Mike Daisey Defends His Actions in This American Life Controversy

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Mike Daisey during his monologue "The Agony and Ecstasy of Steve Jobs" in New Delhi on August 19, 2010.

“In the last forty-eight hours I have been equated with Stephen Glass, James Frey, and Greg Mortenson,” writes Mike Daisey in his most recent blog post.

“Given the tenor of the condemnation, you would think I had concocted an elaborate, fanciful universe filled with furnaces in which babies are burned to make iPhone components, or that I never went to China, never stood outside the gates of Foxconn, never pretended to be a businessman to get inside of factories, never spoke to any workers.”

The gist of Daisey’s latest statement: Sure, I might have played fast and loose with the facts, but the point of the story — that there are serious labor issues concerning how Foxconn manufactures products for Apple — has been backed up by reporters from other news outlets such as the New York Times and NPR.

(MORE: 5 Revelations in This American Life’s Foxconn Retraction Episode)

First, a recap: Daisey performed part of his one-man show”The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs” on a Jan. 6 broadcast of This American Life. Later it was found that Daisey lied about many of the details in his show, including fabricating stories about meeting underage workers outside of Foxconn’s facility in Shenzhen and interviewing men who were poisoned by a toxic substance called n-Hexane.

Now it appears he is tired of the backlash. He has a few sarcastic compliments for TAL host Ira Glass and Co., stating how “finishing the episode with audio pulled out of context from my performance was masterful.”

Most of his response, however, is committed to pointing out how the ends justify the means:

If you think this story is bigger than that story, something is wrong with your priorities.

If people want to use me as an excuse to return to denialism about the state of our manufacturing, about the shape of our world, they are doing that to themselves.

Daisey writes that he is “making a full accounting” of his show and will go into detail about its origins and details.

MORE: This American Life’s Apple Retraction: The Danger of Truthiness

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