The Economist Dropped A Story On Mike Daisey When The Facts Didn’t Check Out

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Economist contributor and Macworld senior contributor Glenn Fleishman is a fan of Mike Daisey’s monologues, and was interested in writing about “The Agony & The Ecstasy of Steve Jobs.”

But Fleishman spiked the story when some of the facts didn’t check out.

Daisey’s monologue has been widely credited with kickstarting the current controversy about Apple and the tech industry’s supply chain in China. Investigations by the New York Times and This American Life bought the issue’s raised by Daisey’s play to mainstream attention.

After the story broke that This American Life had to retract its blockbuster episode featuring Daisey’s visit to Foxconn in China, Fleishman recounted his journey into the story behind the monologue  – and why he never wrote the piece – on Twitter.

“I started writing about Daisey’s Agony & Ecstasy for an Economist piece 15 months [ago]. While writing it, I had to stop when I realized details didn’t check out,”  Fleishman tweeted. “He was in Shenzhen for a few days. He came back with an ocean of material. Implausible. I almost wrote a piece in January 2011 about my dubiousness of Agony & Ecstasy, but I couldn’t affirmatively prove my concerns. But I certainly didn’t have the positive knowledge it was false.”

Fleishman, who considers himself a friend of Daisey’s, will be talking about the story at noon PST with radio station KUOW.

Daisey, who has published a statement standing by his work on his blog, told Cult of Mac via email that he had no further comment.

On his blog, Daisey says: “I stand by my work. My show is a theatrical piece whose goal is to create a human connection between our gorgeous devices and the brutal circumstances from which they emerge. It uses a combination of fact, memoir, and dramatic license to tell its story, and I believe it does so with integrity.”

Hat tip: Matthew Panzarino on Twitter