Lying Your Way To The Top


What were Mike Daisey’s intentions? Was he attempting to portray some sense of truth while performing his monologue, or was it an expression of his view of society? Trying to read into the way he answered questions during the interview made it seem like he was not being sincere while apologizing. Even though the listener isn’t able to see his facial expressions during the interview, I could only imagine. He was just like a politician trying to answer a question about his position on a controversial topic, instead of answering it truthfully; he attempted to hide his answers through hidden answers.

That is what really made me angry. I related with Ira Glass of TAL because I was also irritated by his inability to answer truthfully. All he needed to do was come forward and say that he made a mistake and he regrets his actions. He profited from his lies and gained a lot of the fame for what he said. He was interviewed by some of the biggest news station in the world while spreading his lie. Even though there may be some truth to his words, some of the most heart wrenching stories he told were untrue. Then after ending the program he was able to think about how he wanted to protect himself from future questioning by arguing that it was just a skit. But how was he still performing a monologue when he was acting as a journalist and speaking to news sources. He did seem to feel some type of regret from having his monologue being aired on TAL. But the truth is that it is very easy to feel remorse after being caught instead of coming out and stating that you lied to people.

I have no issue with Mike Daisey performing the monologue on a stage and giving the audience the ability to interpret the truth behind his words. His intention is what really matters. Was he trying to persuade that audience that these actions really happened or is it obvious enough that this is mostly fiction. I give him credit if he can convince an audience that it is true even though it is not. What bothers me is if someone comes up to him after the performance and asks him whether the situations actually occurred. If he says yes then this makes it seem like he is lying to his audience. Art is one thing, while investigative reporting is a very different expressive work. As you can tell I was very angry with Mike Daisey but the reality of the situation is that I should have known better. Even though someone may say something that seems like the truth, it doesn’t mean it is. As I said earlier in this blog post, he is just like a politician; you need to fact check everything they say.

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7 thoughts on “Lying Your Way To The Top

  1. I definitely agree with your point that the Retraction podcast did not portray Daisey in the most positive of lights. He tried to weasel his way around answers and avoided questions that addressed his blatant lies. I think that part of it was definitely that he felt remorse that he got caught. However selfish, it is human nature to feel that type of remorse. But I think that Daisey’s intentions extended beyond the scope of just fame. It seems that his overall purpose was in some aspects to make people care. Whether it was to make people care about Apple’s maltreatment of workers or his own personal accomplishments as a performer, that is open to interpretation. His criticism of Apple is undoubtedly warranted, however just not with the experiences he provided.

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  2. I definitely agree with your point that the Retraction podcast did not portray Daisey in the most positive of lights. He tried to weasel his way around answers and avoided questions that addressed his blatant lies. I think that part of it was definitely that he felt remorse that he got caught. However selfish, it is human nature to feel that type of remorse. But I think that Daisey’s intentions extended beyond the scope of just fame. It seems that his overall purpose was in some aspects to make people care. Whether it was to make people care about Apple’s maltreatment of workers or his own personal accomplishments as a performer, that is open to interpretation. His criticism of Apple is undoubtedly warranted, however just not with the experiences he provided.

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  3. Daisey’s behavior in the interview with Ira Glass also made me frustrated. It seemed like all he was doing was dancing around the fact that he told a lie to get ahead and further his cause. He has a point that sometimes art and storytelling can do a better job by pulling at peoples emotions. To me this argument is only somewhat valid because it seems like he didn’t need to lie to get people’s attention. The truth seems like enough to me. Overall this makes Mike Daisey look really bad. I would not trust him with anything that requires an honor system or some sort of moral compass because he has proven that he can be selfish and short sighted.

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  4. I agree with Mike Daisy not exactly answering the whole truth, at points it was extremely frustrating to me as well. However it seems awfully convenient for Apple that the first thing in years that exposes them just so happens to be “madeup”. I am not saying that what he was saying wasn’t a lie. But I’m just questioning the timing. Mike Daisy seems like the kind of guy that tells the truth but I could very well be wrong.

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  5. Recalling back to the Brian Williams scandal (Highly revered host of NBC Nightly news) when he embellished the truth about his experiences overseas. Why did he lie? Was it fame? It started as a small embellishment that grew to where he would have to refute a whole “lie.” Funny thing was, he was trusted to host the news show afterwards when he gave an apology. I see some similarities here, but I feel like when journalists get lost in their own journalism and start reporting their own lives as noteworthy primetime news, it’s hard to see that “Hey, this is a lie..”

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  6. Our conversation in class today brought up an interesting question – if Daisey had prefaced everything with a movie-like “based on a true story,” would he be off the hook. Instead, he chose to lie entirely. It seems interesting that lying is contextual.

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