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After listening to the retraction podcast I was pretty upset to hear that the majority of the instances that Mike Daisey had talked about in the first podcast we listened to where fabricated and/or exaggerated. I just felt very deceived. At the same time I will say that I did have some doubts from the beginning to the truth of Mike Daisey’s Story. Still, this is a situation where the facts matter. I took Daisey’s word as being true. I think knowing that the first podcast was actually a fictional play gives the listener a completely different outlook on the situation compared to if it was real journalist work. While the basis of Daisey’s play is true the majority of facts are not.
My thoughts on Mike Daisey is that he is a liar, a story teller, and not a creditable person. He knowingly put his play on the radio for people to take as a true story. When confronted with his lies he made statements like “I was terrified”, and “I felt trapped”. This is a sad attempt to make people feel sorry for him. I do not feel sorry for you Mike Daisey. He countered his fabricated story with even more fabrication. According to his translator he went to three factories acting like a business man. In Daisey’s podcast he says that he went to ten factories. After he is confronted about this lie he changes it to being five factories, countering his lie with another lie. Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me. This is not the only time he continues to exaggerate his story after being confronted about his first untrue statement. I get that these lies were added to make people care more about the situation, but if you have to lie and exaggerate about something to make them care then where is the basis of the caring coming from? Mike Daisey went to China hoping to find something that he did not find so he sweetened his story to gain peoples interest.
I think Ira Glass is justified in his anger. When you are a radio talk show host responsible for presenting creditable stories to people and find out one of the stories you presented is not credible it hurts your credibility and the creditability of your radio station. No one likes to be lied too. Ira made the statement “I vouched for you”, to Daisey. Yeah, you vouched for him, you also didn’t do enough homework on him. I don’t think all of Ira’s anger should be towards Mike Daisey. Isn’t it Ira Glass’s and his radio station team’s responsibility to make sure their sources are credible? Not all the blame goes to Mike Daisey here. If Ira Glass and his team would have done more research on Mike Daisey’s story from the beginning there wouldn’t be this problem. Also, as we heard from Rob in the second podcast, finding Daisey’s translator was as simple as searching her name in google, and once Cathy was interviewed it was clear to tell that there was a lot of fabrication done by Mike Daisey in his story.
After being confronted about his many lies Daisey finally comes out and says “it’s not journalism, its theater.” I’m not big on Art, but when I go and watch a movie and it says based on a true story I get that the basis of the story is true, but not everything will be. In journalism when someone talks about events that they witnessed I expect them to be true. Journalism is not something that you can fabricate. When you are a witness in a crime, you are depended on to tell the truth. When you’re a journalist and you witness a crime you are depended on to tell the truth. Investigations can and will be made on such statements and the facts you state are presumed to be true. I get that it’s not the same as being under oath, but there is still a large dependency on the truth. Having someone that looks like they are 13 that works in a factory is not a crime, but actually employing a thirteen year old is.
As much as I dislike Daisey for his false statements I think he does at least make Apple look more into the factories where their products are made. From the retraction podcast we heard that Apple has set into place a code of conduct that its suppliers are required to follow. We also heard that one of the major problems that continues to happen in 50% of their audits is that there is violations in overtime, workers working more than 50 hours a week. What is undetermined is whether these workers want this overtime or whether they are forced too. From what I have heard it seems like a combination of both. It seems that from Apple deeply analyzing the cost structure of the factories they are leaving to small of profit margins and causing these suppliers to break the rules to make ends meet. If the first pod cast was actually true I think there would definitely be a lot of people that felt guilty. After hearing more of the facts I think there are still some problems to be solved and questions to be asked. I don’t necessarily think Apple owes it to their customers to provide guilt free products, but they do at least owe them the facts on where and how their products are made.