Mike Daisey — the monologuist behind a retracted This American Life episode on the harsh working conditions inside Apple factories — apologizes: to his audiences, his colleagues in the theater, human rights advocates and, finally, journalists.
In a blog post published Sunday afternoon, Daisey reflected on the overwhelming attention he has received in light of factual errors discovered in his one-man stage show, “The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs” and the adaptation that aired on the public radio program. A reporter for another radio show, Marketplace, initially disputed a number of Daisey’s claims on the original episode and brought it to This American Life’s attention.
“When I said onstage that I had personally experienced things I in fact did not, I failed to honor the contract I’d established with my audiences over many years and many shows,” Daisey wrote. “In doing so, I not only violated their trust, I also made worse art.”
It took Daisey some time to come to this conclusion. In an interview during the retraction episode, Daisey stands by his work in the context of the theater. Then in a separate blog post after the episode aired, he criticized the editing This American Life did to his interview with the program.
But his latest words seem to come from a more humble Daisey, who is looking to move past the scandal attached to his work. Daisey concludes:
I speak about truth because it is what I aspire to. All my stories, even when I’ve fallen short, have been attempts to experience the truth with my audiences.
I am sorry for where I have failed. I will look closer, be more patient, and listen more clearly.
I will be humble before the work.
David Taintor is TPM’s News Editor. He contributes to TPM’s Livewire coverage, among other areas. David is from Chanhassen, Minnesota, where, yes, it gets very cold. Reach him at taintor [at] talkingpointsmemo.com