“If you believed something different, you wouldn’t be sitting where you’re sitting”


In this interview with Noam Chomsky (which I date from the exchanges as having taken place soon after the Gulf War in 1991), he schools a British journalist on the reality that most journalists for the big media are not the crusading types they think they are but don’t even realize how much they work within a very narrow range of views.

Chomsky can’t help but be amused when Marr brings up what he thinks are counterexamples of great journalistic coups only to have them shown to be minor compared to the real news that was being ignored, and thus makes Chomsky’s point.

The best part was this exchange:

Marr: “How can you know that I’m self-censoring?”

Chomsky: “I don’t think you’re self-censoring. I’m sure you believe everything you’re saying. But what I’m saying is if you believed something different, you wouldn’t be sitting where you’re sitting.”

That is exactly right. This is why mainstream journalists are nonplussed and get angry when they are accused of being shills for the government and big business. They do not have the self-awareness to realize that if they had not totally internalized those attitudes over their careers, they would not have arrived at where they are.

Comments

  1. Rob Grigjanis says

    My dodgy memory tells me that I, or someone else, may have referenced this Upton Sinclair quote here recently, but it’s worth repeating anyway.

    It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!

  2. Chiroptera says

    Noam Chomsky: But what I’m saying is if you believed something different, you wouldn’t be sitting where you’re sitting.

    Gore Vidal in explaining why he wasn’t a conspiracy theorist: “Conspiracy? No, they just all think alike.”

  3. Anthony K says

    Another copy of this video on YouTube, the whole discussion, is described as being first aired on the BBC in 1996.

  4. says

    It’s amazing that the guy calls himself a journalist but never heard of COINTELPRO.

    I’ve also been amazed at how journalists have failed to update themselves on stories. Some of them know that the guy who was “Deep Throat” was named Felt. But very few realize that Felt was a senior FBI executive and none of them manage to contextualize the destruction of Nixon’s presidency as an FBI hit on the CIA and the president who was becoming too buddy-buddy with that agency.

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