Thursday, July 12, 2012

Mike Daisey, Unreliable Narrator: The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs returns - Washington City Paper:

In my view, The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs remains valuable not for the specific facts it imparts but for the way it makes us think, at least for two hours and hopefully for much longer, about the human cost of the devices we carry with us. Daisey lied about what he saw and heard, but he didn’t lie in portraying the circumstances within Foxconn as hellish.

I was outraged that Daisey would risk the reputation of This American Life by lying to Glass and producer Brian Reed (a former Washington City Paper staffer) so they wouldn’t discover his monologue did not hew to their standards. But I never felt outraged as a member of his audience. Unlike many of Daisey’s critics, apparently, I’ve never assumed that anything a stage storyteller tells me is as rigidly factual as what I read in the New York Times. I reserve those expectations for Charles Duhigg, David Barboza, and Keith Bradsher, whose “iEconomy” series I might not have devoured when it hit the Times in January had I not seen Daisey’s show nine months earlier.