#this american life

John Gruber is all over the fallout of the This American Life/Mike Daisey fiasco.

The New York Times ran an op-ed by Daisey about his fabricated tales (the day after Steve Jobs passed away, no less). CBS News had a report in January widely citing Daisey.

So far, this all appears to be unrelated to the separate NYT article that kicked off the “iEconomy” series. But is there any question that Daisey’s initial “reports” at least in part led to these subsequent reports?

Reports that seemed to focus solely on Apple for no real reason beyond the fact that they’re now the largest tech company in the world with a possible blindspot thanks to Daisey’s story. 

Reports filled with suggestions that Tim Cook called “patently false and offensive”.

Holy shit this is bad. That’s all you can really say. This episode was easily the most widely circulated in the tech community for obvious reasons. And it generated thousands of other related stories.

Host Ira Glass:

I have difficult news. We’ve learned that Mike Daisey’s story about Apple in China - which we broadcast in January - contained significant fabrications. We’re retracting the story because we can’t vouch for its truth. 

It appears that Daisey pulled a Stephen Glass (no relation to Ira, pure coincidence):

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.