The interesting thing is that, if you are having trouble finding direct rebuttals of Chomsky’s work, it’s because most of the mainstream American media commentators tend to pretend he doesn’t exist, rather than actually addressing the points he makes. Some people believe this is the result of a conspiracy, others believe that it is because of Chomky’s excessively radical ideas, and others (like Chomsky himself) simply see it as a natural product of the media’s ties to corporate and government interests.
There are plenty of people who oppose Chomsky’s viewpoints, but as RickJay’s post suggests, it can be a little difficult sorting out the intelligent critics from the obsessive whack-jobs. Actually, Chomsky has been addressed more frequently by the mainstream media since 9/11, and if you do a Lexis/Nexis search for the period (you’ll need to go to a library with an account) you should find quite a bit of stuff. I remember that Christopher Hitchens was very critical of Chomsky in The Nation a couple of years back, as were some mainstream newspaper columnists.
On quite a few occasions, Chomsky has been interviewed by, or alongside, people who are very critical of his view of American politics. You can get a small cross-section of these interviews by watching the documentary Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky and the Media, by Canadian film-makers Mark Achbar and Peter Witonick. Some of Chomsky’s opponents or critics that we see in this film include:
William F. Buckley, Jr. (conservative commentator; former host of Firing Line)
John Silber (President of Boston University; former member of Kissinger Commission on Latin America)
Karl Meyer (former New York Times editor)
Michel Foucault (French philosopher)
Of course, each of these men is critical of Chomsky on different issues. Buckley, in the Firing Line interview, takes issue with Chomsky’s view of America as a country that commits evil. Silber debates Chomsky on America’s Latin America policies. Meyer opposes Chomsky media critiques. And Foucault takes a different view than Chomsky on philosphical issues of human nature.
You can read the exchange with Silber, which got very heated, here. The debate with Foucault can be found in a book called Reflexive Water: The Basic Concerns of Mankind, edited by Fons Elders.
Now that i’ve pointed out a few starting places, maybe i can be permitted to make a single plea? If you do want to critique Chomsky’s arguments (and many people do), then at least have the intellectual honesty to find out what his arguments are by reading some of his work. Nearly every critic of Chomsky that i have ever encountered, including some on these message boards, are happy to slam him based on third-hand accounts of his work. Often, such accounts dramatically distort or deform the argument that Chomsky was actually making, and people who take the word of such accounts without taking the trouble to read Chomsky’s work for themselves often end up sounding like idiots.
Of course, reading all his stuff would take way too much time. He’s written many, many books and articles, and you won’t have time to get through even a small portion of them unless you’re willing to devote some serious time to the issue. But there are a couple of good starting points on the internet.
ZNet’s Noam Chomsky Archive
The Official Noam Chomsky Website
Both of these sites have links to many articles, book chapters, and interview transcripts. If you want to listen to Chomsky speak, you can find quite a bit of audio at the A-Infos Radio Project. Just type “chomsky” into the search engine and you’ll get a bunch of hits.