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Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Chomsky Slandered in Sunday Star-Times

The article by Emma Brockes in the Sunday Star-Times (Nov. 6, pA17), reprinted from the Guardian about Noam Chomsky, purports in its question-and-answer sub-headline that Chomsky supported "those who say the Srebrenica massacre was exaggerated". Chomsky’s affirmative reply printed in the sub-head was actually given in answer to a completely different question.
This vile slander about the man voted the world’s top public intellectual was exposed by the media-watch group Medialens which comments: "Brockes’s headline mis-matching of questions with answers in this way is a genuine scandal - a depth of cynicism to which even mainstream journalism rarely sinks."
The slander is repeated later with Brockes putting quote marks around the word "massacre", saying Chomsky used this device to "undermine things he disagrees with". This was to back up her assertion that Chomsky thought reports about Srebrenica were overstated.
Chomsky told Medialens that he has never used quote marks around the word massacre in any writings about Srebrenica. An audit by Medialens bears this out.
Chomsky protested about the article to the Guardian editor: "Even when the words attributed to me have some resemblance to accuracy, I take no responsibility for them, because of the invented contexts in which they appear."
Medialens concludes that Brockes’s article "is one of the most shocking and appalling media smears we have seen."

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