Fabricated “Facts”

Storytelling is a skill that requires the storyteller to be able to paint a vivid picture and give people a take away message from the story. I would even consider storytelling to be a kind of art because of how creative and personal it is. When people share their experiences or views they are delivered in their own personal way-some ways more effective than others. When I am with friends or family and they are telling a story I often take note of who is telling the story and what their tendencies are such as embellishment or leaving out major details. When listening to Daisey’s podcast last week I was upset by all that he unveiled about Foxconn and found all of his stories and details to seem true and valid because of the clear descriptions he provided. When learning about Daisey’s lies during his broadcast and embellishment of the conditions at Foxconn I was taken aback that he would lie about such terrible things.

Many people rely and put trust in journalist to report the truth and act as a reliable source of world issues and current events. I think that Daisey’s embellishment of the details of Foxconn was not the worst thing. Through his exaggeration he was able to draw more attention to the conditions at Foxconn. Even though Daisey fabricated the material in his broadcast I think that behind his lies there is a deeper truth that is important to take notice of. When talking about the working conditions in China I think that it is important to set a dramatic theme so the monologue really has an affect on the listeners. This ties back to my point about taking note of who is telling the story or reporting back because it may have an impact on how seriously you take the information.

Daisey justifies his lies by saying he wanted to “capture the totality of the trip” by fabricating the “facts”. In my opinion Daisey should have been honest about fabricating details about his trip by letting listeners know before hand that some of the things said are not completely true. Daisey speaks about the importance of the truth and how stories should be subordinate to the truth. Based off of his comments about lying during his broadcast I now find it very difficult to put any trust in him and his stories. I spent some time thinking about this issue on a larger scale and was imagining if all journalist and news reporters fabricated “facts”. Our world would be built off of lies and real issues could be masked by lies preventing us from addressing worldly issues such as working conditions in big factories like Foxconn. Mike Daisey not only put his own credibility at stake, but also the show that he was broadcasting on.


“Mike Daisey’s Apple Explanation is…Awkward”

Bloomsberg Bussinessweek By: Mark Gimein

What I learned from Daisey’s lies and embellishments was how in today day and age people need to be lied to in order to “care” and understand worldly issues. I think this is an important take away because it shows how disconnected we all can be. Daisey’s dramatic approach in sharing his experience was affective and eye opening, but I still think that listeners should know beforehand if all of the details are based off real occurrences.


5 thoughts on “Fabricated “Facts””

  1. You say it would be very difficult to put any trust in Daisey’s stories because you now see him as a liar, but think back to last week when everyone seemed to be completely captivated by his galvanizing story. If Mike Daisey only talked about the actual facts, would people even want to listen to his story? Think about Daisey’s role as an actor, not only as a journalist. Sure, Daisey embellished some details, but do you think news sources don’t ever embellish or twist words?


  2. I think the most important thing here, like you mentioned, is Daisey’s ability to raise awareness about Foxconn through his story. The podcast was the most downloaded in the history of This American Life, and I think that speaks to something, I just disagree ethically with Daisey’s decision to lie to the magnitude that he did. Stretching the truth a bit is one thing, but Daisey completely made parts of his story up. You raise a good point about people being disconnected, and needing to be lied to in order to open people’s eyes. That is a bigger problem in society, and I think the Mike Daisey situation is a prime example of that. He did what he had to do to raise awareness, I just don’t like how he had to lie to do it.


  3. I also think it is a sad reality of today that all of us are so connected by all of our technology, yet so disconnected in our personal interactions and to other persons’ sentiments. But I would assert that rather than people needing to be lied to in order to care, the severity must be so extreme that it is almost socially unacceptable to not care or be knowledgeable about the issue. Although I think it was wrong of Daisey to lie during his monologue, I understand his thoughts in justifying his embellishments in order to achieve the sort of severity that causes people to care. The sad thing is, now that the large audience he influenced knows about his lies, they will be less inclined to listen to the issues in fear of another Mike Daisey source. His lies worked to his detriment.


  4. Do you think we always need to be lied to in order to care? I wonder if the exaggerations were necessary in this case due to its context: brand loyalty to Apple. Do you think we would have cared about Apple’s ethics if we had heard the actual truth? Bad working conditions in China are arguably nothing new, so are we certain it would have grabbed our attention? Mike Daisey claims he lied because he knew it would make us care. I tend to believe him in that statement, despite his lack of overall credibility. I do not necessarily think we always need to be lied to in order to care, but I think in Apple’s case it may have been necessary.
    On the point of needing lies to care, I think this is an interesting point, as I am unsure of my stance on it myself. Did we need lies in order to care about Darfur? Did we need lies to care about Kony 2012? Did we need lies to care about Blood Diamonds? The answer to all of these is in my mind no, but I wonder how the progression of each movement would have changed in with added exaggeration.


  5. I agree that we do not necessarily always need to be lied to in order to care. But like you mentioned in Apple’s case it may have been necessary due to peoples’ strong dependance and respect for Apple as a company. The relationship between Apple and its consumers is a one way street in some ways if you ask me. Consumers’ respect for Apple is contributed to the strong emotional attachment they have to the products that they make. I believe if Apple was more concerned about the relationship with their consumers they would be more willing to address some of the internal issues of the company.


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