No, Mike Daisey's Apple Lies Were Not OK
David Carr ties retracted story to 'propaganda'
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Mar 19, 2012 12:11 PM CDT
Mike Daisey.   (AP Photo/Public Theater Press Office, Joan Marcus)

(Newser) – After fabrications emerged in his This American Life story on Apple, Mike Daisey has defended himself by suggesting that his material was theater, not journalism. Host Ira Glass doesn't agree—and neither does David Carr. "Is it OK to lie on the way to telling a greater truth?" Carr asks in the New York Times. "The short answer is also the right one. No." Many of the story's most compelling moments were made-up, from a disabled worker's wonder at the iPad that took his hands to a 13-year-old girl working at Foxconn.

What's disturbing here is "the suggestion that you have to cheat to come up with remarkable journalism that tilts the rink," writes Carr. In an era when everyone with a smartphone can contribute to journalism, it may be unrealistic to believe journalism can be "left to professionals," Carr notes. Yet after Daisey's story and reports of "cutting corners" in the viral "Kony 2012," it's important to remember: "There is another word for news and information that comes from advocates with a vested interest: propaganda." Click through for Carr's full column; Daisey's reaction to TAL's retraction is here, and he's not super happy with it.

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Showing 3 of 19 comments
Mar 20, 2012 7:22 AM CDT
Well, this is no surprise. The entire Liberal movement is based on a lie (the right of the powerless to have basic "entitlements.") So why should anyone be shocked if a Liberal tells a lie to advance his agenda? This is kind of like asking the question: Is it ok for the regime of North Korea to lie? Even though the entire NK regime is built on a lie itself (a divine/destiny-like right to rule.)
Mar 19, 2012 10:21 PM CDT
While he may have fabricated certain stories, the facts remain the same. The conditions in these factories are horrid, and that won't change no matter what David Carr says. The Apple brand should have to deal with the same negative connotations that companies like Nike have to deal with. But we all love our iPhones and iPads, so that will never happen.
Mar 19, 2012 5:17 PM CDT
The guy lied. That's it. He presented the story fully aware he was lying and now he's trying to think on his feet.