Hay una entrevista famosísima a Noam Chomsky publicada en la BBC en 1996. En ella habla con el periodista Andrew Marr de diversos asuntos, entre ellos del hecho de que hay ciertos temas a los que los normalmente los periodistas no se acercan ni con un palo, según su medio. Aquí hay una transcripción de la entrevista y este es el fragmento que nos ocupa; es extenso, pero léanlo entero, es necesario para entender la segunda parte de este artículo:

Marr: “If the press is a censoring organisation, tell me how that works. Is it… You're not suggesting that proprietors phone one another up [Chomsky: No] Or that many journalists get their copies spiked as we say?”

Chomsky: “It’s a, well actually, Orwell you may recall has an essay called ‘Literary censorship in England’, which was supposed to be the introduction to Animal Farm except that it never appeared. And which he points out, look, I’m writing about a totalitarian society but in free democratic England it’s not all that different. And then he says, unpopular ideas can be silenced without any force. [Marr: How? {inaudible}] He gives a two sentence response, which is not very profound, but captures it. He says two reasons, first the press is owned by wealthy men who have every interest in not having certain things appear, but second the whole educational system from the beginning on through just gets you to understand that there are certain things you just don’t say. Well, spelling these things out, that’s perfectly correct. I mean, the first sentence is what we expanded on…”

Marr: “This is what I don’t get, because it suggests that - I mean I’m a journalist - people like me are self-censoring.”

Chomsky: “No, not self-censoring. You’re, there’s a filtering system, that starts in kindergarten, and goes all the way through, and it’s not going to work 100% but it’s pretty effective. It selects for obedience, and subordination, and especially I think… [Marr: So stroppy people won’t make it to positions of influence] There’ll be behavioural problems. If you read applications to a graduate school you’ll see that people will tell you, he’s not, he doesn’t get along too well with his colleagues, you know how to interpret those things.”

Marr: “I’m just interested in this because I was brought up like a lot of people, probably post-Watergate film and so on to believe that journalism was a crusading craft and there were a lot of disputatious, stroppy, difficult people in journalism, and I have to say, I think I know some of them.”

Chomsky: “Well, I know some of the best, and best known investigative reporters in the United States, I won’t mention names, {inaudible}, whose attitude towards the media is much more cynical than mine. In fact, they regard the media as a sham. And they know, and they consciously talk about how they try to play it like a violin. If they see a little opening, they’ll try to squeeze something in that ordinarily wouldn’t make it through. And it’s perfectly true that the majority - I’m sure you’re speaking for the majority of journalists who are trained, have it driven into their heads, that this is a crusading profession, adversarial, we stand up against power. A very self-serving view. On the other hand, in my opinion, I hate to make a value judgement but, the better journalists and in fact the ones who are often regarded as the best journalists have quite a different picture. And I think a very realistic one.”

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

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


Hace unos pocos días, Human Rights Watch publicó un informe que decía que el agua moja y que Israel tiene sus cositas. Aquí en Canadá, la CBC tuvo a bien dedicarle 0 artículos al tema. Un periodista de Al Jazeera les preguntó por qué y la respuesta ya la podíamos imaginar desde la entrevista de la sección anterior:

In a series of emails, CBC spokesperson, Chuck Thompson, acknowledged that CBC “did not pursue any stories regarding the Human Rights Watch report from April 27th”.

Later, when pressed, he claimed that “there was no edict (nor would there ever be on any story) from anyone within CBC News not to cover this report. Every day, across the service, our program teams make independent, editorial decisions as to what they will cover on their respective shows”.

Q. E. D.