When growing up you’re told to always tell a lie but as you get older you are exposed to the theory of a ‘white lie’, a fabricated story of the truth to either make your listener not mad, or to persuade them into agreeing with whatever you may be discussing. In the retraction podcast, I felt that this is a prime example of a ‘white lie’ gone wrong. Daisey comes off in the retraction podcast as an innocent guy who just wanted to grab the attention of his audience, and believed the plain truth wouldn’t be a good enough hook. Does this make it not as bad ? Was it truly a complete lie or an exaggeration of the truth?
Personally, I felt lied to, deceived, fooled, and ashamed. I just got back from living in China for 6 months, and I was so quick to believe everything Daisey said was true and not even question some of his most moving stories until listening to Rob (the Chinese correspondent) point out all the faulty statements. Starting with the guards holding guns, factory workers going to Starbucks for a meeting in which highly controversial topics were discussed, to the blacklist document not having a government seal. I can tell you now the only time I saw a gun was in the subway station when they would be refilling the ATM machines; I never once saw a factory worker in a Starbucks, they were always foreigners or businessmen in a suit and tie; and lastly, working for two months in China I can tell you that NO document whether by the government or any company, is official if it does not have a red seal on it. I feel ashamed as I recall all of this information that I didn’t think twice to find Daisey’s story the slightest bit faulty.
That all being said, I can’t say that I believe the entire account to be false. I can’t deny that there are probably tons of safety and labor violations occurring behind the gates, or that people have killed themselves due to these circumstances, or that Apple does not know about these conditions. But even as I hear the recant of the original podcast we listened to, and knowing many things were false, how do you possibly wipe your memory from remembering those horrific stories? How can you go back to being able to look at your Ipad, Iphone, or MacBook and not think of those individuals personally putting together your gadgets? Was that Daisey’s true goal? Even though he did admit to a few ‘white lies’ did he still succeed in changing the views of Apple consumers? Was he successful in the end, after the retraction podcast?
For me, the answer is yes. Whether fully true, more false than true, Daisey got the point of across. He made people listen, he made the factory workers ‘real’ people, he made you question the products they buy, and most importantly he made you think twice.