How dishonest is Noam Chomsky?

This dishonest: 

Chomsky writes: “Robertson attributes the murder to ‘America’s obsessive belief in capital punishment—alone among advanced nations—[which] is reflected in its rejoicing at the manner of bin Laden’s demise.’ For example, Nation columnist Eric Alterman writes that ‘The killing of Osama bin Laden was a just and necessary undertaking.’” Here.

So Chomsky uses exactly one example to demonstrate his joint contention regarding both “America’s obsessive belief in capital punishment” and its “rejoicing in the manner of Bin Laden’s demise.”  Regarding the death penalty, I do not support it and never have. Regarding “rejoicing,” Chomsky purposely ignored the sentence that followed the very one he chose to quote.  It reads: “But it should not be occasion for joy. The Talmud tells the story of angels dancing and singing as the waters  of the Red Sea close over the heads of the Egyptian troops after the Israelites have safely crossed over, only to be rebuked by their God:  ‘How dare you dance and sing as my children drown in the sea?’”  Here

So an opponent of capital punishment who specifically cautioned against “joy” in bin Laden’s death is dishonestly portrayed to demonstrate “obsessive belief in capital punishment” and “rejoicing” in that death.

Two sentences, two lies. 

Editor’s Note: To contact Eric Alterman, use this form.

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