Mike Daisey’s original monologue was so deep and detailed that it forced me to develop a strong opinion about the labor conditions in Chinese factories, specifically Foxconn. It was the jaw-dropping facts such as the workers jumping to their deaths, the guards threateningly holding guns around the property, and the worker he met that was poisoned by hexane that made me feel so angry about how Apple ignores the people who work for them in order to turn a profit. After listening to the Retraction and Mike Daisey’s admission to lying about those facts, I feel cheated as a listener. He can call himself a man of the theater, but when you fabricate major details in order to better prove a point, you are just a poor journalist and a liar.
Daisey wanted people to hear something they have never heard before about Apple and their dirty secrets. He desired the audience to leave his passionate monologue with disgust in respect to Apple and how they police what goes on in their factories overseas. At no point in his speaking did he once tell people that he was an actor and information that he is giving may not totally be true. If he did that, he would lose all credibility with the audience and his point would not have the same effect on how people felt. By taking such drastic measures, like telling the radio station that there was no way to find his translator, to hide that his “journalism” was solely “acting” he turns from creative researcher into an unethical reporter.
As a member of the audience, I expect the speaker to respect that I gave my time to listen to him or her and be truthful. I should in retrospect fact check in order to have an informed opinion, because my initial response was premature. By taking Daisey at his word, I formed an opinion on lies that sounded so powerful, but in reality had no validity. He used death, disease, and human rights issues to create a picture that would force people to have strong opinions. People want to believe what they are told, but sadly in reality that cannot always be the case.