When is the last time the New York Times did major stories on Noam Chomsky two days in a row, one jumping off the front page, and excerpted his work? Like… never.
Let’s understand what’s going on. All the American politicians may be denouncing Hugo Chavez, but he’s gotten into the water supply. His Diablo speech was a big moment, and actually successful, in a way that so many other gestures the right wants to dismiss as the U.N. Follies have not been. Because his ideas have resonance in the United States. A few leftwing friends have grinned, telling me how much they liked what Chavez said. The resonance springs from a problem only the left has grappled with so far: the U.S. is losing moral legitimacy, globally. And as Chris Matthews pointed out on Hardball, Chavez wasn’t afraid of Bush. He made fun of him, in his house. Made him look weak. If Chavez was a monkey, then how come Chomsky’s #1 on Amazon?
There’s an old rule in journalism you’re are supposed to have three examples when you posit a trend. I’ve just got two, Chavez and Chomsky. But the writing’s on the wall: The left is back. The Iraq effect is finally happening; you can finally get something beside a lump of coal for the position: I was against this stupid war because I thought it would hurt America and the Middle East. The political establishment/ media has held out against the news for as long as they could, now Hugo Chavez is putting it on the front page.
(Is this analysis self-serving? Well, yeah. Is it correct? We shall see…)