Friday, August 13, 2004

Why Doesn't Chomsky Like Me?

Recently I took Noam Chomsky to task for falsely attributing the words "kill", "perjor" and "periphrastic" to President Bush. I pointed out that Bush could not begin to pronounce such words, never mind read them from a cue card. Someone from the MediaLens message board sent him an e-mail seeking clarification, and posted the following excerpts from the reply:

"Put ... the following ... words in order: Face, sodding ... yours, shut."

Typical evasion! Is Chomsky seriously denying that he attributed these words to President Bush? It would be odd if he is, for he conjugates precisely these words in a quotation imputed to Bush on his blog! Previously he accused me of "making shit up" when I said I'd met him and declined a San Francisco wedding proposal. He invited me to "bite his loaf" and suggested I had not produced "one particle of evidence that anyone actually reads your columns". Well, those tactics may work when you're denying something that noone has any record of. But this time his claims are actually up there on his blog as transcribed by someone else for all to see! It is astounding that a formerly respectable left-wing academic would descend to such obfuscation in the face of a direct challenge.

But surely there is much we can agree on. For example, we have to oppose the IMF programme in Iraq. Frankly, a modern version of Mission:Impossible based in the Middle East was always going to be fraught with controversy. And while I have no objection to seeing Iraqis bombed and shot at, I do resent the idea that they may be subjected to offensive cultural stereotypes just because they're Islamofascist bastards.

Surely that's something both Chomsky and I can agree on?


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