I agree. And I cite Charles C. Fries as a linguist who pioneered corpus linguistics in the 1950s. For a bio, see http://clu.uni.no/icame/ij34/Fries.pdf
His corpus was tiny by today's standards, but he did good work with it. Unfortunately, Chomsky put Fries and his methods on his "enemies list" -- along with Victor Yngve (who had hired him to work on machine translation at MIT).
I believe that linguistics and computational linguistics would both have made better progress if Chomsky had done what he was paid to do.