Friday, September 22, 2006

NYT: Reports of Chomsky's death are greatly exaggerated.

From today's New York Times:

At a news conference after his spirited address to the United Nations on Wednesday, President Hugo Chávez of Venezuela expressed one regret: not having met that icon of the American left, the linguist Noam Chomsky, before his death.

Yesterday, a call to Mr. Chomsky's house found him very much alive. In fact, he was struggling through "10,000 e-mails" he had received since the remarks by Mr. Chávez, who urged Americans to read one of Mr. Chomsky's books instead of watching Superman and Batman movies, which he said "make people stupid."

At 77, Chomsky has joined the exclusive club of luminaries, like the actor Abe Vigoda and Mark Twain, who were reported dead before their time, only to contradict the reports by continuing to breathe.

If you're interested in reading the rest of the article, you can find it here. The Times further reports, "Mr. Chomsky said that he had taken no offense at Mr. Chávez's remarks about his being dead. In fact, Mr. Chávez's promotion of the book [Hegemony or Survival: America's Quest for Global Dominance] propelled it yesterday into Amazon's top 10 best sellers." So far, there's no word on whether Chomsky will use his higher book earnings to hire an assistant to help him answer all the notes of condolence he must be getting. AMDG.


At 9/30/2006 12:27 PM, Blogger Will Out said...

Chavez said: "I am a fervent reader of Noam Chomsky like I've been of a North American professor who died a little while ago. Unfortunately, I never was able to meet him. I tried to meet this man, but he was already a little deteriorated at 90 years of age, John K. Galbraith."

Galbraith, a Harvard professor and world renown liberal economist, died in May at age 97.

At 10/09/2006 10:25 PM, Blogger Joseph Koczera, S.J. said...


Your comment is appreciated; I note that the New York Times has corrected its earlier statements on this, claiming that Chavez's comments were mistranslated. To me, the whole episode shows how much power the media has - both in terms of how much press the misquotation received and in its effect on Chomsky's book sales.


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