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Thursday, May 20 2010

Chomsky, Wilders and the MSM's Dissident Dissonance

Noam_chomskyRobin Shepherd brings some sanity to the debate over Israel's refusal to allow Noam Chomsky to enter Israel and the West Bank.

He compares how the media spun the UK's ban on Dutch politician Geert Wilders from visiting last year.

In the sharply contrasting reactions to what ostensibly looks like two similar cases, what we have here is a remarkably illustrative case study of how the dominant opinion formers in the western media view the world. Chomsky, an extremist who displays complete contempt for reasoned discourse and who provides succour to totalitarian movements and their apologists around the world, is hailed as a hunted hero: a dissident being oppressed in a manner which led the Times gleefully to report an Israeli writer as saying “we may be becoming fascists”.

The Times article in question opened by describing Chomsky as “a leading left-wing political thinker”. The BBC went further, admiringly describing him as “Renowned US scholar Noam Chomsky”. Wilders is always described as “far-Right” Dutch politician, Geert Wilders. The tone of articles about him is condemnatory; the subtext consistently portrays him as a racist with no place in polite society.

Such are the values and beliefs which guide the thinking of a liberal establishment in Europe which has a near monolithic dominance over the political mainstream. A storm in a tea cup involving one of their heroes on the Jordanian border is indignantly magnified into a grotesque example of the horrors visited upon a gentle and brilliant intellectual by an oppressive Jewish state. A flawed but brave Dutch politician, a genuine political dissident who faces the threat of death and jail for his views, is excoriated and branded a pariah even though he has no grudge against the state which denied him entry.

Here's last year's coverage of Wilders from the Times and the Beeb for comparison. Read Shepherd's full post and judge for yourself.

 

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Comments

I am baffled by your comment "the liberal establishment in Europe which has a near monolithic dominance over the political mainstream".
I may have missed something but the UK along with a number of countries in Europe invaded Iraq in direct opposition to much of its population. UK continues to occupy parts of Afganistan when opinion polls show the majority of people would like to withdraw the troops for various reasons.
Does this seem like a country whose politicians are in thrall to the "liberal establishment" - I dont think so.
I do agree with you that the whole thing about Chomsky is a storm in a teacup although I dont recognise your negative description of him at all

Geert Wilders, in my book, is a hero - somebody who has dedicated his life to advocating a society where groups are bound together, not struggling against each other.

See the "Anti-Chomsky Reader." Those who praise him are revealing their worship of tyranny and their hatred pf the U.S., Jews, and Israel.

I am baffled by stephen of London-

At the start of the Iraq war 75% were against- then two weeks into it when the allies had command 75% were behind it-

Then of course the "Liberal" establishment of the BBC, Guardian, Independent and New Statesmen got to work with their propaganda machine.
Tore Blair to pieces came out with the "heavy" anti American rhetoric and as usual the "fickle" Brits fell for the "Spin".
If this lot had been around in 1939 then it would be God help us all.

Steve Mann - the public of all nations are fickle. If your statistics are correct then it only confirms the generally observed syndrome that the people of most nations get behind their troops at the outset of even an unpopular war.
How much influence do you think the Giardian, Independent & New Statesman have - very little I do assure you - their readership is very small.
In fact if my memory serves me well the right wing Daily Mail was against the war but the most popular newspaper the Sun supported the war. So try and work that out
What spin did the fickle Brits fall for - the spin that there were WMD and there were in fact none - not surprising that the Blair Govt has come in for so much ciriticism.
And to compare Britain's position faced with Sadaam Hussain and the threat of Nazi Germany is patently absurd.

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