Mike Daisey, the author behind The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs, who was forced to admit that he fabricated some of his claims about worker mistreatment in Apple’s supply chain, has criticized Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher for being too soft on Tim Cook during their interview at All Things D’s D10 conference earlier this week.
After offensively branding Swisher as lazy for her use of the word “fictional,” in a post on his blog, Daisey continues to blast the pair’s “weak” interview questions and suggests how they can “do [their] job better.”
During the interview with Cook, Swisher mentions Apple’s “fictional” critics, and although Daisey’s name isn’t mentioned, it’s clear that his fictitious claims about worker mistreatment in Chinese factories is what she is referring to. Daisey highlights this in his blog post:
First, Kara, this isn’t even good wordplay—I’m not a fictional fucking critic. The word you would want is fictitious, though that wouldn’t really work either—you probably knew that, but I think then you got lazy and just said, what the fuck…who is really paying attention to that shit, anyway, right?
Daisey then criticizes the questions that were thrown at Cook — specifically those regarding the supply chain — and suggests some “actual” questions that Mossberg and Swisher could have asked:
Kara and Walt—do you really think you asked hard questions tonight? Goodness, you got Cook to admit…that Ping was a failure! That’s amazing. If only you had another hour, so you could get him to tell us who he liked best on Dawson’s Creek and what kind of ice cream is best: vanilla or cookies and cream. (Trick question: it’s always cookies and cream.) [...]
You could have asked,
“Recently you went to China for the first time as CEO to tour Foxconn’s production lines. Apple’s first outside audits of Foxconn happened in 2006, after media coverage back then, and the report recommendations made six years ago are the same as the ones made by the FLA in 2012. Did it not seem important enough a priority for the CEO go until now, six years later? Why did it take so long?”
“You’ve worked at Apple since 1998, and are credited for creating an incredible supply chain that is a huge part of Apple’s success. But the New York Times and others have pointed to the squeezing of that supply chain as a big part of the problems at Foxconn. Do you think Apple’s responsible for some of the problems that Apple’s been documenting since 2006 without making inroads on until this year?”
Daisey concludes by slamming technology journalists for not speaking out about these issues:
I had such hope that they [technology journalists] would stand up and do their jobs. But they didn’t. Other journalists, with much less to lose, did their job for them years after the fact…and that gap, that delay, is a direct and deep failure of technology journalism.