Noam Chomsky on The Big Idea -BBC2, 23.15, 14/2/96

Well, I watched it tonight and it was amazing.

Did Andrew Marr do *any* preparation before this sad excuse for an interview? Did he even watch the Chomsky video he included clips from? I kept having to remind myself that this was a *professional* reporter from the Independent and not some snivelling public-schoolboy. “Oh Mr Chomsky! We’ve got a FREE PRESS in Britain!”

“I read all about the NAFTA agreement!” He couldn’t have : nothing of political substance was ever published, as Chomsky said. And of course that perennial corker: if the press is so propagandist what about (indignant stare) WATERGATE!

He couldn’t even grasp the basic point that anti-sleaze campaigns in the press *serve* the interests of the dominant élites. Obviously any concepts of hegemony and/or popular myths (or should I say necessary illusions 🙂 ) were beyond him. I expect he truly believes the British press is one big meritocratic, staunchly objective gang of heroic investigators…

Andrew Marr is a living breathing example of Chomsky’s propaganda model in action. The fact that he regards neo-Keynesianism as “left-of-center” shows precisely the limits of the discourse in which he is engaged and defines.

I am so tired of un-prepared, un-intelligent interviewers equating propaganda with totalitarianism. And then throwing their faulty logic in Chomsky’s face as if they’ve disproved his theory in one brilliant leap. After all, the basic notions of concision and the agenda-setting media aren’t that esoteric, are they?

Although Chomsky himself was on good form and as patient and precise as usual, the continual stupidity of the interviewer ruined the program.

I wish I could see a serious interview, like the one Peter Jay did in the 70s for LWT.
Yours in desperation,
Jyoti