New York Times removes fabricated Mike Daisey allegations in Apple Chinese factory story

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014


After entertainer Mike Daisey's report on factory conditions in China was acknowledged to be fabricated to tell a dramatic story rather than being authentic reporting, the New York Times has removed portions of his claims from a "contributed" article it published last fall.



"Questions have been raised'



Following an exposé of Daisey's falsifications, the New York Times removed a paragraph written by Daisey in his op ed piece "Against Nostalgia," which the paper published October 6, the day after Jobs died. The paragraph originally stated:



"I have traveled to southern China and interviewed workers employed in the production of electronics. I spoke with a man whose right hand was permanently curled into a claw from being smashed in a metal press at Foxconn, where he worked assembling Apple laptops and iPads. I showed him my iPad, and he gasped because he’d never seen one turned on."



The New York Times now omits the paragraph on the piece, and has added an editor's note reading:



"Questions have been raised about the truth of a paragraph in the original version of this article that purported to talk about conditions at Apple’s factory in China. That paragraph has been removed from this version of the article."











Actually, clear answers were given



Earlier today, radio program "This American Life" retracted its episode on Apple after investigating Daisey's claims regarding working conditions in factories the company uses in China.



The show's host Ira Glass noted on the sites blog that, "Daisey lied to me and '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, it was our mistake."



Glass added, "We're horrified to have let something like this onto public radio."



An investigation of Daisey's claims by American Public Media resulted in identifying Cathy Lee as the translator Daisey said he'd used to interview workers exiting Foxcon's factory.



Daisey originally falsified the translator's name to journalist investigators and said she could not be contacted, but after being identified, she noted that many details of Daisey's show (specifically castigating Steve Jobs), and his comments picked up by reports by New York Times (including its op ed piece published the day after Jobs died) were lies.



"In my first two hours of my first day at that gate, I met workers who are 14 years old," Daisey claimed to report through the translator's help. “I met workers who were 13 years old. I met workers who were 12. Do you really think Apple doesn’t know?”



Daisey also said he'd met people poisoned by hexane, a chemical Apple had identified its own reports of being improperly used by one of its contracted companies. Apple stopped the practice and forced the contractor (Wintek) to handle the problem and to pay the medical bills and other damages of injured workers.



Daisey has since acknowledged his claims of interviewing child workers and poisoned workers, seeing factory guards armed with guns, "visiting factory dorm rooms with beds stacked to the ceiling" and a variety of other reported events were simply invented for dramatic effect to tell a gripping story.



"Look," Daisey responded to the report, "I’m not going to say that I didn’t take a few shortcuts in my passion to be heard. But I stand behind the work. My mistake, the mistake I truly regret, is that I had it on your show as journalism. And it’s not journalism. It’s theater."



New York Public Theater, which is currently running Daisy's monologue, and Wooly Mammoth Theater, which plans to run it in Washington DC this summer, have both supported Daisey's work, while the Public Theater also noted, "Mike is an artist, not a journalist. Nevertheless, we wish he had been more precise with us and our audiences about what was and wasn’t his personal experience in the piece."



Daisey has since said his show "uses a combination of fact, memoir, and dramatic license to tell its story, and I believe it does so with integrity. Certainly, the comprehensive investigations undertaken by the New York Times and a number of labor rights groups to document conditions in electronics manufacturing would seem to bear this out."



At the same time, Daisey himself contributed a significant portion of the "documented conditions" reported by various news outlets, leveraging his purported onsite reporting of actual workers' conditions within China in order to publicize his play.



Truth takes a back seat to a gripping yarn



Daisey has frequently served as a convenient media identity for news outlets seeking to publish stories about Apple. Invented claims about ongoing hexane poisoning (and Apple's purported indifference to the practice) were similarly used by publicity firms who professionally draw attention to public outrage, including SumOfUs.org.



The group advertised a petition calling on Apple to do something about what it described as "a young girl" who "spends those hours inhaling n-hexane, a potent neurotoxin used to clean iPhone glass, because it dries a few seconds faster than a safe alternative. After just a few years on the line, she will be fired because the neurological damage from the n-hexane and the repetitive stress injuries to her wrists and hands make her unable to continue performing up to standard."



After collecting hundreds of thousands of signatures based on the invented claims, SumOfUs.org erased the claims and substituted wording that tried to instead suggest rubbing alcohol was a dangerous toxin.



Have you seen it?



A year ago, one Apple shareholder attending the company's meeting asked Tim Cook and other executives if they had seen Daisey's monologuist play, "The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs," which references the role of Steve Jobs and Apple's activities in China.



Cook dismissed the play, saying "if it's not on ESPN or CNBC, I don't see it," but said he could comment on China, noting that in everything from worker safety to making processes environmentally friendly "we have the highest standards" and adding that Apple is the most transparent in its auditing and reporting than any other company, reporting actual problems and taking real action.



The woman again pressed Cook to see Daisey's play, to which Cook answered, "I don't need to see a play. I know Steve Jobs," adding that Apple's executives have also been there, interviewing workers and not just management, and opening lines of communications that allow workers to report problems independently.



[ View article on AppleInsider ]

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 80
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    Obfuscate all you want, we know it was there.



    Just like macosrumors.
  • Reply 2 of 80
    Why does anyone bother with the New York Times anymore? Fabricating stories is their profession, it's not even a hobby. Unless of course you're in to fiction!
  • Reply 3 of 80
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    After entertainer Mike Daisey's report on factory conditions in China was acknowledged to be fabricated to tell a dramatic story rather than being authentic reporting, the New York Times has removed portions of his claims from a "contributed" article it published last fall.








    Good for them. They did the right thing.



    So was the rest of the piece factual?
  • Reply 4 of 80
    mechanicmechanic Posts: 805member
    Wow this guy is the consummate liar. I just watched a video of him telling a news outlet that he saw all of these things in person, He out rite lied, even his translator says that the stories of hexane workers he spoke with and the guy who's hands were mangled by machinery were total lies.



    Then he tries to portray his lies by saying its a play, lol its theater what a pompous ass.
  • Reply 5 of 80
    jmmxjmmx Posts: 341member
    This is the kind of fabricated crap that the right-wing does all the time. It is a shame that people who purport to stand up for ethics can act so unethically!



    This is a blow not only to those who want to better the lives of the workers, but to all progressive movements.



    A very sad day!
  • Reply 6 of 80
    jlanddjlandd Posts: 873member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    Obfuscate all you want, we know it was there.



    Just like macosrumors.





    Do you mean MacRumors? Last I checked MacOSRumors its front story was a week old and the most controversial thing in the whole place was a blurb about the color of the iPad case.
  • Reply 7 of 80
    mdriftmeyermdriftmeyer Posts: 7,503member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Granmastak View Post


    Why does anyone bother with the New York Times anymore? Fabricating stories is their profession, it's not even a hobby. Unless of course you're in to fiction!



    For every retracted piece they hit on the other 99. Now the Wall Street Journal is one rag that you really have to separate the Op-Eds from the Research reports.



    No Newspaper is infallible, but I'll take the Times credibility every day of the week of the WSJ.



    I won't even bother with Cable News.
  • Reply 8 of 80
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jmmx View Post


    This is the kind of fabricated crap that the right-wing does all the time. It is a shame that people who purport to stand up for ethics can act so unethically!



    This is a blow not only to those who want to better the lives of the workers, but to all progressive movements.



    A very sad day!



    I agree. Facts and truth should be the fodder - or fiction should be identified as such.
  • Reply 9 of 80
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jmmx View Post


    This is the kind of fabricated crap that the right-wing does all the time. It is a shame that people who purport to stand up for ethics can act so unethically!



    This is a blow not only to those who want to better the lives of the workers, but to all progressive movements.



    A very sad day!





    I think you meant your leftist liberal democRATs are the lyin bashturds !!!
  • Reply 10 of 80
    I hate that BIG FAT LYING PIG
  • Reply 11 of 80
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jlandd View Post


    Do you mean MacRumors? Last I checked MacOSRumors its front story was a week old and the most controversial thing in the whole place was a blurb about the color of the iPad case.



    Nope, I mean the latter. The former never wrote a piece claiming they had a prototype of the Nehalem Mac Pro that had a completely redesigned case and internals and going into extreme detail about how this was absolutely the new device and then went back and deleted the part where they said anything beyond "we have a prototype" on the day of its release.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jmmx View Post


    …right-wing…



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by APPLEBIRD View Post


    …leftist liberal…



    And now that both sides have been equally torn down, maybe let's not make this stereotypically political.
  • Reply 12 of 80
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jmmx View Post


    ?right-wing? does



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by APPLEBIRD View Post


    ?leftist liberal?



    And now that both sides have been equally torn down, maybe let's not make this stereotypically political.
  • Reply 13 of 80
    ahmlcoahmlco Posts: 432member
    Ah... the Rush Limbaugh defense. "I just make absurd comments in order to illustrate my points."
  • Reply 14 of 80
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 9,233member
    This is what I've been saying all along. Those douchebag activists are a bunch of lying scumbags and the NYT is a prime example of shitty, liberal journalism.
  • Reply 15 of 80
    tyler82tyler82 Posts: 976member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ahmlco View Post


    Ah... the Rush Limbaugh defense. "I just make absurd comments in order to illustrate my points."



    I really can't tell the difference.



    Sue him for all he's worth, Apple.
  • Reply 16 of 80
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post


    This is what I've been saying all along. Those douchebag activists are a bunch of lying scumbags and the NYT is a prime example of shitty, liberal journalism.



    That shouldn't be the take away. It's like saying that all conservatives are douchebags because Rush Limbaugh et al. are. One you pigeonhole an entire group based on the action of one or a few you aren't being objective or fair.
  • Reply 17 of 80
    What a f'n douchebag. The WORST thing he could have ever done for workers rights. In his zeal to smear Apple, one of the better companies, he ruins any chance to draw light on the companies that do need to have a light shined on them. Way to go dick head.
  • Reply 18 of 80
    Ok. So this article is about bad journalism and how it may have hurt Apple. It's NOT about politics. And yes, I'm looking at you Apple ][, APPLEBIRD, jmmx and even ahmlco. If you want to fight about politics, go to a political site. This is about Apple. Don't let this site follow MDN down the path of encouraging vitriolic political posts.
  • Reply 19 of 80
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,217member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    The woman again pressed Cook to see Daisey's play, to which Cook answered, "I don't need to see a play. I know Steve Jobs," adding that Apple's executives have also been there, interviewing workers and not just management, and opening lines of communications that allow workers to report problems independently.



    Or in other words "I'm not going to give attention or money to a boring ass guy that had made up gross lies about people and companies, especially mine. And then has the balls to imply that he's a journalist."



    I've actually read his script and it is boring as hell. I really can't imagine that he's such a personality that he could make it entertaining. Which is probably why he had to make false claims to get folks that want to bring down a big company a couple of notches to buy tickets.
  • Reply 20 of 80
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 13,001member
    I saw that fat fuck spewing his incredulous lies on HBOs Bill Maher. It's amazing how these networks fall for sensationalistic journalism. They'll air just about anyone. Good thing I go by the motto "believe nothing you hear and half of what you see"
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