This site has been getting quite a few search engine hits for Bob Gould’s writing about Keith Windschuttle, following the latter’s outburst against Noam Chomsky being awarded the Sydney Peace Prize, so see below for a collection of the links.
This time, Windschuttle’s attempt at self-promotion fell on fairly stony ground. The Australian obliged a faithful but not very effective far-right ally with an initial report distinguished only as an example of the tendency of some of that paper’s journalists to write their opinions into their reporting. “The organisers of the award, the Sydney Peace Foundation, established eight years ago [14 years, actually] at Sydney University, were on the defensive yesterday,” wrote Matthew Miller. Really?
No doubt that’s what the editorial higher-ups at The Australian wanted, but there’s little evidence of any defensiveness at the foundation, which is no doubt used to, and perhaps welcomes, controversy over its selections (who have included Hanan Ashrawi, Arundhati Roy and John Pilger).
After the furore over the nomination of Palestinian rights activist Ashrawi, in particular, the foundation no doubt knew exactly what to expect following the nomination of Chomsky.
The Australian‘s more experienced Stephen Matchett also went to work on the matter, but obviously found the going tough. The worst he could say (repeatedly) of Chomsky was that he was anti-American (no, he is American, he just disagrees with the government a lot, and isn’t that at the core of the American way?), and for public outrage he has to go to The Australian‘s favourite far-right importer of State Department-think, the Institute of Public Affairs.
The latest Windschuttle outburst contains nothing new, and most of the issues were aired in 2003, when Bob Gould wrote a comment. The most likely outcome of this attempted reprise of long-discredited claims against Chomsky is further questioning of Windschuttle’s dodgy scholarship, which already is widely recognised.
Bob Gould’s other major polemics with Windschuttle are:
The anarchist Slackbastard frequently discusses Chomsky, including Windschuttle’s attacks, most notably: