After the Fact

Mike Daisey Will Deconstruct His Agony and Ecstasy: ‘I Will Be Making a Full Accounting of This Work’

3 680x1024 Mike Daisey Will Deconstruct His Agony and Ecstasy: I Will Be Making a Full Accounting of This Work

Mr. Daisey

On his personal blog yesterday, Mike “The Boy Who Cried Foxconn” Daisey responded to Ira Glass’s public shaming and retraction of excerpts of his monologue that aired on “This American Life.”

“I thought the dead air was a nice touch, and finishing the episode with audio pulled out of context from my performance was masterful,” wrote Mr. Daisey, who seemed to object to being lumped into the same category as James Frey and Stephen Glass.

“Given the tenor of the condemnation, you would think I had concocted an elaborate, fanciful universe filled with furnaces in which babies are burned to make iPhone components, or that I never went to China, never stood outside the gates of Foxconn, never pretended to be a businessman to get inside of factories, never spoke to any workers,” Mr. Daisey wrote with pride.

As the world now knows, his fabrications were revealed not by the Public Radio International fact-checkers, but rather by a resourceful “Marketplace” editor who bothered to Google “Cathy translator Shenzhen,” (the name of the translator used in his play) and call the first number that popped up.

The Public Theater in New York, where Mr. Daisey performed his monologue with artistic license, refused to refund or cancel his show after the controversy emerged. Indeed, his last act earned him a standing ovation.

Despite all the public excoriation that his half-truths detract from the very real plight of Foxconn workers, Mr. Daisey continued to moralize in his blog post: “If people want to use me as an excuse to return to denialism about the state of our manufacturing, about the shape of our world, they are doing that to themselves.”

Perhaps to prevent such a return a blind consumption, he has promised to deconstruct his play, writing:

“I will be making a full accounting of this work, shining a light through this monologue and telling the story of its origins, construction, and details.”

We’re assuming his self-fact-check is going to need to be fact-checked too?

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