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Mar 18, 2012  •  

- uh oh, looks like mike messed up. one of the finer moments of 'this american life' has just been retracted. more to the point, the show was so good that the questionable details in mike daisey's abridged monologue on apple's outsourcing slipped by just about every ex-pat reporter and china-hand in the process (yours truly included). snippets such as, 'armed guards', and 'being the only person able to loiter at the factory gates'. in fact correspondents regularly visit these places and no guards in china, not even bank sentries with reams of cash, carry loaded weapons. fortunately, for the sake of NPR's integrity (and further regrettable cost to western media's repute), rob schmitz probed these questions further and cleared the air, so to speak, in his report HERE and contribution HERE.

i'm sensing a couple of ironies. first, the one already mentioned - the TAL episode on jan 06, 2012, was the most downloaded ever from one of the most listened radio shows in america (it is its number one podcast). the other paradox is how mr. daisey became so infamous - by embellishing the truth, lying openly in his broadcast on public radio. but in china this is standard procedure, more commonly branded as an element of 'face'. in other words, something that is rather expected and often commended. mike, you should have kept the agony and ecstasy on the mainland and become a hero..

'This American Life' Retracts Episode on Apple's Suppliers in China - NYTimes.com

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