this minute--you don't know where it's been! Tom Robbins in Another Roadside Attraction

        • #417167
          Ohio Barbarian
          Moderator
          • Total Posts: 20,143

          And that’s what Noam Chomsky did. I wasn’t even thinking about third parties–it is you who seem to be obsessed with pointing out how ridiculous it is for anyone to support them–but there’s something wrong in a system that doesn’t allow them for all practical purposes. You don’t seem to have any problems with that, either.

          It is better to vote for what you want and not get it than to vote for what you don't want and get it.--Eugene Debs

          You can jail a revolutionary, but you can't jail the revolution.--Fred Hampton

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