I completely understand why The American Life has retracted Mike Daisey’s podcast discussing Apple and Foxconn since it was not up to the standards of journalism, in fact it should have been used as a memoir in a theater setting. Daisey fabricated many of the facts, such as the workers’ ages, unofficial blacklist documents, the name of the translator, and workers’ injuries. Although I believe some of Daisey’s story, it is difficult to decipher between the lies and the truth.
It is hard for me to decide if Mike is an unethical liar or not. I would like to think he is not unethical because of his purpose of the memoir. Daisey admits that the truth is important, but states his objective was to make people care again. He said in 2010 there was a lot of coverage of Foxconn and the suicides, but when the coverage became scarce people weren’t interested in the workers anymore. His intention was to make a monologue that caused people to open their eyes to these injustices again. Since the working conditions of the factories are causing workers to commit suicide, I would say Foxconn is being unethical. Supposedly Daisey’s intention was to expose these unethical tendencies to the public and give these workers a voice. Although Daisey manufactured or exaggerated many of his points, I don’t believe it was for immoral reasons.
Daisey’s argument would have been more accepted if it was considered a memoir. Mike was very subjective in his findings and if the audience knew it was a memoir, they would be able to listen and interpret it in their own way. It is important to avoid blindly accepting others’ ideas as fact. In the media today there is so much information available that anyone can post. This is good in the sense there is ample information and a broad range of ideas, but a reader has to be wary of what is creditable.