Daisey lied to me and to This American Life producer Brian Reed during the fact checking we did on the story, before it was broadcast. That doesn’t excuse the fact that we never should’ve put this on the air.
You can hear the original broadcast here. This American Life has taken it down from their site. And they’re dedicating this week’s entire hour to the retraction.
Daisey’s supposed stories always set off my spidey sense — one guy claiming things that no one else was claiming or reporting, all uncovered during a single six-day trip to China by a man who doesn’t speak Chinese and with no prior investigative reporting experience. Ends up my spidey sense was right: Daisey made it up.
But before any Apple affacionados begin cackling in victory, not so fast: many of the things that Mike Daisey described are very real even if his own story is lacking, well, a real story. Although I do think people are overreacting to the reporting over the past few months, I wouldn’t quite let this latest news totally assuage your guilt about the conditions under which your gizmos are manufactured.
I don’t feel a whole lot better about it.
In my head, there’s a small collection of Apple fanboys feeling so vindicated about this Mike Daisey thing that they’re using their iPad to order some Chinese food and maybe another iPad.