‘This American Life’ Retracts Fabricated Story on Apple Suppliers

Public radio program This American Life has retracted a story on the working conditions in Apple’s China factories. The story, called “Mr. Daisey and the Apple Factory,” is an excerpt from Mike Daisey’s one-man show “The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs,” where he describes meeting factory workers who have been exposed to poor working conditions…

The story was discovered to contain numerous fabrications by its creator, Mike Daisey, including the number of factories Daisey visited and false reports that the Shenzhen workers were being exposed to a chemical called n-hexane. The story also reported that the factory employed underage workers, but no supporting evidence of this claim was found by the program’s fact-checkers.

“‘I’m not going to say that I didn’t take a few shortcuts in my passion to be heard,’ Daisey tells Schmitz and Glass. ‘My mistake, the mistake I truly regret, is that I had it on your show as journalism, and it’s not journalism. It’s theater.’

I suspect that many things that Mike Daisey claims to have experienced personally did not actually happen, but listeners can judge for themselves.”

In light of reports of poor conditions at Foxconn, Apple has become more open to the public regarding their suppliers and efforts to improve the situation, but false reports by journalists like Mike Daisey may put unnecessary blame on the Cupertino-based company.

[This American Life]

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