Kurtis Kolt and Jake Skakun

Mar 2012
This American Life Retracts
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  at 10:50 am | No Comments »

A short while ago I’d written about a pretty high-profile story surrounding Apple and Foxconn’s labour conditions in China.

Today, NPR’s This American Life has retracted their story, one that became their most popular episode.

From Poynter.org:

This week’s “This American Life” will be devoted to the discovery that “one of our most popular episodes was partially fabricated,” a notice on the show’s website says. The episode, “Mr. Daisey and the Apple Factory,” was about monologuist Mike Daisey’s visit to China to see how Apple products were made.

Marketplace reporter Rob Schmitz interviewed Daisey’s translator, the site says, “and discovered discrepancies between her account and Mike’s.” Host Ira Glass will interview Daisey for this week’s show “to learn why he misled us.”

On his website, Daisey writes, “What I do is not journalism. The tools of the theater are not the same as the tools of journalism. For this reason, I regret that I allowed THIS AMERICAN LIFE to air an excerpt from my monologue. THIS AMERICAN LIFE is essentially a journalistic ­- not a theatrical ­- enterprise, and as such it operates under a different set of rules and expectations. But this is my only regret.”

In a statement attached to the press release, Ira Glass writes, “Daisey lied to me and to This American Life producer Brian Reed during the fact checking we did on the story, before it was broadcast. That doesn’t excuse the fact that we never should’ve put this on the air. In the end, this was our mistake.”

There’s much more to the story right here…

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