Daisey Responds to his TAL Appearance

Comments

1
No one disputes the truth of manufacturing in China. Apple publishes a report on it. He's being condemned because he's a liar. I think it's weak to deflect your lie back onto the story. He should apologize wholeheartedly instead of making excuses for his behavior.
2
The Grist post wrote it up well: first, he acknowledges that he was basically trapped in a ball of lies, second: the PR "sorry if you don't understand theater" approach.

TAL did it right: apologize abjectly when you fuck up, then shut up.

By his own admission, Daisey lied because he was afraid of exactly this happening if his "creative license" was exposed. Now it's happening, so I guess he can be upset, but he can't be surprised.

Further, I don't see the reaction Daisey sees. I don't see people going "Oh, turns out Apple is just fine and Daisey was 100% full of shit." The same people who listen to Mike Daisey also read the NYT and it's very good article on the subject. I think any thinking person understands that Apple's labor problems are real, but the way we were emotionally manipulated was on false terms.

So it's disappointing to feel (needlessly) manipulated, and it's disappointing that in parroting Daisey's "first-hand" assertions as fact, we've been made to lie to others, and it's disappointing that the morons who don't want to care about this can now lazily point to this episode to back up their own position. Daisey has just himself to blame for all this disappointment, so he needs to apologize abjectly, then STFU for a while.
3
Not bored with the story. This is worth dwelling on, and bums the hell out of me.

It's very clear from the post and from his other public appearances that Daisey is trying to be an activist. He's trying to raise awareness and all that about the state of Chinese factories, and what goes into making the iPhones and iPods that so many of us cart around. There's probably a part of him that really believes that he's telling an emotional truth as opposed to a literal truth. Daisey probably thinks that, because he works in theater, that his job is to first and foremost elicit an emotional reaction, and secondarily say what's literally true.

Except that's utter bullshit. His work always carried an implicit call to action and awareness. Any call to action has to be based on real, actual, verifiable truth. If it's not, the actors that are spurred on by the activist are dupes who've been fooled by pretty words, as opposed to concerned citizens genuinely responding to a non-optimal reality.

The reporter from Act III of this weekend's TAL who talked about the state of Chinese manufacturing, the costs of labor, and the realities of supply chains in China presented a far more coherent and potent call to action than Daisey's (apparently fictitious) story about the man with the claw-like hand who'd never seen a turned-on iPad. Anecdotes like the one Daisey told are only useful insofar as they humanize and show examples of what's really there, which is not what Daisey did at all.
4
CC-- I suspect Shutting TFU is precisely the one thing Daisey is NOT capable of doing.
5
@4 Agreed, can't wait for the 24 hour monologue about this.
6
Anyone who has seen Daisy and followed his blog knows he would likely be diagnosed by a professional as mentally ill. That is why smart audience members do not take what he says on stage or off at face value. I would not say I am drawn to his performances as people were drawn to early Cat Power performances. Though the story telling is engaging, at a certain point it becomes too sad to watch.

So This American Life and journalism is not the issue, it's just a small example.

There are politicians, world leaders, business executives and entertainment figures with the same problems, and some have handlers to hide it.
7
Daisey should have tried to get a job that would have granted him access to the factory, rather than "pretending to be a businessman" and standing outside the front gates. Is it really that hard to get inside this facility (or the thousands of other Chinese factories)? Get a job, bro!
8
"I apologized, but I'm fuckin' pissed that I had to apologize!"

OK, I guess he didn't really say it that way. Just trying to make it more entertaining.
9
Everyone else is articulating it better than I'm able to but I just want to say how intellectually dishonest and annoying Daisy's "the essential truth is real" argument is. No one is disputing that.
10
Yeah, but still.....
11
"If you think this story is bigger than that story, something is wrong with your priorities."

What he brought up but failed to understand was that if he had just told the real truth, we'd all still be talking about the evils of offshore manufacturing, not his dumb ass.
12
What GeezRilly said.
13
Also, he opens up that statement on his blog with a Mark Twain misquote. That's funny.
14
I read his latest blog post. He is just digging himself a bigger hole. He should just stop, instead of trying to explain in another way how his stinking bullshit is really just a beautiful flower that we don’t understand. I kind of take offense that he compare himself to Twain with his quote he start his blog with.

I had problems with his piece on “This American Life”, because it came across as very self centered. Mike Daisey finds the truth after six days in China, and just hangs out by the gates of Foxconn at Shenzen. Now what is coming across is that Daisey comes across as a narcissist. I do think he owes apologies to those who he called “hacks” “stooges” for reporting what they saw. He has been really harsh to any reporter that hasn’t agreed to his version of the facts.
15
If he had kept this as a theater performance, he could get away with it, but he's been on TAL and other venues reporting like these are facts.

"The essential truth is there" is b.s. Having some local activist tell you that they have heard of some instances of poisoning at the factory, and claiming that you personally met victims of poisoning are completely different things. Same with the underage workers.

This guy needs to go underground for awhile and keep his trap shut.
16
Daisey was trying to hide behind the fact that this was a theatre piece. The very thing that ruins his credibility, to me, is that he wants it both ways. I agree with CC. Grow a pair, apologize, and fight another day. His whole stance is corrupted by his inability to rely on what theatre does so well:It fictionalizes the issues. He seems to want to be seen as an honest broker...in the theatre. And if he's pissed about apologizing it's because he didn't do it right. I'm no longer interested in him after this little crybaby session. He lied, he got caught. If he had some balls, he'd have made it worth all of our while, but he doesn't, and therefore he's just another loudmouth, egotist who's trading on scandal, no matter what the NYT, TAL or anyone else says. RIP Mike Daisey's career. The theatre won't miss you, though it can't shame you the way TAL did.
17
On the upside for Daisey, now he'll probably get a high paying gig with Fox News as a pundit railing against the socialist, lame stream, NPR media types like Ira Glass.