"It has long been impossible to take anything he says seriously."

That's arch-Democrat Arthur Schelsinger describing Noam Chomsky. And yet it seems that much of Europe takes everything Noam says ever-so seriously.

When I was last in Berlin--late in 2004--I was amazed (and somewhat amused) at how Chomsky volumes headlined the English language section of almost every bookstore I entered (which is pretty much every bookstore I saw). And not just in English--loads of Chomsky has been translated to facilitate wider Euro consumption.

When you're so far on the unhinged left that even Arthur Schlesinger thinks that nothing you say passes the laugh test, how do you become a respected icon in the minds of the well-read European public? What is it that enables Europeans to take Chomsky, and others like him, seriously? And more importantly, what does it say about so many mainstream Europeans that they are willing/able abandon the basic obligations of analytical detachment in order to embrace Chomskyite antics? And if a nutter like Chomsky is taken seriously by the European public is it then possible (to paraphrase Schlesinger) to take them seriously?

BTW, for anyone who happened to see/hear Chomsky debate Alan Dershowitz (another left-centrist who disowns Chomsky) you would have seen Dershowitz eating Noam's lunch and walking off with his girlfriend. It was a brutal head-hanging moment for anyone who has tried believing Noam had anything of substance to say on anything other than linguistics.