Reaction to Daisy’s Lying


Mike Daisy fabricated and exaggerated facts and stories that he came across while visiting different Apple manufacturing plants in China in 2010. Furthermore, he then took this false information and made it available for the public to use and continue to spread. Daisy then attempts to justify his story by saying that he is not a journalist and he regrets framing his story under a journalistic facade. That should not be accepted by the American public or the radio station that Daisy used. Ira Glass was absolutely justified in his in his anger with Daisy. As someone who risked his own career by legitimizing Daisy as a source for his show, he has every right to be upset. Daisy lied. Daisy lied and then continued to call his lie ‘art’ instead of admitting that he was in the wrong. By cloaking his monologue as art he can say it didn’t need to be as factually correct as a real journalistic article.

I think Mike Daisy was an unethical liar. He took truths and exaggerated them for an audience because the truth wasn’t enough. That’s ethically wrong. Lying about an issue as important as worker’s rights in technology factories is ethically unsound. He wanted their stories to be heard and for them to have rights, but he went about it in a morally unsound manner. The truth that he encountered on his trip should have been enough. His lies now affect how, at least I personally, view journalism. What else has been fabricated for the sake of a good story? When I read a newspaper article or listen to the radio, I expect to hear the facts. Depending on where I tune into, I realize that biases exist, but a bias is different than a blatant lie. It sheds a dark light onto journalism to know that people can lie to the public so easily.

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5 responses to “Reaction to Daisy’s Lying

  1. I found your blog post really interesting and felt very similar when finding out that Mike Daisey’s story was fabricated. I think that Daisey sharing his story as journalism rather than art does significant damage to the journalism industry. Now it causes people to second guess the newspaper, journals, and the radio. Mike Daisey’s actions were truly unethical and the fact that he was able to diminish the legitimacy of radio and news shows like TAL. I feel sorry for Ira. He risked his own career by legitimizing Daisy as a source for his show butting his career on the line and Daisey took advantage of Ira, and all of the TAL listeners. I think Daisey should be reprimanded for his actions so that issues like this don’t happen in the future.

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  2. I understand your anger towards Daisey’s fabricated monologue, but is Ira Glass not also responsible for censoring what appears on his factual radio show? He admitted to finding some parts of Daisey’s story sketchy, yet he did not pursue further investigation. Yes, Daisey should have been more upfront about the nature of and intentions behind his monologue, but Ira should share some of this responsibility as well.

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  3. If Daisey had been upfront from the beginning that this was art and not journalism, would you still consider his fabricated stories to be unethical? I think that by being on TAL and choosing to lie about the validity of his story is when ethics come into play, not the piece itself.

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  4. Your reaction is clearly similar to Ira Glass’. It is also what those (like me) who are more willing to sort out the fabrications from the larger truth worried would be the reaction to the problems.

    Of course, Ira Glass could have said in the later podcast something like this: “when we broadcast the other podcast, we did not know or fact check these five statements (1,2,3,4,5). We have learned that they were exaggerations or blurrings of known facts. Mike Daisey did not specify the difference between theater and journalism. We regret this. However, the larger point about the complicated web of relationships between consumers, Apple, China, and Chinese workers is still valid and relevant.”

    TAL chose to make a retraction podcast.

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