Last week’s blog post prompt required us to listen to a podcast in which Mike Daisey, American actor, reveals the dark truths about Foxconn and Apple’s factories in China. After listening to this weeks podcast entitled ‘retracted,’ it turns out that many of those ‘truths’ were actually fabricated by Daisey to “make people care.” This revelation came about after Marketplace reporter Rob Schmitz tracked down Daisey’s interpreter in China, Cathy Lee, who disputed much of Daisey’s story.
First of all, I want to say that listening to this guy being awkwardly interrogated for half an hour was both painful and weirdly satisfying. I do commend Mike Daisey for going through with this as it definitely takes a lot of balls to admit any lie, much less answer questions about it on the radio. Any listener could hear the great amount of sadness and regret in his voice and in the long silences that preceded pretty much everything he said. He was very clear in his argument that everything in his monologue was to make people care, and I get that. I see where he’s coming from in that so much of our society is blind to what goes on behind the scenes in these poor working conditions. If somebody hadn’t come out with an exaggerated, dark story, nobody would even think twice about it. That being said, I still think it’s quite messed up that Daisey would come out and present this monologue as journalism. He mentioned himself in the podcast “it is theater.” So why not label it as theater and get people to care that way?