It’s important to point out that most of what Chomsky says is driven by emotion rather than intellect. His tone is very intellectual, in that he speaks in a very quiet, measured style most of the time. But the content is clearly driven by what can only be called a species of hysteria. I obviously don’t know him personally, but he seems to be at heart an extremely angry man, and I would guess that his anger is driven by something that is ultimately not political.

I will say, though, that one thing you realize very quickly when you deal with Chomsky at length is that he is very conscious of his audience. He often says one thing to a “red meat” type of crowd and something quite different—sometimes the opposite—to a potentially less sympathetic audience. Sometimes you even find both within the same speech or article.