Mike Daisey Responds To Fraud Claims: Critics Are “Gleefully Eager To Dance On My Grave”
11:31 am, March 19th | by Amy Tennery
There has been no shortage of vitriol lobbed at monologist and performer Mike Daisey in recent days, after reports emerged that he fabricated some portions of his barn-burner of a report on Foxconn, a Chinese plant responsible for manufacturing the bulk of Apple computer products. It’s been the labor story of the last several months. Daisey took one of the most beloved brands in America down many, many pegs. He uncovered the ugly truth behind your beautiful iPad.
And then we found out many parts of his report were made up.
The Atlantic argued that “Daisey’s lying will hurt the Western press and international worker-rights groups” — and it’s right. It’s true that Foxconn’s conditions are reprehensible. But Daisey’s misrepresentation has obscured the valuable parts of a legitimate campaign to clean up Apple’s business practices.
Now, Daisey is speaking out to his critics.
In a blog post published on his personal site this morning, Daisey offered his audiences a pseudo-apology. He also took a swipe at This American Life host Ira Glass, who retracted his show’s airing of the Daisey monologue and dedicated the Friday episode of TAL to address the controversy.
Daisey started out his post with guns blazing:
Many consider this week’s THIS AMERICAN LIFE episode one of the most painful they’ve ever listened to. In particular the segment with me is excruciating—four hours of grilling edited down to fifteen minutes. I thought the dead air was a nice touch, and finishing the episode with audio pulled from my performance was masterful.
That’s Ira’s choice, and it’s his show. He’s a storyteller within the context of radio journalism, and I am a storyteller in the theater.
He went on to argue that the overall message of his piece — that Foxconn exposes employees to horrendous working conditions — wasn’t a lie:
In the last forty-eight hours I have been equated with Stephen Glass, James Frey, and Greg Mortenson…. Especially galling is how many are gleefully eager to dance on my grave expressly so they can return to ignoring everything about the circumstances under which their devices are made. Given the tone, you would think I had fabulated an elaborate hoax, filled with astonishing horrors that no one had ever seen before.
Except that we all know that isn’t true.
Of course, buying into the royal “we” when it comes to Daisey and the truth is a bit tricky at this point.
You can read his full post here.