“The problem with internet quotes is that you can’t always depend on their accuracy.”
-Abraham Lincoln, 1864
After listening to the article, I don’t feel that it makes sense to say that either Glass or Daisey are strictly right or wrong in their speech or thoughts. While Glass is right to feel betrayed by Daisey and upset for broadcasting a “false” story, Glass did have the opportunity to fact check the show with the non-journalist and he did not. While it was wrong (in the sense that it was not up to journalism standards) for Daisey to lie about what he had seen and experienced instead of labeling his monologue as fiction or based on true events, it is true that Foxconn and other Apple suppliers have working conditions that many Americans would consider to be unfair and in the end Daisey did expose some of these very real problems.
Was it “unethical” for Daisey to lie? I think it was unethical for Daisey to specifically say that he was going to share the truth, and that he did not. I agree with Daisey that his piece was not fiction; however, I think that he could have labeled his monologue as “based on true events” and mixed what he had really experienced with things he had researched (ex: the hexane poisoned workers) and things that he felt would add to the drama of his story (the man with the claw hand exploring an iPad for the first time).
As for Glass, I think he is completely justified in feeling deceived–because he was. However, I don’t think that everything would have been better off had this program not aired. Daisey wanted to make people care, and in that he was successful.
“And everything I have done in making this monologue for the theater was bent toward that end, to make people care. I’m not going to say that I didn’t take a few shortcuts in my passion to be heard. But I stand behind the work.
My mistake, the mistake I truly regret, is that I had it on your show as journalism. And it’s not journalism. It’s theater. It uses the tools of theater and memoir to achieve its dramatic arc.
And of that arc and that work I’m very proud. Because I think it made you care, Ira. And I think it made you want to delve. And my hope is it has made other people delve.”
I think that this statement is the most profound of Retraction because Daisey suggests that he sees that the main conflict in this segment really is between journalism and theater, not truth and lies. While I do think Glass is right to be mad, I think he’s too focused on that he was lied to. Instead, I think he should recognize that Daisey’s anecdotes fabricated or not, are representative of the conditions that Foxconn (and other Apple supplier) workers are in that are not ideal and would not be tolerated in the United States. And while I don’t think that either Glass or Daisey are right or wrong, I am not personally offended by Daisey’s lies because in the end, Apple is an American company and just because they outsource production does not mean that ethics should culturally change if the change leads to worse human conditions.