Today, This American Life retracted its radio show that included an excerpt from Mike Daisey’s monologue about working conditions at Foxconn, a partner of Apple Computer.
Mike Daisey lied and fabricated large parts of his story.
Like all liars and fabricators, Daisey is fascinating — and very disturbed. In an interview with Ira Glass, Daisey hems, haws, gets trapped, pauses for way too long, apologizes, rationalizes, and finally defends his monologue as theater.
Daisey — and his fellow fabricator-plagiarists Stephen Glass and Jayson Blair — all have one thing in common. They’re talented people who deceive because they’re afraid they’re not good enough. More problematic, they don’t think they’re hurting anyone.
I used Daisey’s monologue with my students. They were blown away. They listened carefully, and they still remember some of the details.
The problem is, Those details aren’t true. And I’m afraid that when I tell my students about Daisey’s lies, they won’t care.
I’m afraid they’ll say the same thing Daisey says: The overall story is true, and you have to do what you have to do to get your story out there so people will care.