As you may have heard through the digital grapevine of society, the liturgical work of one Mr. Daisey on the horrible conditions of the labor force working to build Apple products was… well, embellished to say the least. If you will recall from my previous entry pertaining to Daisey’s initial “findings” (iSlave: The Labor Force of Apple), I analyzed and applied the words the author had written about the 13 year old child-workers and building jumpers and Hawaiian t-shirts. It is a strange thing to come away from something that evokes such a feeling as those words did to acknowledge that it’s all not entirely true.
Why would this man lie? Why did we believe? Let me provide a parable: in the graphical work of Alan Moore titled “Watchmen,” there is a band of superheroes in the 1960’s that fight crime here and there and solve everyday injustices with their power. However, they are relatively helpless when the impending doom of the Russian Nuclear strike is imminent, they can’t fight nation against nation. One American superhero member decides to set off his own atomic bomb in New York to frame the superheroes as the “ultimate enemy.” I know, crazy. But that consequently unites Russia and America together against him and brings peace to the war, averting an all-out nuclear war. That hero lied about the common denominator enemy so that others could band together and feel like they had one common cause to work against. In a way, this is what Daisey is doing by lying, embellishing, and redirecting the truth to bring about change and awareness in what TRULY is an unequally developed atrocity of capitalism that is Apple’s contractors.
Was what Daisey did wrong? Yes. Does it cripple the trust we put into professional journalism? Sadly, yes. Did it evoke an emotion out of you to hear that probably the most prized possession you own was built by the least prized people in the industry in less-than-American conditions? You decide. Obviously, this isn’t the way for journalism to go in the future, with deceit as a means for information, but for the case where nobody was questioning the sanctity of the all Holy and providing Apple, I believe that this piece was a necessary evil to shine light on the truth with lies.