The PJ Tatler

"A few shortcuts in my passion to be heard": Public radio scandal sums up liberal "journalism"

This really ought to be more of a bombshell story than it has been so far. Public radio’s nails-on-a-chalkboard show “This American Life” in January broadcast a devastating hit piece which exposed Apple as a brutal taskmaster overseeing near-slavery conditions in its Chinese factories. The piece led to innumerable follow-up stories in major media outlets bashing Apple as the new Snidely Whiplash of Capitalism. Liberal Web sites and groups collected signatures for anti-Apple petitions, started Apple boycotts, picketed Apple outlets…

…and then…

[dead air for about seven minutes]…

…This American Life just admitted that the whole story was basically faked.

Turns out the “journalist” was a performance artist named Mike Daisey who conceived of his report as a sort of one-man show in which he dreams of how evil Apple could be ought to be, to match his worldview in which successful companies are always inherently evil.

How did Mike Daisey explain his mendacity? With one of the best non-apologies in the history of lying:

“I’m not going to say that I didn’t take a few shortcuts in my passion to be heard,” Daisey tells Schmitz and Glass. “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.”


Mr. Daisey’s explanation of his serial lying — “a few shortcuts in my passion to be heard” — and This American Life’s eager willingness to embrace his story, could actually be applied to almost all liberal journalism these days. In fact, that’s what they teach in Journalism School now — “Advocacy Journalism,” in which the narrative (generally a sob story with capitalism as the villain) is more important than hewing to the facts. If the narrative and the facts aren’t aligned — go with the narrative.

The fact that Mr. Daisey tried, and almost succeeded, in taking down a major corporation with a pack of lies, which were then parroted by nearly every leftist in the nation, should be the journalistic scandal of the year.

But who controls the media? The same people who ran with Daisey’s narrative. Expect the story to sink like a stone.


Perhaps they should change the name of the show to “This American Lie.”

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