Student says Chomsky was not misled

By Liu Li-jen and Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter, with Staff writer

Thu, Jan 31, 2013 - Page 4

Graduate student Lin Ting-an (林庭安) has publicized her exchanges with renowned US linguist and academic Noam Chomsky to rebut claims that the famed social activist had been misled into supporting the movement against media monopolization in Taiwan.

A photograph posted on Facebook on Jan. 5 by a female netizen who identified herself as Lao Tzu-hung (劉子鳳) showed the 84-year-old Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor posing with a poster that read: “Anti-Media Monopoly. Say no to China’s black hands, defend press freedom. I am safeguarding Taiwan here in MIT.”

The photograph triggered a fervent response among netizens, with some expressing gratitude for his support.

The Chinese-language China Times — owned by Want Want China Times Group, which is part of the consortium that bought Next Media Group’s four Taiwanese media outlets — on Tuesday quoted Liu Shih Diing (劉世鼎), a University of Macau associate communications professor, as saying Chomsky had been tricked by Taiwanese students into holding the sign. Liu was quoted as saying Chomsky did not understand the sign.

Lin responded on Tuesday by publicizing her correspondence with Chomsky on Dec. 26 last year, in which Lin explained the reasons for the movement against media monopolization.

“There is now an activity that urges global supporters to photograph themselves, holding the slogan ‘Oppose Media Monopoly, Reject the black hand of China, uphold freedom of the press, I protect Taiwan in _____,’ and upload it online,” the e-mail read.

In the e-mail Lin asked permission to visit Chomsky on Jan. 7 when she would be visiting MIT.

She said Chomsky replied to her e-mail by saying: “Glad to hear about what you are doing. An important struggle.”

Lin, who is studying at the Institute of Philosophy of Mind and Cognition at National Yang Ming University in Taipei, said that when she met Chomsky at MIT, he asked her to explain the situation again and she did.

Lin said she was certain Chomsky had a good understanding of the students’ campaign.