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By Perry Anderson

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Ear to the Ground

Mike Daisey Is Sorry, Really, This Time

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Posted on Mar 26, 2012
AP/The Public Theater, Stan Barouh

Agony, ecstasy, Daisey: Monologist Mike Daisey takes to the New York stage in “The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs” in October 2011.

Even after “The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs,” Mike Daisey’s one-man staged attack on Apple’s manufacturing practices, turned out to be troublingly fact-challenged, the monologist bafflingly continued to stand by his play for a time, chalking the liberties he took with the truth up to a kind of dramatic license. No longer.

On Sunday, Daisey backed all the way down, posting a full apology on his blog, “His Secret Fortress on the Web.”  —KA

Mike Daisey:

And I would like to apologize to my colleagues in the theater, especially those who work in non-fiction and documentary fields. What you do is essential to our civic discourse. If I have made your path more difficult, or the truth of your work harder for audiences to discern, I am sorry.

I would also like to apologize to the journalists I gave interviews to in which I exaggerated my own experiences. In my drive to tell this story and have it be heard, I lost my grounding. Things came out of my mouth that just weren’t true, and over time, I couldn’t even hear the difference myself.

To human rights advocates and those who have been doing the hard work of bringing attention to these kinds of labor issues for years, if my failures have made your jobs harder, I apologize. If I had done my job properly, with the skills I have honed for years, I could have avoided this. Instead, I blinded myself, and lost sight of the people I wanted most to help.

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EmileZ's avatar

By EmileZ, March 27, 2012 at 9:45 am Link to this comment

I am afraid that all things considered (no pun intended) that option wasn’t in the cards for Mike Daisey, jimmmmmmmmmy my boy.

Frankly, I believe if Daisey had tried to take that road it might have led to even worse than folks such as yourself invoking his name for whatever righteously nefarious and exceedingly ignorant and short-sighted reason that people like you take it upon yourselves to do so.

Imagine continuing to perform the exposed lie night after night.

Think about it jimmmmmmy my boy, and besides, what is the harm in telling the truth and getting on with things.

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By jimmmmmy, March 27, 2012 at 9:13 am Link to this comment

Not only is he a liar,sort of, but also weak. After being beaten with malice by supposed allies he’s the one who appologizes? Be like Farley Mowat , when called a liar for bringing to light the plight of northern natives, by slightly embellishing his narrative, told the American press to go fuck itself.

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By John Poole, March 27, 2012 at 6:21 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

EmileZ   A little syntax guidance.  In its totality

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EmileZ's avatar

By EmileZ, March 27, 2012 at 6:06 am Link to this comment

In it’s totality, this is anything but a weak story.

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EmileZ's avatar

By EmileZ, March 27, 2012 at 5:53 am Link to this comment

@ Jeff N.

Stand down soldier.

It is important.

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By Jeff N., March 27, 2012 at 5:33 am Link to this comment

c’mon truthdig, lets pick it up a bit, weak stories this week..

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EmileZ's avatar

By EmileZ, March 27, 2012 at 2:34 am Link to this comment

The Velvet Underground - Who Loves The Sun

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EmileZ's avatar

By EmileZ, March 26, 2012 at 9:37 pm Link to this comment

Dear Mike Daisey,

You are a fucking funny guy.

I read your apology (the best you can probably do for right now) and listened to you March 20th performance posted on the blog.

I counsel you to take some time off.

Get out of this “art of the storyteller” miasma of a mindset with all of its qualifications and questionable recollections and such.

Work on something else if you can.

Yours truly, EmileZ

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By Philip Greene, March 26, 2012 at 7:52 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I’ve been carrying on an email discussion with the colleague/department head of John D’Agata whose book, “The Life Cycle of a Fact” takes pretty much the same approach to truth and factual accuratcy as Daisey’s show.  The real problem is that D’Agata and his colleague teaches nonfiction writing at his university.  In my emails with his boss, I have been told that D’Agata is a well-respected, excellent teacher and that while his boss does not agree with everything he says in his book, he supports it due to academic freedom.  This is one of those cases where, even as a pretty radical liberal, I think so-called “academic freedom” has gone absolutely haywire and has been misapplied to outright falsehood.  What Daisey did and what D’Agata has done is nothing short of propaganda and, regardless if I agree with their purpose or not, it is wrong, wrong, wrong!

I have no knowledge of what brought Daisey to the point of being truly sorry and realizing the error of his ways, but, apparently, something did.  So far, D’Agata—and others like him we have yet to hear about—either see nothing wrong with misleading the public in order to make a good story (can you say Fox News?) or they are simply unrepentant ideologists in the same mold as Josef Goebbels and Mao Tse Tung.

Either way,m in my opinion, there is no room for them in any form of public arena until they can prove they can be trusted again.

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