The line between journalism and theater is clearly drawn from the podcast. We pay attention to the different morals and ethics at play here; all of which seem to cast a negative light on drama itself. We should not look to Daisy’s mistaken classification but rather to the character flaws he exhibits.
First of all, there are the lies. As Daisey admits later, he had several bad feelings about the story’s popularity and listener audience. Generally, in my own opinion, gut feelings mean something is wrong. Daisey knew he was in the wrong all the while, yet continued to lie. Slowly but surely, the truth exposed Daisey’s fabrications from Cathy’s supposed identity, to the ‘guards’ at Foxconn, the n-Hexane poisoning, range of underage workers, and to the actual number of interviews. One thing I found particularly interesting was that when Ira Glass first questioned Daisy on his motives, he said how he was worried the story would come out, but also knew that the story was some of the best work he ever made.
This is shady. So his reasoning for lying relied on his personal acting pursuit?
When Daisey came forward again several days later, he had developed excuses to compensate for his selfish nature. He claimed that he wanted to create awareness for the lack of coverage of working conditions in factories overseas. He stood by his call for humanity, and proceeded to apologize for labeling his play as ‘journalism’. Hearing this, Ira had every right to be angry because the American Life’s reputation had been compromised by Daisey’s actions. And why should Glass believe him now? I truly believe that Daisey should not have played the ‘humanity’ card, as he made it clear earlier that his work was ‘the best he ever made’. I also found Daisey’s tone to be over defensive and hypocritical. Someone who is looking out for factory workers in China should not be so defensive of uncovered lies.
Overall, this case clearly lets us see that art is different than journalism. Journalism is a story, yet it is one that tells the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. It is about facts and should be meant to inform the public at large of global and local occurrences. Art, on the other hand, is a story and an expression. It involves personality, fiction, and various interpretations. Art is less widespread, as it employs only neighborhoods of like minded people. In the end, it is evident that Daisey exploited journalism for his own personal benefit.