March 16, 2012

"I have difficult news," says Ira Glass.

Ira Glass, of the much-acclaimed Public Radio show "This American Life":
We've learned that Mike Daisey's story about Apple in China - which we broadcast in January - contained significant fabrications. We're retracting the story because we can’t vouch for its truth. This is not a story we commissioned. It was an excerpt of Mike Daisey's acclaimed one-man show "The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs," in which he talks about visiting a factory in China that makes iPhones and other Apple products.
The NYT also must retract:
Some of Mr. Daisey’s stories about Foxconn were also included in an online-only Op-Ed article that he wrote for The New York Times last October. He wrote, “I have traveled to southern China and interviewed workers employed in the production of electronics. I spoke with a man whose right hand was permanently curled into a claw from being smashed in a metal press at Foxconn, where he worked assembling Apple laptops and iPads. I showed him my iPad, and he gasped because he’d never seen one turned on. He stroked the screen and marveled at the icons sliding back and forth, the Apple attention to detail in every pixel. He told my translator, ‘It’s a kind of magic.’ ”

According to Mr. Schmitz, the translator said that did not happen. On Friday afternoon, The Times added an editors’ note to the Op-Ed article that reads: “Questions have been raised about the truth of a paragraph in the original version of this article that purported to talk about conditions at Apple’s factory in China. That paragraph has been removed from this version of the article.”

44 comments:

edutcher said...

NPR and the Gray Lady spread falsehoods?

Tell it not in Christendom!

Next thing you know they'll be calling birth control activists sluts and prostitutes.

MisterBuddwing said...

Apparently, it's not NPR.

As for another report on Apple factory conditions, ABC News must have paid a ton to fabricate the footage:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CtEUjd7H4gk

rhhardin said...

contained significant fabrications.

That's a good pun in German.

traditionalguy said...

If significant fabrications run as verified truths are news, then everything Obama and his UN IPCC Climate Con buds have done is also news.

David said...

Wait. We were supposed to think that the stories on This American Life really happened?

Who knew?

holdfast said...

The writing just has that too-perfect, over the top factor that is reminiscent of the work of one Stephen Glass. Better writing than Jayson Blair though.

paul a'barge said...

Liberal == dishonesty.
Liberal == scoundrel.

When Liberals speak, don't listen. Turn away. Wave your hand contemptuously. Keep walking, aeay.

Penny said...

"Vetting" jongleurs?

Mary Beth said...

Now the real problems in Chinese factories will seem small and almost irrelevant compared to the lies.

Penny said...

The Puck in me, ROFL!

Penny said...

While my love of country has me helping Obama appoint our very first "CZAR of Jongleurs"!

rcocean said...

The author's defense is standard liberalism. The story was "essentially" true, and he was trying to do a good thing, so the facts didn't matter.

Theater = Journalism.

Penny said...

If not Russian, a "Russian-sounding" czar!

ricpic said...

What Ira Glass did is worse than calling a slut a slut! Throw him off the air!!

--Signed, Gloria Steinem and Jane Fonda

Penny said...

Trilingual, because the "Franch" would have it be so!

"Jongleur", a French word...

Afterall.

ricpic said...

Penny in the sauce again.

Eric said...

News organizations are foolish to farm out their core competency. If you're not actually doing the news gathering there isn't any reason for people to trust your content. I expect the NYT and NPR to be biased. I don't expect them to run stories made up from whole cloth.

Penny said...

On the other hand...

"Underalls"!

Something most of us can agree on as at least "helpful" from time to time.

Penny said...

Fair Warning!

Do NOT "vet" my underpants.

Mark said...

"Now the real problems in Chinese factories will seem small and almost irrelevant compared to the lies."

That's a really good point Mary Beth made. The liberal habit of embellishing an important story to make it a sensational, maybe game-changing story keeps biting the leftists in the ass.

Ask Bill Maher's ass. It might have some talking it needs to get out.

Fen said...

And again:

"If your stock broker lied to you about Enron, would you still use him? And yet, people continue to rely on information brokers like CNN and the NYTs."

Penny said...

"Penny in the sauce again."

Ooooooooooooh!

Ricpic, "vetting"!

Penny said...

Should be great fun!

Penny said...

Till he gets to my Underalls and finds out someone else beat him to the Spanx.

Lem said...

How Long (Has This Been Going On)

How long has this been goin' on?
How long has this been goin' on?

Well, your friends with their fancy persuasions
Don't admit that it's part of a scheme,
But I can't help but have my suspicions
'Cause I ain't quite as dumb as I seem.

pbAndjFellowRepublican said...

Am I evil because I didn't slow my Apple merch purch's when I thought these reports were true?



BTW, I'd also buy Apple stuff if it was more expensive because it was made in The States. I'm not price motivated. I like my Apple stuff. I don't care if it's made by folks who occasionally jump off a building because they can't hack a little hard work. [Okay, maybe I am evil.]

The Crack Emcee said...

Ann Coulter:

..Our party and particularly our movement, the conservative movement, does have more of a problem with con men and charlatans than the Democratic Party.

Me:

I clearly don't think this is so,...

Joe said...

A Chinese translator denies something unsympathetic to China. Tell me it isn't so.

Sounds like a lot of liars all around.

Penny said...

In total agreement with you there, Crack.

Course it seems no one has come up with an improvement on the merry-go-round?

Or the mousetrap, for that matter.

Penny said...

Personally?

Ever so grateful I'm not a dizzy rat.

EDH said...

Fabrication: "I spoke with a man whose right hand was permanently curled into a claw from being smashed in a metal press at Foxconn, where he worked assembling Apple laptops and iPads."

Correction: They have pickles and toilet paper in China. "I'm not saying it's the worst thing, but it's bad."

Penny said...

And Lem?

Have always loved the sound of your voice.

Never mattered so much whose song you were singing.

Penny said...

Might be fun if you and Crack collaborated some night?

Penny said...

A girl can dream! lol

themightypuck said...

What's hilarious is one look at the dude's cv and you'd realize he wasn't no fucking journalist.

Kirk Parker said...

Fen,

""If your stock broker lied to you about Enron, would you still use him? And yet, people continue to rely on information brokers like CNN and the NYTs."

Indeed--and look at the way the Times, when the author has been proven to be a fabricator, pulls just those paragraphs with the obvious lies, rather than pulling the whole thing as being of uncertain provenance.

Gary Rosen said...

MSM lied?!?! Whoda thunk it?

Karga said...

Jealousy of other's success has become the credo in this socalled beautiful land of USA, so anyone with a grudge goes against success, journalist are not immune to this sickness

Michael Haz said...

What's the NYT's catchy motto?

"We Print The Shit That Fits" or something like that.

Crimso said...

"Am I evil because I didn't slow my Apple merch purch's when I thought these reports were true?"

"Evil?" No, not at all. I use other words to describe Apple users [ducks].

roesch/voltaire said...

This American Life is one of the most interesting programs on Radio, public or not, and this is one of the few times they didn't adequately vet one of their reports-- probably because much of it occurred in China where it is a challenge to document anything outside of government control.

Lucien said...

I first heard about this story -- the correction, not the original fabrications -- on NPR and Mr. Daisy apparently apologized for the fact that he had told his lies on what was one of the "journalistic" shows, rather than keeping it part of his "performance".

So the apology is sort of more priceless than the original lies.

Roger Zimmerman said...

I saw Daisey's performance art show a couple of summers ago. It was extremely annoying, even if everything he said were true. The unexplored question: Why, if the conditions and treatment of workers at Foxconn are so bad, are so many Chinese so anxious to work there?

As with all leftist analyses of these types of situations, the question of individual choice is left completely unaddressed. It as if the individuals were unimportant, and that their only purpose was to represent a fuzzily-defined group of aggrievants*.

The truth of course, is that millions (approximately) of people judge a job at one of these factories to be far and away their best opportunity to improve their lives, given all of the realities on the ground in China. The nation may be pseudo-Communist/authoritarian, but, trust me, no one is being forced to apply for these positions.

Were the leftists to get their way, increasing wages and "improving" working conditions at Foxconn and elsewhere, the actual result would be many fewer available jobs for these individuals. The actual result for them would be a less optimistic outlook. The actual result for real people would be worsened lives.

And, this is the position of the so-called "reality-based community".

* Yes, spell check doesn't like that word, but it should.

Robert Cook said...

"Why, if the conditions and treatment of workers at Foxconn are so bad, are so many Chinese so anxious to work there?"

That people may choose one means or another to make money does not suggest their chosen work is not onerous to them or the conditions not terrible. I'm sure 15 year old girls and boys working as prostitutes would prefer other means of obtaining money, but, when faced with "awful" or "more awful" choices, one's "free choice" of the merely "awful" is simply a choice to accept the bad over the worst. It does not mean the choice made is a happy one.