Foster Perlmutter Response to retraction

After hearing the retraction of the story and what Mike Daisy had to say, I feel as though nothing had changed for me. For starters, they make it clear that even though he personally did not experience these things they did happen. At the same time, by doing his monologue he was able to convey these facts to the public on a wide scale. Where Mike Daisy ran into trouble was the fact that he claimed that he experienced them all himself. All he had to do with his monologue was preface it by stating that it was a compilation of his own personal experiences along with those which he had read about. In this way he would have been exonerated from all blame and fraud. He could have still had all of the fame and prestige by carrying this message due to his unique ability to tell a good story which is why the story resonated with so many people and not because of the events themselves.


However, this story does speak to the lower standard of journalism and reporting in our country, It seems as though anyone can get up on a soap box and preach and people will listen and respond. However, it is only much later that people fact check and the truth comes out. However, at that point it is too late. By the time this story was retracted Mike Daisy had made all of his money from appearances and fees and so did the podcast. The slight loss of credibility does not negate the money made in the mean time. I believe that this is a function of the competitiveness and intensity of the media coverage in today’s society where with 24/hr news coverage, twitter and the internet, information is shared before it is ever verified and a story simply becomes too big not to discuss even if it is just a rumor.


8 thoughts on “Foster Perlmutter Response to retraction

  1. This is an interesting point that almost escaped me in anger towards being “tricked”. The take home message is that most things he talked about did happen. While there were no guards with guns, it could be that Foxconn does hire workers as young as 12 or 13. The rest of the facts Daisey presented, while not chronologically ordered, were accurate.

  2. I completely agree with your first paragraph. Mike Daisey did speak about real issues and now they are being lost because he lied about them being his own experiences. If Mike Daisey had prefaced his monolog as you stated above, I wonder if it would have had the same impact. Many people resonated with the story because they thought it was a first-hand account of the horrible working conditions. By Mike Daisey saying he actually saw the young workers, saw the man handicapped by the spray, and saw the nets to catch employees trying to commit suicide it made them seem more “real.” If Daisey just said he wrote a monolog based off of news articles he read, it would not have had the same effect on his audience.

  3. I also agree with the first paragraph. But I would like to disagree a little bit with Heather here. “The inconvenient Truth” made an instant impact even though AlGore did not experience all the facts that he presented, but the facts were coming from credible sources and the visuals look credible to the audience. In Mike Daisey’s case, most of the tragedies that he mentioned in the monologue DID ACTUALLY HAPPENED. Even if he doesn’t have the aid of the visuals, I am sure he can complement his true experiences with what he read in the articles and still evoke a similar emotional impact on the audiences.

  4. To comment on the point about it not being his accounts making it less powerful, I recently saw a play, or more a series of skits, very similar to Mr. Daisy’s discussing the atomic bomb. Everyone was aware that the play itself was a fabrication of the trug and hypothetical situations, However, it was still powerful because it felt “real” in that the play depicts situations that might logically occur. In the same way Mr. Daisy could have used his acting skills and influence to portray “real” events and still make it credible.

  5. I completely agree with your point about journalism standards today. This sort of situation happens too often, in all kinds of publications. On the most basic level, tabloids publish completely illegitimate information all for the sake of attracting more customers and gaining a competitive edge. This issue spans all the way to what we view as respectable journalism, as proven by Mike Daisy’s monologue. Although This American Life probably believed that it was completely true, they also probably saw it as a great way to attract more listeners and didn’t want to use resources to fact check everything as they should have. This is definitely a big issue that the world of journalism faces today as publications compete for success.

  6. I think it is interesting to look at how much TAL benefitted from having this entire scandal on their show. The most popular episode they ever had was Daisey’s monologue. Obviously when the retraction episode was released an immense amount of people tuned in again, furthering the benefits for TAL. Despite the fact that the show’s hosts condemned Daisey for stretching the truth they must have known how much the scandal was contributing to garnering attention for their show.

  7. I think it’s important to remember that whether or not Daisey saw the things he described during his visit to China, a lot of these events aren’t common. The translator, Cathy, mentioned that she had never come across underage workers, for example. While it does happen, it’s relatively rare, and Apple has openly noted the number of underage workers discovered in their factories. In the grand scheme of things, they represent a very small number.

  8. I think you make a great point in your first paragraph- even though Daisey didn’t personally experience everything mentioned in his monologue, the fact of the matter is that they did actually occur. I remember first hearing about poor factory conditions years back with Nike. Since then, I haven’t really thought much about it. I think it is important that this issue is once again in the forefront.

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