Keeping the Rabble in Line

Banging on about representation: The would be media lens

Thursday, November 17, 2005

The Guardian's apology to Chomsky

In today's [17th November 2005] Guardian the paper issues an apology to Chomsky over the dreadful hatchet job Emma Brockes performed on 31st Oct.

Both Lenin and Qlipoth discuss this admission. Qlipoth in particular is very good.

So then, what to make of the "apology"? Of course, the apology is an admission of a wrongdoing, and as such, perhaps we should be grateful and maybe even celebrate this little victory! But how much of a victory for the progressive left is it?

The publishing serves as both a soothing balm on the conscience of the offenders, but more importantly it advertises the "honesty" of the paper. A classic tactic designed to absorb any flak and a way the Guardian can say: "hey look, we sometimes get it wrong, journalists, sub editors and editors sometimes get it wrong, for this we apologise". The damage has been done already, regular Guardian readers may well have run screaming from any Chomsky article, thinking he "a little too out there, a bit too extreme!" So the apology/"admission" -- though definitely welcome -- has a classic discursive functionality.

This is a tactical sleight of hand that sustains the discourse and conceals the ideological function of a compliant "liberal" media.