Promoting your own agenda

As I was listening to this podcast of the retraction, I was shocked.  I could not believe all of the information that I remembered from the original Mike Daisey podcast was not true.  In fact,  basically all of the information that really stood out to me and was very moving in Dasiey’s podcast was questioned, if not proven false, in this retraction.  I found the original Mike Daisey podcast to be very impactful and moving.  It makes a lot of sense to me that this monologue got a lot of attention by many people.  It is exciting, emotional, surprising, and very well spoken.  It was captivating when I listened to it.  Although I do not know Daisey’s other monologues, from a theater perspective, I believe Mike Daisey when he says this is some of his best work.  However, while a great theater piece, and a great performance by Mike Daisey, I find it to be unethical for Mike Daisey to be passing this story off as truth to so many people.  Listening to this podcast I was angry at him; I was angry that he had fooled me and effected my emotions so much over facts that were made up.  Therefore, I definitely that Ira Glass is justified in his anger.

The way in which he told the story convinced me that what he was saying had to be the truth.  I never even thought to question it.  However, what I thought to be equally and wrong as Daisey making up many elements of his story up to begin with, was the fact that he so obviously and intentionally lied Ira Tal Glass and the producers of TAL.  He lied to them both before his story was put on the air, and even during the retraction, he couldn’t not admit to his mistakes.  I found it incredibly uncomfortable to listen to Daisey generate answers to Ira’s questions, just to defend his story, that they already knew was inaccurate. In fear of tainting his work, he was willing to through morals out the window.  Although wrong of him to pass his story off as journalism in the first place, I thought the inability to come clean about his lies, told me something about his character.  In the silences throughout the podcast you could hear him making up answers, and debating whether that was the correct thing to say.

I think this issue represents a larger issue in the business world, that people sometimes try to promote there own agendas and forget about what is morally or ethically correct.  In my mind it is clear that it is not correct to mislead people that a story is to true and accurate when is it not, whether in the news or in the theater.  What first comes to my mind is in movies they often start of by saying, “based on a true story” which tells the audience it is not 100% true, as opposed to a documentary.  In this case Daisey wanted to promote his story, which he knew was well written, in order to gain popularity, and in return was willing to deceive his audience to do this.



3 responses to “Promoting your own agenda

  1. Your post is interesting to me because you make points that I agree with and bring up a point I didn’t initially fully consider, but our reactions are so different. I honestly didn’t feel strongly either way, so I appreciate you sharing your genuinely frustrated reaction. I agree with you that it was wrong for him to lie, and I share your frustration in that when he had the opportunity to come clean, he very clearly attempted to cover up his lies with more lies. I also think that he should have added a “based on a true story” subtitle and that that would have saved him a lot of trouble and saved Glass and the audience a lot of grief. I didn’t really think about his lies as being used to promote strictly him and his work, but you make an interesting point. While I understand your argument and appreciate your frustrated assessment of the situation, I like to see the good in people and like to think that he lied because he wanted to make people care.


  2. I do agree that part of the reason that he lied was because he wanted to make people care. This reason for lying was noble and reasonable, although I still do not believe it is acceptable. The part of Daisey’s response that makes me believe that this is not the only reason is when he says to Glass that he knew this was some of his best work and was scared to ruin it. That part of the interview did not have anything to do with his cause of creating awareness of this issue. However, I do believe it is a mixture of both.


  3. I was also conflicted in my reactions to this retraction. His intentions may have been good initially, but at the very least, Daisey knew that he was wrong by broadcasting his monologue as journalism. And by doing so, he created an issue regarding his lies and the ethics surrounding them. The focus was no longer on workers conditions. While it may have been his best work, I think he has failed these workers that he wanted to help. He took attention away from their poor conditions by creating a scandal on falsifying information in the news.


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