The Guardian has withdrawn its recent interview with Noam Chomsky from its website, after their media editor admitted it was "misrepresenting... wrong... unjustified..." and has retracted the misrepresentations made in the interview with an "unreserved apology".
The Guardian published this statement on its website:
"The Guardian has withdrawn an interview with academic Noam Chomsky from its website after he complained to the readers' editor over comments attributed to him about the Srebrenica massacre. The US academic and activist had complained that the October 31 interview, published in the newspaper and on Guardian Unlimited, falsely portrayed him as denying that massacres were committed there during the Bosnian war.
Professor Chomsky complained in particular about the headline for the interview which read: "Q: Do you regret supporting those who say the Srebrenica massacre was exaggerated? A: My only regret is that I didn't do it strongly enough."
The Guardian's readers' editor, Ian Mayes, said today in a corrections and clarifications column printed in the paper, that no question in that form had been put by interviewer Emma Brockes to Prof Chomsky and that "the headline was wrong and unjustified by the text".
Part of the interview related to the academic's support for Diana Johnstone, whose book about the reporting of casualty figures in the war had been withdrawn from publication after controversy.
After the interview appeared, he told the Guardian that he supported Ms Johnstone's rights to freedom of speech and that he had never denied the fact of the Srebrenica massacre.
"Ms Brockes misrepresentation of Prof Chomsky's views on Srebrenica stemmed from her misunderstanding of his support for Ms Johnstone," the readers' editor wrote.
In her interview Brockes also stated that Prof Chomsky had placed the word "massacre" in quotation marks.
He denied ever having done so. The Guardian retracted the statement and apologised.
In an open letter dated November 13 on his official website Chomsky.info, Prof Chomsky attacked the Guardian interview as a "scurrilous piece of journalism" where the reporter had a definite agenda."
The full Media Guardian statement:
medialens' article on the interview:
Chomsky's reply to the fabricated interview.