It was difficult listening to “Retraction” so soon after listening to Mike Daisy’s first hand experience visiting the Foxconn factories. Of course, hind site is 20/20, but I feel like an idiot for believing some of the things I did. I mentioned how I thought it was odd how some parts of his presentation seemed similar to a stand-up comedy routine. I’m surprised that the laid back delivery of a very serious topic didn’t lead to me calling his bluff. Regardless, there was both a lot of fabrication and straight lies.

A lot of what Mr. Daisy said was untrue, but his claims about the underage workers might not have been far off. I’m not saying that there were 12 and 13 year old like he claimed, but certain news sources claim that Foxconn factories have a tendency to bend some of the rules when it comes to worker ages. In this Washington Post article, Student Scholars Against Corporate Misbehavior (SACOM) explores a Foxconn factory’s dishonest process regarding workers’ age. Foxconn allegedly moved their underage workers out of site of any area where an inspector was going to be.

I’m not claiming that Mr. Daisy is right saying that he was seeing an outrageous amount more of underage workers, but I think this should be something to further look into. This article came out in February of 2012, about two years after Mr. Daisy’s trip. I believe that stricter inspection rules should be put in place so Foxconn simply can’t shuffle around workers to seem more honest than they may be. 


4 responses to “Mirage

  1. Ironically enough, in the first This American Life we listened to, Ira Glass makes some comments that seems to foreshadow the episode’s doom. He said that Daisey was able to take a fact that we all already knew, that our stuff is made overseas in not the best working conditions, and make the audience actually feel something about that fact. Glass then goes on to say that the performance was quite a trick, and someone has to really know how to tell a story to pull something like that off. Little did Ira know that Daisey, like a magician, had pulled the wool over everyone’s eyes. The story he told was just that, a story. I suppose he was able to tell the story in such a laid-back manner because he himself hadn’t experienced it! If someone has a conscience, telling a story like this should be much more difficult to do without showing emotion.

  2. Like you, I found myself having trouble listening to The Retreaction and realizing that Daisy had fabricated so much of his story. I aslo felt kind of dumb for not questioning any of his facts for how extreme they were. I think you make a good point by mentioning that his first performance was very similar to a stand-up comedy show. That is completely out of the norm for such a serious topic and it also reinforces the idea that he was solely concernced about his theatrical performance rather than being worried about whether or not his facts were true. Yes, some of his facts may not have been too far off as you mentioned, but he could have credited those facts rather than pausing for a couple of minutes and saying an answer that does not really tell the listener anything at all.

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