about the role of performance in media. http://urbanhonking.com/

As a refresher: Mike Daisey toured some of the Apple factories in China, and then did a one-man, Spalding Gray-style monologue piece about what he saw. He was so successful that he caught national attention, both through Real Time with Bill Maher and This American Life. Later on, after some of Daisey's exaggerations were discovered by the New York Times, Ira Glass devoted an entire episode of TAL to uncover the minutiae of the lies they were fed.

It wasn't that he had completely made the story up, but that he had sold his dramatic monologue as unassailable fact, not as a performance. When interviewed, he said that he regretted collaborating with TAL, because he believed there to be a difference between performance and the journalism that his work inspired. His story was a true experience, even if he fudged some of the details. But journalism cannot tolerate this kind of leeway.

The excuse he originally gave was so craven and opportunistic; his performance might have withstood some useful embellishments, but Daisy was looking to use the moral high ground for his own personal success. He deliberately sought the role of muckraker. There's no room in that place for fiction. I can't imagine his new monologue being anything but one big excuse.

[ETA] The inconsistencies weren't exposed by the NYT, but by NPR's own Market Place correspondent, Rob Schmitt.


Also, corrections have been made for spelling and format errors.