Mike Daisey: “Truth Is Vitally Important” And “I Will Not Go Silent”

Mike Daisey: “Truth Is Vitally Important” And “I Will Not Go Silent”

Mike Daisey performing his one-man show, "The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs"

Mike Daisey, the man behind the hugely popular show that highlights Apple’s manufacturing environment at Foxconn, has received heavy media criticism since This American Life revealed that he had lied and given inaccurate information about his trip to China. Daisey continues to perform his show at theaters in the United States, and he says he still stands by his work.

Since the Retraction episode of The American Life aired, Daisey has elaborated further on the issue surrounding Chinese manufacturing and his public scandal.

On his personal blog today, Daisey reiterated that “truth is vitally important,” and he promises his audience that he will “not go silent:”

In the last forty-eight hours I have been equated with Stephen Glass, James Frey, and Greg Mortenson. 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.

Especially galling is how many are gleefully eager to dance on my grave expressly so they can return to ignoring everything about the circumstances under which their devices are made. Given the tone, you would think I had fabulated an elaborate hoax, filled with astonishing horrors that no one had ever seen before.

Except that we all know that isn’t true.

Daisey continues to justify his work by saying “nothing in this controversy contests the facts in my work about the nature of Chinese manufacturing,” despite the fact that This American Life revealed multiple, glaring inaccuracies about his account of Foxconn and the workers he supposedly met there. Once such example is Daisey’s account of the armed guards at the factory’s gates. As it turns out, there are no armed guards at Foxconn. A New York Times reporter revealed to This American Life that the only people in China who are authorized to carry guns are military personnel and armored car drivers.

“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,” said Daisey on his blog. “If you think this story is bigger than that story, something is wrong with your priorities.”

Many have wondered if Daisey will change his show’s content to reflect the falsified information that was uncovered, and it turns out that he has. The AP reports that he has “cut questionable sections from the monologue and added a prologue explaining the controversy.” We have reached out to Daisey for comment.

Several high profile individuals continue to support Daisey’s show, The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs, including Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak. Woz told Bloomberg:

I was moved by the performance … the acting abilities … and I agree with Mike’s portrayal of them … coming from my own understanding of the nature of this method of communication.

Mike is so great at this that I want to see it again if at all possible.

Daisey finished today’s blog post with the following:

I believe the truth is vitally important. I continue to believe that. I believe that I will answer for the things I have done. I told Ira [host of This American Life] that story should always be subordinate to the truth, and I still believe that. Sometimes I fall short of that goal, but I will never stop trying to achieve it.

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  • dcj001

    But, Mr. Daisey, if the truth is so vitally important, why did you lie?

  • Jefry Weiker

    He is just another prostitute to fame and money trying to get a free ride on Apple’s success.

  • ErinsDad

    Just seeing a picture of him for the first time  - – Did he eat a couple Foxconn workers?

  • drexyl9944

    What a liar.  Yes.  Horrible people all of us for using the excuse that you blatantly lied as a reason to not believe what you say.  If its as bad as you claim it was then maybe you should have checked your theatrical license at the door.  Or maybe you’d rather play the victim/cry baby because your act got exposed for what it is.

    You owe Stephen Fry an apology by the way.

  • Stewart McCall

    a couple,  no a whole production line of them.

  • aramishero

    This fatty annoyed me… I think he already get paid by those Apple’s competitor…

  • Honey Badger

    When I first saw his “show”, he came off as a media whore. Now he simply comes off as a media whore and a liar who still blatantly refuses to own his sh*t.

    You’ve been caught in your lies man. Own it.

    Mike should have always made it clear prior to his performance that it contains fabrications. If there are fabrications sprinkled in with fact, make it perfectly clear which is which. Mr. Daisey passed all of it off as the truth. He allowed others to believe it was all the truth. The subject matter is important. Working conditions need to be monitored and improved.

    I always felt that it was unfair to single out one company the way that he did, but it’s even more shameful when it was knowingly done with lies.

    Shame on you Mike. Your lies have soiled an important issue.

  • Larry2112

    Im just getting tired of seeing this fat bastard everywhere.

  • Honey Badger

    Amen brother. 

    This turkey actually has the audacity to lash out at anyone who is calling him on his sh*t. No accountability whatsoever. 

    You can sum up his blog post with this…

    “If you dare to call me on my sh*t, then you MUST be ignoring the issue and therefore be in denial that there are problems.”

    No Mike, we agree it’s an important issue, we just don’t like liars is all.

  • Shane Bryson

    Maybe he should look into all the immigrants working on the farms for almost no pay here in the US, to provide for all those foods he is eating. This dude is a freaking blimp. 

  • Mike Rathjen

    Mike Daisey,

    I know you lied and I know you are now lying about having lied. One can plainly see that your own statements are contradictory.

    And now you imply that I (we) will use this as an excuse to not care. I for one don’t use this as justification for anything…I know things are bad in Chinese manufacturing. You’re still a liar.

  • CharliK

    I was thinking the same thing. He presented his little play as truth, not vaguely based on truth and some straight up fiction. He marketed it as truth. He said as fact that he saw things he didn’t, talked to people he didn’t and so on. 

    as for the comments by folks like the Woz, he’s not a part of Apple and he’s basically totally out of touch with the game at this point. So I can excuse him for being fooled by this charlatan

  • Phil Navarro

    Caption – Get that exercise book away from me!!!

  • STRIPBLUNTS

    Apple wins again!! They didn’t even have to acknowledge this idiot, since they knew he was full of it! This is too funny! All of the media outlets that regurgitated this CRAP have some serious egg on their faces! lol

  • Khaled Alwaleed Talal

    I don’t get why everyone is focusing negatively on Apple. Other companies use Foxconn and have zero negative attention. What’s the deal?? 
    Answer: 15 mins of fame 

    There’s a reason why this article just came out now after Apple’s announced their earnings. it’s this dude’s time to shine for a few days, that’s all this is about for him. As for CBS, they need viewership and what better than doing all this while focusing on Apple as if Microsoft, Sony and all the other electronics companies never said they “want to be leaders” too. Give me a break! Total BS focusing on one company and totally dismissing Apple and their efforts. At the end of the day it’s FOXCONN’s responsibility FIRST then ALL the companies it is a customer to NOT just one. As for this TOTAL BS about child labor, give me a break. CBS needs to dive into their and their families lives before judging why a -15 (clap) 14(clap) 13(clap) and 12(clap) year old kids work. Life in China is NOT easy (as life is tough everywhere else in the world) and to survive some have to work. Yes i understand, NOT under certain concision, GRANTED, but it’s a reality some people need to understand. Kids work ALL the time everywhere, and if they are over worked, focus on WHO IS EMPLOYING them (Foxconn) not who their employer is a customer for (ALL electronics companies that Foxconn works for). This piece, total waste of time because it is NOT thorough at all. I mean COME ON. If CBS really was interested in the workers as apposed to solely focusing on Apple, it would have given this piece the time it deserves (NOT JUST 10 MINUTES!) and actually looked though ALL companies and aspects of this article. TOTAL BS… It is a story that DESERVES MUCH MORE THAN YOUR PRECIOUS 10 MINUTES OF AIR-TIME CBS. DO IT RIGHT AND GIVE PEOPLE AN OBJECTIVE POINT OF VIEW, DON’T HALF ASS IT JUST TO GET PEOPLE TO TUNE IN CAUSE YOU WENT AFTER THE GIAN YOU MORALLY BANKRUPT LITTLE ANTS. I PROMISE CBS isn’t doing all this for the goodness of their hearts. It’s all about ratings. I question CBS’s (and that dude’s) intentions here much more than they allude to what Apple’s are. This is not an Apple vs whomever, this is ALL of us vs Foxconn and then seeing what ALL companies contracting Foxconn are doing about this problem. There’s a reason why this article just came out now after Apple’s announced their earnings.

  • Jason Smith

    It reminds me of a fat toad created by Disney, sitting on a log in the swamp complaining that no one takes him seriously.

  • HerbalEd

    Where are all the Apple haters now?? Normally an article on Daisey’s show draws many passionate damnations about how the evil Apple is exploiting Chinese workers. Now all they have to say is …… (crickets chirping). Come on guys/gals, speak up …. don’t be shy …. you never were before.

  • KennyTeohKY

    I think Cult of Mac should just stop covering news about Mike Daisey. The matter has now outgrown  him and his monologue. Activists, corporates and the media is now on Foxconn (and Apple’s case) on the subject of the state of working condition and employee treatment policies.

    So let’s move on from Mike Daisey. The last I checked, this is Cult of Mac. Not Cult of Mike Daisey. Enough about him. The fact that he fabricated parts of his theatrical piece is now irrelevant and no longer news to us. 

  • mesa75

    Bring me the Wookie…

  • KennyTeohKY

    But the fact remains, that he vehemently stood by his allegations, and stood by his “facts” in the heated argument and name calling comments in the Cult of Mac story on “A Campaign To Stop Stephen Fry Who is Otherwise Wonderful From Being An Idiot”. 

    http://www.cultofmac.com/14395

    The scathing name calling and heated debate in the comments page now stands as a paradox. The guy who had been fabricating his facts got to lecture everyone in this website (and the good people, fans and readers of Cult of Mac) as an authority on truth.
     
    Mike Daisey himself now admits that what he does is not journalism. But theatre. 

    The other question that comes to mind now…. “So Cult of Mac is now covering theatre and broadway?” Who knew….

  • KennyTeohKY

    But the fact remains, that he vehemently stood by his allegations, and stood by his “facts” in the heated argument and name calling comments in the Cult of Mac story on “A Campaign To Stop Stephen Fry Who is Otherwise Wonderful From Being An Idiot”. 

    http://www.cultofmac.com/14395

    The scathing name calling and heated debate in the comments page now stands as a paradox. The guy who had been fabricating his facts got to lecture everyone in this website (and the good people, fans and readers of Cult of Mac) as an authority on truth.
     
    Mike Daisey himself now admits that what he does is not journalism. But theatre. 

    The other question that comes to mind now…. “So Cult of Mac is now covering theatre and broadway?” Who knew….

  • KennyTeohKY

    But the fact remains, that he vehemently stood by his allegations, and stood by his “facts” in the heated argument and name calling comments in the Cult of Mac story on “A Campaign To Stop Stephen Fry Who is Otherwise Wonderful From Being An Idiot”. 

    The scathing name calling and heated debate in the comments page now stands as a paradox. The guy who had been fabricating his facts got to lecture everyone in this website (and the good people, fans and readers of Cult of Mac) as an authority on truth.
     
    Mike Daisey himself now admits that what he does is not journalism. But theatre. 

    The other question that comes to mind now…. “So Cult of Mac is now covering theatre and broadway?” Who knew….

  • Len Williams

    Daisey has admitted to the interviewer on This American Life that he lied about quite a number of things in his monolog. He didn’t see guns in the hands of Foxconn security guards, he didn’t actually meet with people poisoned by hexane, etc. His Chinese interpreter has also debunked many of the things he says he saw or things that happened at Foxconn. For example, he said he spoke English to 1 or 2 workers, and they told him awful things about the factory. His interpreter says this was untrue, and it would be highly unlikely that any Chinese migrant worker could speak ANY amount of English. All these lies and questionable details make me wonder why anyone can take him seriously at all. How much more of his “theatrical play” is bogus, fabricated and made up? How can we trust anything he says?

    Note: I don’t kid myself. Conditions for Chinese workers at Foxconn or anywhere else in China are substandard and harsh as compared to U.S. and western standards–but so what? That’s the way thousands of years of history and the communist government of China have created their civilization. These migrant workers would be making far less on the farms and in the villages where they came from. None of the conditions are Apple’s fault in any way. In fact, Apple is improving the lives of Foxconn workers by bringing them business and by working with Foxconn to get them to raise salaries and improve working conditions.

  • ShoyuWeenie

    Daisy is a DOUCHE!

  • Sirbach

    Probably all those 12 years olds he met that no one can find

About the author

Alex HeathAlex Heath has been a staff writer at Cult of Mac for three years. He is also a co-host of the CultCast. He has been quoted by places like the BBC, KRON 4 News, and books like "ICONIC: A Photographic Tribute to Apple Innovation." If you want to pitch a story, share a tip, or just get in touch, additional contact information is available on his personal site. Twitter always works too. All DMs excepted.

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