This American Life retracts Mike Daisey's story about Apple and Foxconn

This American Life retracts Mike Daisey's story about Apple and Foxconn
Actor Mike Daisey, known for his one man off-Broadway show The Agony and The Ecstasy of Steve Jobs and for his trips to Foxconn factories to report on the alleged mistreatment of workers there, has apparently misled listeners to the radio show This American Life and viewers of his monologue about what he saw and who he interviewed in China. Ira Glass, the Host of the radio show, said that they found "significant fabrications" in Daisey's work and could not vouch for its truth. This American Life is  broadcast on public radio to 500 stations in the U.S. and has a total of 1.7 million listeners.

Daisey has admitted that he never met a Foxconn worker poisoned by the chemical n-hexane like he claimed on the radio broadcast, which was basically a version of his one man show. Daisey also changed some of the monologue of that show in the midst of his disclosure that he fabricated some of his comments about what he observed in China.

In the latest broadcast of This American Life, host Glass said that they did fact check the story before it was put on the air, but that their main concern was that the facts were right. Glass said that independent investigations by other journalists, advocacy group studies and audits by Apple corroborated the facts. What was misleading was that Mike Daisy had seen all of the so-called human rights violations.

Glass said that Daisey would not give him a contact number for his translator which might have led to the interpreters side of the story coming out earlier. The interpreter says that Daisey did not view the things that he has been telling audiences about since 2010. For example, instead of the hundreds of people inside the Shenzen based Foxconn factory, Daisey actually talked to about 50 people outside the factory over two mornings. She also denies that Daisey spoke to a number underage workers in the plant, and that factory guards did not carry fire arms as Daisey claimed they did. Daisey defends himself by saying that he told the truth "in a theatrical context."

You can listen to the actual broadcasts or read a transcript of the last show by clicking on the sourcelink.

source: ThisAmericanLife via TechCrunch



1. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

Okay... So what the hell is supposed to be true here?

2. ardent1

Posts: 2000; Member since: Apr 16, 2011

You wonder how many of the Apple haters on like remixfa and his buddies drank the Mike Daisey kool-aid story. Instead of the Mike Daisey make-believes, people should focus on how Samsung harms its own employees as in occupational diseases.

3. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

If you're going to act smugly superior it helps to post links that work. Furthermore, I've never heard of Mike Daisy. Never saw his name connected to any stories of abuse in Apple factories.

4. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

wazzup dr. negative. what is the mike daisey kool-aid story again? No sorry, no info I've ever posted came from a THEATRICAL PLAY. This guy stretching the truth to get people to come to his show has nothing to do with what is actually going on there. forced 36 hr shifts are actually going on there. permanent blackballing of workers that speak out, to every job in the area, is going on there. 60 cents an hour AFTER the raise to make ipads is goin on there. raising prices of all goods on site after the raise to absorb the workers "raise" and a little extra IS going on there. Suicides are going on there. workers being arrested for undetermined amounts of time for speaking out about working conditions IS happening. smug iDiots turning a blind eye to the horrid conditions their over priced products are made,ARE GOING ON RIGHT HERE.

6. drtech

Posts: 135; Member since: Mar 16, 2012

Where are you getting all these "facts" from? You seem to be really invested in hating Apple. Take a deep breath and find something better to do.

10. stealthd unregistered

How can you kill that which has no life?

5. SlimSoulja86

Posts: 660; Member since: Nov 03, 2011

u should give working links. iDumb

7. roscuthiii

Posts: 2383; Member since: Jul 18, 2010

The guy is an entertainer. The monologue is for entertainment purposes. I took it for granted Daisey embellished for effect. However, what part of entertainment ever has to be factual or even agreeable? Just look at what Andy Kaufman used to do for an act. Or professional wrestling for that matter. (Or Andy Kaufman as a pro wrestler for one.) I'm sure the truth, the real truth, exists somewhere in the middle amongst varying shades of gray, between Daisey's monologue and and those refuting it. That said, something just feels off about this. I'm not trying to say there's some Apple conspiracy behind this, just that it doesn't sit right. I mean, it's not like Apple agents would ever show up at someone's door with local authorities and coerce them into cooperation under the perception of possible negative consequences to the person's family, would they? It's weird though, this guy's an entertainer and people act shocked as though he committed some kind of travesty against humanity meanwhile, a guy named Rick Santorum who's running for some political office or something made some rather grand claims against the healthcare system of a European nation in which the only discernible truth to be found was that he'd felt it to be true in his heart.

8. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

Oh really? I thought God told him about the evil designs of European health care. Also, lol at the sly reference to the iPhone Prototype Recovery Squad, or IPRS. :D

9. JeffdaBeat unregistered

I think the problem with this is he made it seems as though every word of it was true. He isn't doing a play in the traditional sense if it...he is reading a monologue off of a sheet of paper. He gives an impression that what he is saying is the absolute truth (kind of like prime time on any news network). That's why people are kind of shocked that he took liberties. Had he been straight forward saying parts were artistic license, this wouldn't be a big deal. Now, does this change things about Apple? No. There are news agencies that have done investigation themselves and gotten proof of it. But this does hurt his case of trying to expose the truth. He has broken the trust of the people who watched his show and believed. Now, they will be a bit more cautious about believing news out of China about Apple...which is sad. Apple may not be responsible for the bad things that happen in Foxconn, but awareness in the states could force Foxconn to change their ways. But if people just don't care...even less than they did before...well no change will happen. It's sad that he wasn't straight forward with how he compiled his story...because he hurt his entire cause. And the only reason he wrote this monologue was to help.

11. parkwaydr

Posts: 572; Member since: Sep 07, 2011

Does anyone find it ironic that these stories come out after launch day of the new iPad was a flop?

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