"...there remain suspicions over how he has managed to become an expert, seemingly, on every conflict since the second world war; it is assumed by his critics that he plugs the gaps in his knowledge with ideology.
"Chomsky says...'the best scientists aren't the ones who know the most data; they're the ones who know what they're looking for.'"
Note that he has accepted that the criticism is true, but he has spun it as preferable!
He is saying the following in a remarkably appealing way that never would have occurred to me:
It is better to have an ideological agenda than to know actual facts about a subject.
What a great way to frame your faults! I think he might well be the smartest man on Earth!
Maybe he could give me some tips for my next interview! :D