Via The Daily Ablution, a great British blog, we find The Guardian's interview with Noam Chomsky. I don't have the time now to read the entire interview, so this may ... I say may ... be taken out of context, but Chomsky is quoted as saying something extraordinarily strange.
"As some see it, one ill-judged choice of cause was the accusation made by Living Marxism magazine that during the Bosnian war, shots used by ITN of a Serb-run detention camp were faked. The magazine folded after ITN sued, but the controversy flared up again in 2003 when a journalist called Diane Johnstone made similar allegations in a Swedish magazine, Ordfront, taking issue with the official number of victims of the Srebrenica massacre. (She said they were exaggerated.) In the ensuing outcry, Chomsky lent his name to a letter praising Johnstone's 'outstanding work'. Does he regret signing it?
"'No,' he says indignantly. 'It is outstanding. My only regret is that I didn't do it strongly enough. It may be wrong; but it is very careful and outstanding work.'
Now there's a non sequitur if I've ever seen one. And this, from the world's top public intellectual. The Daily Ablution notes:
"It may be wrong; but it is very careful and outstanding work". In Mr. Chomsky's world - and, as we've seen, in the world of many of his leftist admirers - whether something is a fact matters not at all. What is important is that the proper ideology is expressed.
To be blunt, if the work were "careful and outstanding" it wouldn't be so easily and demonstrably wrong. End of story. Or, since he's a linguist, maybe the words "careful and outstanding" have a meaning I simply can't comprehend.