The Anti-Chomsky Reader

The Anti-Chomsky Reader

name = The Anti-Chomsky Reader

author = Peter Collier and David Horowitz
cover_artist =
publisher = Encounter Books
release_date = September 25, 2004
media_type = Hardcover/
pages = 240 pages
size_weight =
isbn = ISBN 189355497X

"The Anti-Chomsky Reader" is a 2004 book criticizing the political and linguistic writings of Noam Chomsky. Several different authors contributed. It was edited by Peter Collier and David Horowitz.


"The Anti-Chomsky Reader" contains the following articles:

* "Introduction" by Peter Collier
* "Whitewashing Dictatorship in Vietnam and Cambodia" by Steven J. Morris, Senior Fellow at the Foreign Policy Institute, Johns Hopkins University, accuses Chomsky of denying repression and mass murder under the communist regimes of Vietnam and Cambodia. Morris claims that Chomsky adheres to a Marxist derived view of the Indochina wars which refuses to acknowledge the totalitarian nature of the regimes in question.
* "Chomsky and the Cold War" by Thomas M. Nichols, chairman of the Department of Strategy and Policy, U.S. Naval War College, claims that Chomsky has distorted the history of the Cold War in order to minimize the role of Communist ideology and blame the conflict on the United States. He accuses Chomsky of misusing sources and footnoting his books in manipulative and dishonest ways "to create a kind of pseudo-academic smog" often leading back to Chomsky's own work. He also analyzes a 1990 letter from Chomsky to Alexander Cockburn which Nichols claims laments the defeat of the Soviet Union and other Communist states and movements at the end of the Cold War, particularly singling out Czech dissident Vaclav Havel for vituperation.
* "Chomsky and Holocaust Denial" by Werner Cohn, professor emeritus of sociology, analyzes Chomsky's role in the Faurisson affair through his connections to Faurisson's publisher La Vielle Taupe. Cohn accuses Chomsky of close connections to French anti-semites and Holocaust Deniers through this organization. He also extensively criticizes Chomsky's writings on Israel.
* "Chomsky and 9/11" by David Horowitz and Ronald Radosh analyzes a speech given by Chomsky at MIT immediately after 9/11. They particularly attack Chomsky's claim that the US invasion of Afghanistan was planned to result in millions of deaths, labeled by some critics as the "Silent Genocide" claim, named after his quote, "Looks like what's happening is some sort of silent genocide."Fact|date=October 2008 They also claim that Chomsky justifies the 9/11 attacks in his speech and distorts American history to make the United States appear to be a terrorist nation.
* "Noam Chomsky's Anti-American Obsession" by David Horowitz, a former prominent supporter of Marxism and one-time editor of the '60s New Left journal "Ramparts", accuses Chomsky of being an anti-American ideologue who sees the United States as evil and rewrites American history accordingly. Horowitz claims that Chomsky is the intellectual source of left wing anti-Americanism today.
* "A Corrupted Linguistics" by Robert D. Levine and Paul M. Postal, both professors of linguistics, claims that Chomsky's linguistic work has been largely superseded or abandoned. They also accuse Chomsky of intellectual misconduct in his linguistic writings.
* "Chomsky, Language, World War II and Me" by John Williamson criticizes Chomsky's linguistic work and recounts a long email debate between Chomsky and the author in which Williamson claims Chomsky repeatedly lied about his own statements and about historical facts and sources.
* "The Devil State: Chomsky's War Against Israel" by Paul Bogdanor criticizes Chomsky's stance on Israel. Bogdanor charges that Chomsky distorts historical fact and falsely accuses Israel of atrocities and rejectionism while downplaying Arab aggression and violence against the Jewish State.

Chomsky and the Media: A Kept Press and a Manipulated People

"Chomsky and the Media: A Kept Press and a Manipulated People" by Eli Lehrer, senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute and former editor of "The American Enterprise" magazine, is a critique of Chomsky's "Propaganda model" of the American media as stated in Chomsky's book, "". Lehrer accuses Chomsky of being "an outsider who knows relatively little about the media... except to the degree that 'media subserviance' serves to explain why there is no outcry against the evil he sees everywhere in the American enterprise."

According to Lehrer the theory:
*ignores revelations by the media of government and corporate misconduct and that it is this kind of reporting that wins rewards and gives reputation
*neglects that major media such as the "Wall Street Journal" and the "New York Times" sharply disagree on most issues in their editorials. The owners of media also have different political views. Media companies may also be owned by thousands of shareholders. While some CEOs may see their company as a soapbox for their own views, most do not, and a single media company sometimes own newspapers with very different editorials.
*is inconsistent, sometimes arguing that the media only serves to distract people with unimportant entertainment and little real news, but sometimes instead arguing that the media move public opinion on all important issues and current events.
*is incorrect regarding the influence of advertisers. Chomsky and Herman have pointed to two statements from two advertisers who in the 1970s wanted the programming that carried their ads to present a generally positive view of business. Lehrer argues that entertainment programs are in fact anti-business, with one study finding businessmen three times as likely as any other profession to be depicted as criminals, and nine times out of ten depicted as being primarily motivated by greed.
*has difficulty explaining the popularity of conservative radio talk shows. Assuming that people want to hear the far left political views that Chomsky advocates, but are being force-feed right-wing views by filtered media, or lulled into complacency by mindless entertainment, then they should at least not voluntarily tune in to conservative views. This is highly disputed, however, as Chomsky has repeatedly and consistently noted that he does not simply recognize one particular variety of political bias, but numerous sources of (sometimes) conflicting and (sometimes) competing perspectives within the news media.
*ignores alternative explanations for differences in media coverage. For example, Chomsky has frequently argued that the greater US media coverage of the murder of the priest Jerzy Popieluszko in Communist Poland, as compared with the US media coverage of the murders of priests in Latin America is evidence for the theory. Lehrer argues that there are many alternative explanations, like the fact that such murders were common in Latin America meant that they were not news or that Popieluszko had played a prominent part in protests which a few years earlier had forced military intervention and that his murder further turned the public opinion in Poland against the Communist regime.
*ignores new media such as the many forms of Internet media. Although "Manufacturing Consent" was published before the Internet, Chomsky has continued to almost entirely ignore these media in recent publications and speeches. When commenting, he seems to have poor knowledge of the Internet, for example stating that only "sizeable commercial entities" have run successful Internet sites, which Lehrer argues is strange for someone claiming to be a modern media theorist.
*is not new, but only another variant of the Marxist idea of "false consciousness"
*treats with contempt the views and opinions of nearly all people, who are described as the "bewildered herd." People are either too stupid to understand how media manipulates every aspect of their lives, or complicit pawns.Eli Lehrer. Chomsky and the Media: A Kept Press and a Manipulated People. Pages 67-87 In The Anti-Chomsky Reader (2004) Peter Collier and David Horowitz, editors. Encounter Books.] This point is also highly disputed, as Chomsky clarifies numerous times throughout "Manufacturing Consent" his adoration of the so called "bewildered herd", a term which does not originate from Chomsky, recognizing humans in general as a particularly creative species with special capacities. One might also look to Chomsky's childhood and scholastic endeavors to better understand what is perhaps a significant propensity for radical working class idealism.


Keith Windschuttle, in a review in the conservative magazine "New Criterion", states that "Collier, Horowitz, and their six other authors have produced a book that has long been needed. It provides a penetrating coverage of the disgraceful career of a disgraceful but very influential man, who has so far avoided a criticism as thoroughgoing as this." [cite web | last = Windschuttle | first = Keith| authorlink = Keith Windschuttle | title = A disgraceful career | publisher = The New Criterion | date = 2004-09 | url = | accessdate = 2008-10-10]

Michael Leon, in a review in the now defunct "CoreWeekly", weekly arts and entertainment magazine, claims that the "The Anti-Chomsky Reader is mired in a thick haze of loathing and hard-right ideology, short on verifiable facts and long on ideologically-steeped assertions." and "As for all the weird personal defamations; they do not merit a response." [cite web | last = Leon | first = Michael | title = The Anti-Chomsky Reader Continues a Soviet-Style Assault | publisher = CoreWeekly | date = 2005-01-13 | url = | accessdate = 2008-10-10]

Mark Bauerlein, in a generally positive review in the Libertarian magazine "Reason", claims that "Collier and Horowitz understand well the manufactured reality of political fame, and to dismantle it requires not contrary vitriol or clever rejoinders but direct, fact-based assertions that undermine the authenticity of the image. To that end, the contributors follow a simple procedure: Quote actual statements by Chomsky and test them for evidence and logic. The best contributions to the volume add the effective and timely tactic of citing Chomsky's progressive virtues and revealing how smoothly he abandons them." [cite web | last = Bauerlein | first = Mark | title = Deconstructing Chomsky | publisher = Reason | date = 2005-04 | url = | accessdate = 2008-10-10]


External links

* The chapter "Chomsky and Holocaust Denial" is an abridged version of Cohn's book " [ Partners in Hate: Noam Chomsky and the Holocaust Deniers] ".
* An extended version of "Chomsky's War Against Israel", entitled [ The Devil State: Chomsky's War Against Israel (PDF)] , is available online.


* [ "The Anti-Chomsky Reader" Continues a Soviet-Style Assault] a critical review by Michael Leon
* [ The Magus of MIT] Review published in National Review
* [ A disgraceful career] Review published in The New Criterion.


* [ Reply to Werner Cohn] — Noam Chomsky, "Outlook", June 1989
** [ Chomsky and the French neo-Nazis: Some documents] — Werner Cohn

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