Fact-checking Follies?: ‘This American Life’ Retracts Mike Daisey’s FoxConn Story

“‘This American Life’ will devote its entire program this weekend to detailing the errors in the story, which was an excerpt of Mike Daisey’s critically acclaimed one-man show, ‘The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs.’” — From a “This American Life” press release

Click here for the broadcast (58 mins.)

 

 

 

 

 

From public radio’s “This American Life”:

Regrettably, we have discovered that one of our most popular episodes was partially fabricated. This week, we devote the entire hour to detailing the errors in “Mr. Daisey Goes to the Apple Factory,” Mike Daisey’s story about visiting Foxconn, an Apple supplier factory in China. Rob Schmitz, a reporter for Marketplace, raises doubts on much of Daisey’s story.

Here’s what Mike Daisey writes on his blog:

I stand by my work. My show is a theatrical piece whose goal is to create a human connection between our gorgeous devices and the brutal circumstances from which they emerge. It uses a combination of fact, memoir, and dramatic license to tell its story, and I believe it does so with integrity. Certainly, the comprehensive investigations undertaken by The New York Times and a number of labor rights groups to document conditions in electronics manufacturing would seem to bear this out.

What I do is not journalism. The tools of the theater are not the same as the tools of journalism. For this reason, I regret that I allowed THIS AMERICAN LIFE to air an excerpt from my monologue. THIS AMERICAN LIFE is essentially a journalistic – not a theatrical ­- enterprise, and as such it operates under a different set of rules and expectations. But this is my only regret. I am proud that my work seems to have sparked a growing storm of attention and concern over the often appalling conditions under which many of the high-tech products we love so much are assembled in China.

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