Okay, Gray Lady, this is horseshit. An article by Motoko Rich about Hugo Chavez's endorsement of Noam Chomsky's book "Hegemony or Survival" is an attempt to turn Noam Chomsky into just another crazy lady on a bus.
You know how you make a crazy lady on a bus? When she speaks to you, don't answer back. She'll keep trying to talk and look crazier and crazier because no one's listening to her.
Not one comment from someone who thinks Chomsky's book is essentially correct. The facts say he is (although he and I would disagree on the motivation behind American aggression-- he ascribes sinister intent to our foreign interventions, and I think it's unplanned: the inevitable result of human nature and the types of personalities that are attracted to these situations, the "Logic of Empire". But I'm a novelist, and man enough to admit that a professional researcher knows more than I do.)
Click on the "sampler" from "Hegemony or Survival" and we're given two paragraphs of Chomsky's interpretations but not his reasons for reaching those conclusions. Four paragraphs of Alan Dershowitz (insert choking sounds here) deriding Chomsky as being unreadable, but not one word of the book's actual content and not one word refuting Chomsky's facts. (Dershowitz has been shown by better men than I to be a notoriously sloppy researcher and cherry picker himself).
While we're at it, how come the coverage of Chavez focuses on his theatrics and not on his facts? Sure, he called the president a "devil"-- but when I saw the clip I thought, and still think, Chavez was trying to make a joke with a clumsy metaphor. It would be interesting to see an serious public discussion of whether the devil really is in the house. He also called Bush an “ex-alcoholic” who had “a lot of hang-ups” and tried to walk “like John Wayne"; these accusations are all painfully true, and so under-reported by the people who tell us what to think.
Neither does Chomsky defend himself in this hack piece. The article mentions a Thursday interview with the times itself, but no link is provided, a mistake I rectify here
So go back to sleep, everyone. Chavez is a crazy man. Chomsky is an old crank that no one listens to. Nothing to worry about until the next Church commission or the next Oliver North scandal or the next time a plane comes flying from the Third World into Our World.