Mike Daisey Apologizes in Late March for Fabrications in Apple Report aired on This American Life

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(Credit: Mike Daisey, screenshot)

American Public Media’s Marketplace China correspondent Rob Schmitz exclusively toured an iPad factory for a report last week, Fortune magazine reported.  As we have written, Schmitz exposed fabrications in Mike Daisey’s monologue “The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs.”  Part of that monologue was aired on public radio program This American Life, which issued a high-profile retraction of the Jan. 6 episode after Schmitz’s fact-checking.

CNET noted that Schmitz is “only the second Western journalist to be granted access to Foxxconn’s factory floor.”  Foxconn is Apple’s “China manufacturing partner.”

Daisey apologized in late March for putting fake information in his monologue “The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs,” Media Bistro’s Galley Cat reported.

Daisey’s apology reads in part:

“I failed to honor the contract I’d established with my audiences over many years and many shows. In doing so, I not only violated their trust, I also made worse art.

“This is not the place for me to try and explain my good intentions.”

He also added apologies to the audience, journalists and human rights advocates.  The apology goes on to state that he is “sorry” or being “careless with that trust” and for any possible effect of his fabrication on the “non-fiction and documentary fields.”  Further, Daisey admitted that during interviews, “things came out of my mouth that just weren’t true.”  Interestingly, Daisey noted that gradually the difference between true parts of his account and fabricated parts blurred so that “over time, I couldn’t even hear the difference myself.”  He noted that he also “exaggerated” the Apple case.  Daisey added:

“To human rights advocates and those who have been doing the hard work of bringing attention to these kinds of labor issues for years, if my failures have made your jobs harder, I apologize. If I had done my job properly, with the skills I have honed for years, I could have avoided this. Instead, I blinded myself, and lost sight of the people I wanted most to help.”

According to Entertainment Weekly, Daisey also has changed his one-man show to remove “questionable sections from the monologue and added a prologue explaining the controversy” after the high-profile This American Life retraction.

CBS News added that The Public Theater’s artistic director Oskar Eustis said Daisey took out “anything he doesn’t feel he can stand behind” and that Daisey commented on some questions about his work during Daisey’s New York performance of the monologue.

Regardless of the controversy around the Apple monologue and Daisey’s apology, Daisey is still moving forward with his next project, the Los Angeles Times reported.   Daisey’s next “untitled production” is for the Cape Cod Theatre Project in Massachusetts.

According to the New York Times’ the theatre’s artistic director said about Daisey: “I truly believe in him as an artist and a voice.  The greater good that he put forth outweighs any of the problematic issues.”

UPDATE: 4/16/2012: 3:05 PM EST: Added in information about Rob Schmitz’s tour and Daisey’s upcoming project.

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Reporter Who Fact-Checked Mike Daisey’s Apple Monologue Got ‘Exclusive Tour inside an iPad Factory,’ Fortune says

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