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Foxconn won't sue Mike Daisey or 'This American Life' for bogus claims

post #1 of 30
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Apple's manufacturing partner Foxconn has said it does not plan to take legal action against the radio program "This American Life" or performer Mike Daisey for falsified claims about working conditions at its Chinese factories.

Foxconn Technology Group officials indicated they have no plans to take either Daisey or "This American Life" to court over claims of harsh working conditions, according to Reuters. Simon Hsing, a spokesman for the company, said they hope that "nothing similar will happen again."

"Our corporate image has been totally ruined," he said. "The point is whatever media that cited the program should not have reported it without confirming."

"This American Life" issued a formal retraction late last week after it learned that claims made by Daisey were untrue. The program aired an excerpt from Daisey's one-man performance, entitled "The Agony and Ecstasy of Steve Jobs," in an episode earlier this year that has become its most-downloaded podcast in history.

"This American Life" host Ira Glass explained that Daisey lied to him and producer Brian Reed when they attempted to do fact checking for their story. However, Glass said Daisey's deception "doesn't excuse the fact that we never should've put this on the air. In the end, it was our mistake."




In his monologue, Daisey claimed he personally met with a group of workers who were poised on an iPhone assembly line, but that incident happened nearly a thousand miles away from where Daisey actually visited. He also said he met with underage Foxconn workers and a man whose hand was mangled while making iPads, but both of those claims were disputed by his interpreter.

Daisey defended his show as a "theatrical" endeavor not meant to be seen as a "journalistic," factual representation of what happened on his visit to China.

Following the retraction from "This American Life," Daisey modified his monologue to remove anything he said he couldn't "stand behind." The new performance, which premiered on Sunday, featured an added prologue, while some fictional elements were cut out.

[ View article on AppleInsider ]
post #2 of 30
That's a shame.

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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post #3 of 30
Is this the guy behind Proview as well? Would explain some things...
post #4 of 30
Daisey may have lied about a few details but Foxconn knows they have problems and I didn't think they would dare sue..
post #5 of 30
The New York Times did a lot to promote Daisey's broadway show, seemingly without having performed any fact checking. Very disappointing.
post #6 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wurm5150 View Post

Daisey may have lied about a few details but Foxconn knows they have problems and I didn't think they would dare sue..

Not "may have lied." Daisey has admitted to lying. Ira Glass says, "the most powerful and memorable moments in the story all seem to be fabricated."
post #7 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wurm5150 View Post

Daisey may have lied about a few details but Foxconn knows they have problems and I didn't think they would dare sue..

...and WinTek, the company that used N-Hexane against Apple and Nokia's express wishes, seeing as Daisey lied by claiming this event took place at Foxconn, what about them?
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post #8 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cpsro View Post

The New York Times did a lot to promote Daisey's broadway show, seemingly without having performed any fact checking. Very disappointing.

I'd think the Old Grey Lady would sue that guy for the falsehoods. If this represents the fact checking process and the quality of their named sources..... I shudder to imagine the unnamed who have nothing to lose.
post #9 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by hill60 View Post

...and WinTek, the company that used N-Hexane against Apple and Nokia's express wishes, seeing as Daisey lied by claiming this event took place at Foxconn, what about them?

Is there or is there not a labor abuse problems at Foxconn?

Still doesn't hide the fact that there are a lot of labor abuse issues. Again Foxconn knows it and best they can do is fix it and forget suing anyone.
post #10 of 30
Wow how generous of them, slave owners have been known for their generosity through time...
post #11 of 30
I don't think that Foxxconn want any more attention on this issue if they can help it. That's probably why they want this to die a quick death.
post #12 of 30
Wozniak sides with Daisey's defamation.

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"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #13 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Wozniak sides with Daisey's defamation.

The outrage at Apple's use of Foxconn has certainly reflected in the recent sales numbers.
post #14 of 30
For over two decades good decent innovative companies were forced out of business by the Wintel monopoly. Now Apple is gaining market share for all the right reasons; innovative technology and cool practical design.*

Apple has a monopoly, it's on creativity and no amount of lying by some irrelevant glory seeking pseudo journalist can change that.*
post #15 of 30
I was impressed with This American Life this weekend. They held their hands up, demonstrated that NPR (actually a reporter from Marketplace) had done extensive and it has to be said very impressive followup, and both admitted areas that they needed to improve their production standards, and also demolished Mike Daisey.

While it will take some time for This American Lifes reputation to be restored, they made a good start in my eyes by being open and transparent about how they got it wrong, and explaining what they would do in future to prevent it happening again.
post #16 of 30
"Our corporate image has been totally ruined"

No, honestly, please take my word for it... it hasn't been
post #17 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Wozniak sides with Daisey's defamation.

Woz is an idiot. The world has left him behind and he's looking for free publicity.

His statement is basically "sure, there are no facts to support Daisey's allegations, but I choose to believe them, anyway". Sorry, but Woz needs to get a job and stop with his grandstanding.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wurm5150 View Post

Is there or is there not a labor abuse problems at Foxconn?

Still doesn't hide the fact that there are a lot of labor abuse issues. Again Foxconn knows it and best they can do is fix it and forget suing anyone.

Really? Where's your evidence?

Apple's audits show that the problems are very rare. Independent audits show that Foxconn is better than most other suppliers. Not to mention, of course, that your hate mongering never mentions that Apple is only about 20% of Foxconn's business. It's a pretty good bet that when someone makes an attack against Apple without mentioning any of the other companies involved that they don't have a rational position to argue.
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post #18 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bilbo63 View Post

I don't think that Foxxconn want any more attention on this issue if they can help it. That's probably why they want this to die a quick death.

Well, they don't even have grounds to sue really. At least not Daisey.

They could possibly sue "This American Life" for putting out the radio version of Daisey's act and deliberately labelling it as fact but Daisey's original version is a stage show, put on in a theatre. You can't sue anyone over "facts" from in a fantasy or a drama as it's understood from the beginning that these things don't necessarily contain factual material.

The criticism of the NYT "fact-checking" is similarly misguided. You can't fact-check a play.

Legally speaking they couldn't do anything anyway, so it's easy for them to say they "won't sue."
post #19 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChristophB View Post

The outrage at Apple's use of Foxconn has certainly reflected in the recent sales numbers.

The ends justify the means.
post #20 of 30
Wait, this is news about what Foxconn isn't doing?
Odd.

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post #21 of 30
His "play" or theatrical presentation was not taken as such, so any "your excused" is not valid here. Leave it to America to allow the fantasy to distract us from the facts. Maybe the things that Daisey said are not true, but I imagine that there are things going on at Foxconn that would offend our sensibilities. I also know there are things going on in manufacturing environments in the USA that would offend our sensibilities. So again just another distraction from what we should really be paying attention to. Let's not look at anything we can actually fix.
post #22 of 30
Can we agree to stop using this image?



I throw up in my mouth each time it appears on this site.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

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post #23 of 30
The #1 defense to defamation is truth. This is why Foxconn won't sue.
post #24 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Wozniak sides with Daisey's defamation.

Wozniak always tends to be the contrarian and sides against Apple. He's thrown quite a few jabs in the past few years, knocking iOS for not being 'open', etc. The thing I wonder is why the hell anyone thinks his opinion on anything has any weight, as he's been completely irrelevant for the past couple decades. Yes, he helped found Apple, but hasn't contributed much to anything since then and has lived well on value of his Apple stock. Yet the media always clamors to get his 'take' on any recent Apple happening/products/decisions, which I always find not the least bit insightful. With all due respect the guy reminds me of a little kid with the shallowness and naivity of many of the things he says.
post #25 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by AdonisSMU View Post

The #1 defense to defamation is truth.

Truth be damned, the primary defense to just about any potential law suit may be the mere threat of an aggressive discovery process in which the defendant convinces the court to order the plaintiff to divulge all manner of confidential information, even if the chance of the information being relevant is arguably miniscule. Foxconn would also need to prove measurable damages. It simply wouldn't be in Foxconn's best interest to divulge anything-and-everything, to have it all potentially publicized, and to have the case in the news for years. Daisey has likely "earned" a bundle of money from his show, with which he can defend himself, as well.

A person like Mike Daisey is best forgotten.

IANAL.
post #26 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slurpy View Post

Wozniak always tends to be the contrarian and sides against Apple. He's thrown quite a few jabs in the past few years, knocking iOS for not being 'open', etc. The thing I wonder is why the hell anyone thinks his opinion on anything has any weight, as he's been completely irrelevant for the past couple decades. Yes, he helped found Apple, but hasn't contributed much to anything since then and has lived well on value of his Apple stock. Yet the media always clamors to get his 'take' on any recent Apple happening/products/decisions, which I always find not the least bit insightful. With all due respect the guy reminds me of a little kid with the shallowness and naivity of many of the things he says.

Glad to see I am not the only one who thinks this way about Wozniak.
post #27 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slurpy View Post

Wozniak always tends to be the contrarian and sides against Apple. He's thrown quite a few jabs in the past few years, knocking iOS for not being 'open', etc. The thing I wonder is why the hell anyone thinks his opinion on anything has any weight, as he's been completely irrelevant for the past couple decades. Yes, he helped found Apple, but hasn't contributed much to anything since then and has lived well on value of his Apple stock. Yet the media always clamors to get his 'take' on any recent Apple happening/products/decisions, which I always find not the least bit insightful. With all due respect the guy reminds me of a little kid with the shallowness and naivity of many of the things he says.

Wozniak is not and has never been a businessman. He doesn't have it in him. He doesn't care. Without a controlling force like Jobs, Wozniak would still have invented the Apple ][, but he would have probably just given them to friends. He certainly enjoys the wealth he's earned from Apple, but if he had never achieved it, he would be the same type of person, just another anonymous retired engineer, and possibly a footnote in computing history.
post #28 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

Well, they don't even have grounds to sue really. At least not Daisey.

They could possibly sue "This American Life" for putting out the radio version of Daisey's act and deliberately labelling it as fact but Daisey's original version is a stage show, put on in a theatre. You can't sue anyone over "facts" from in a fantasy or a drama as it's understood from the beginning that these things don't necessarily contain factual material.

The criticism of the NYT "fact-checking" is similarly misguided. You can't fact-check a play.

Legally speaking they couldn't do anything anyway, so it's easy for them to say they "won't sue."

Why wouldn't they have grounds to sue Daisey? EVEN IF he could convince a jury that it's just a performance, that does not justify outright lies. He could be found guilty of slander even in a performance.

Of course, I agree with Foxconn's decision. Daisey already looks like an idiot and his credibility is shot, so they don't gain much by suing him - and would simply make themselves look like bullies.
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post #29 of 30
Quote:
"Our corporate image has been totally ruined," he said. "The point is whatever media that cited the program should not have reported it without confirming."

No it hasn't been "totally" ruined.
If it had been, they would have gone after both Daisy and NPR/This American Life with everything they have.
post #30 of 30
Gruber has a good piece on Daisey today. Daisey is still defending himself and his method, meaning that he doesn't get why people are so disgusted with him. Gruber has one answer. Daisey made it appear that one could just go to the Foxconn gate and meet underage and crippled workers any old time you wanted. That's the big lie.

But an equally disgusting aspect of the hoax is that he believes that his mission is to make people "care" by squeezing them emotionally with his graphic details and oleaginous delivery. He is feeding his audience like he appears to feed himself. Excessive, larded with emotional grease, unreasonable, in fact anti-reasonable, gluttonous with sentiment.

One of the saddest things about American culture since the advent of TV has been the drop-off of reasonableness and the rise of infantile emotionalism. I think it comes from a constant diet of "stories" that children are fed well into adulthood by the "entertainment industry." Mike Daisey is part of a class of people making a living at playing on audience emotions. When it was just the occasional play in the 19th century, or even a movie a week in the early 20th, it was not so bad. Now story-making has become an industry and mature reason is in short supply. Daisey will probably never realize that he is parasitizing people's emotional brains. Hollywood won't either.

I'm sorry that Steve jobs did not live to see Mike Daisey pilloried.
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