A small bit of "The Shame of Noam Chomsky and the Gatekeepers of the Left" transcribed

Ok, I've just transcribed a small section on Chomsky from Barry Zwicker’s stunning book “Towers of Deception: The Media Cover-Up of 9/11” which I strongly recommend everyone go out and kop, it's excellent. Find the Amazon link below;

 The Media Cover-Up of 9/11”

On Amazon

(Chapter 5, p 179)

The Shame of Noam Chomsky and the Gatekeepers of the Left

“Let us never tolerate outrageous conspiracy theories ….”
-President George Bush, Nov. 10, 2001,
to the United Nations General Assembly

“Look, this is just conspiracy theory.”
- Noam Chomsky to author in conversation,
November 14th, 2002

“There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance – that principle is contempt prior to investigation.”
- Herbert Spencer

Thanks for the identical advice, George Bush and Noam Chomsky. But no thanks.
There’s something very strange here. You’d expect George Bush, the most visible face of the American Empire, to employ the intellectually-bankrupt put-down phrase “conspiracy theory” as an element of his propagandistic rhetoric in defence of the of the official story of 9/11. On the other hand, about the last person you’d expect use the same phase the same way for the same purpose would be Noam Chomsky, known for his masterful deconstructions of propaganda.

You’d expect Noam Chomsky to be unmasking the nature of this phrase and the purpose of George Bush in using it. As we shall see, this phrase (and its friends “conspiracy nut,” “conspiracy whacko,” etc.) is far more than simply another misleading figure of speech. It’s a particularly effective tool for suppressing healthy skepticism about the contradictions and absurdities of 9/11 and further investigation into them.

Chomsky himself at one point issued a strong caution against the use of the term. He had just explained, at a public meeting, how mainstream meida stories are skewed to favour vested interests by means of reporters quoting establishment representatives at length while neglecting to quote critics of the establishment. “Would you characterize [your] media analysis as a “conspiracy theory” at all?” a woman asked Chomsky.
“It’s precisely the opposite of conspiracy theory, actually,” Chomsky said. “… institutional factors … set boundaries for reporting and interpretation in ideological institutions.” He continued: “Any economist knows this: It’s not a conspiracy theory to point [out] that … it’s just taken for granted as an institutional fact. If someone were to say ‘Oh no, that’s a conspiracy theory,’ people would laugh.” He concluded: “For people to call [Chomsky’s media analysis] ‘conspiracy theory’ is part of the effort to prevent an understanding of how the world works, in my view – ‘conspiracy theory’ has become the intellectual equivalent of a four-letter word: it’s something people say when they don’t want you to think about what’s really going on.”

So, when Noam Chomsky repeatedly uses the phrase “conspiracy theory” to describe questioning the official story of 9/11, he clearly knows its power and purpose of its use.

(Sidebar): Emotional Considerations Arising from a Study of Chomsky’s Work

Among readers of this book’s draft form, this chapter became the most controversial. These readers include writer friends, other friends, and colleagues. No one was close to neutral. This chapter – and I – encountered strong praise and strong aversion, hearty congratulations and dire warnings, gratitude, anger and suspicion.

I came to realize how deep for others – and for me – are the feelings associated with this chapter. That caused me to try to separate out the emotional issues. This attempt has helped me think more clearly about Noam Chomsky and the Left Gatekeepers. I hope this sidebar likewise will be useful to you, the reader.

The emotional attitude toward Chomsky on the Right for the most part is simple hatred. A hatchet job on Chomsky in the Saturday observer section of the Ottawa Citizen of November 5, 2005, provides an example. “The Fantastic Professor: As smart as Noam Chomsky is, he can be infuriatingly stupid” titled “Blind genius.” The hatchet is wielded by the paper’s editorial page editor, Leonard Stern. Chomsky’s political views are “crude”. Chomsky is a “weird one” who “buys into ideas that would embarrass the flat earth society.”

One the Left, the feelings are more complicated. The main emotions are gratitude and admiration – sometimes to the extent of near idol worship. As Daniel Abrahamson puts it: “Noam Chomsky is often hailed as America’s premier dissident intellectual, a fearless purveyor of truth fighting against media propaganda, murderous US foreign policy, and the crimes of profit-hungry transnational corporations. He enjoys a slavish cult-like following from millions [of] leftist students, journalists, and activists worldwide who fawn over his dense books as if they were scripture. To them, Chomsky is the supreme deity, a priestly master whose logic cannot be questioned.”

I myself was one of his earliest supporters, from the days when most had not heard of him. My admiration knew no bounds. I have a stack of his books more then a foot high. I praised him personally and publicly and in my university teaching. I was honoured to interview him for four segments on Vision TV. A friend of mine and I at one time competed to see who could get the lager number of letters to the editor published defending Chomsky against the ill-wishers who twisted his words or called him names such as “anti-American.” I assisted in a small way with the film Manufacturing Consent.

But I became one of those in the Left puzzled, even mystified, as a result of Chomsky’s insistence for more then 40 years the Lee Harvey Oswald was the lone gunman who killed JFK. This puzzling anomaly took on a new significance after 9/11 with Chomsky’s opposition to questioning the official 9/11 story – which questioning he says is a huge mistake for the Left.

As I studied his work ever more closely under the intense illumination of 9/11, I became increasingly amazed at patterns, dealt with in this chapter, that emerged from his body of work. Disbelief turned to shock. I feel I have been duped. I feel embarrassment that mainly I duped myself, that I had been in denial. With these realizations came anger from feeling betrayed by someone I welcomed into my innermost sanctum of trust.

One of my emotional tasks is not to go overboard, like the jilted lover who seeks revenge. Trying to be reasonable, I attempted to reconcile these new strong negative emotions with the positive emotion of gratitude that I felt for so long, and that it would seem reasonable that I should continue to feel. Gratitude for all that I did learn from Chomsky, for all the support he has given to causes I support. I still wrestle with these conflicting emotions as I chance across the latest brilliant articulation by Chomsky of the havoc wreaked by the American Empire. For instance, his comments in an article by Jim Mcllroy and Coral Wynter:

Caracas – By sending gas for heating to poor, homeless people for free and at very low prices for those who can pay, “Venezuela is giving a great example of cooperation and solidarity with the people of the United States. And this is being seen by the entire world,” Noam Chomsky, well-known US intellectual, told a public meeting of teachers, students, researchers and journalists on February 13 at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, according to a special report in the February 15 Caracas newspaper Diario Vea.
Chomsky also said that majority of North Americans “receive little or no information of the great achievements of the Bolivian Revolution, that is headed by President Hugo Chavez, because the mass media only emphasise the bad, and are silent about the positive.”

But now, even while reading a report such as this, I cannot forget the evidence of his being a major leader of the “controlled opposition” to the American Empire. My feelings of gratitude are hugely diminished and can never rise again.

I decided to disclose my anger and mixed feelings here, but I have reined them in as much as possible in this chapter. My hope is to channel most of my anger into increased research and into understanding better the complexities of the subject matter. I have also been helped by a friend who is a leader in the “Forgiveness First” movement.

You, too, may encounter strong feeling as you read this chapter. I am grateful for the debate that raged among my friends and colleagues, not least for the emotions directed at me. They have made me reconsider, have rekindled my sensitivity for the feelings of others, and have helped me rewrite usefully, I hope. I also hope you have friends as thoughtful and honest as mine with whom to discuss the intellectual, political and emotional aspects of Chomsky and his work. I must say I now find it creepy.

Thanks for that.

Zwicker's book is bloody excellent.

Damn right lol!

Damn right lol!

Zwickers book is easily my

Zwickers book is easily my favorite book now as it combines my 2 main goals. media reform and 9/11 truth. from start to finish this book is amazing. i liked the profiles of different 9/11 activists it had in it, that was a nice touch. this chapter on Chomsky is great, but keep in mind, he actually takes it easy on him to a large degree. he still breaks him down perfectly though. it was probably good he held back a little bit.

The Shame of Noam Chomsky and the Gatekeepers of the Left.

The whole chapter has been transcribed and can be viewed here.

The Shame of Noam Chomsky and the Gatekeepers of the Left.


"From a drop of water, a logician could infer the possibility of an Atlantic or a Niagra without having seen or heard of one or the other. So it is that my name is Sherlock Holmes, it is my business to know what other people don't know"