An interview with Noam Chomsky

September 5, 2007

Pervez Hoodbhoy: You have been a very – how should I say – a very fierce critic also of the American media, and you have described it as a means of building consensus. Yet, in the New York Times, you have been described perhaps as the most articulate and the most important intellectual alive today. How do you reconcile this with the allegation that you make of its bias?

Noam Chomsky: Well, that sentence which is widely quoted does exist, but the sentence that followed it is rarely quoted. The sentence that follows it is something like ”How can he say such things about the United States and its foreign policy” (in a way of criticism)—saying–“How can he say such outlandish things even though he is (supposedly) a distinguished intellectual.” It’s rather the way that the media – the New York Times in particular– treated Bertrand Russell. They despised Bertrand Russell for his anti-nuclear activities, his condemnation of the Vietnam War and so on. On the other hand, they recognized him to be a distinguished philosopher.



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