“I think you can trust my word in the context of the theater.” Apparently Mr. Daisey justifies his lies as art, but who am I to say he is wrong? During his second interview on TAL, he takes his time as he carefully selects his words and masterfully paints them delicately onto his canvas of lies. He treads ever so lightly around every contested issue in his story, not once admitting anything was an outright lie. Mike seems to feel that the ends justify the means and since his message is a noble one, who cares that he fudged some of the details? Certainly he doesn’t. He was not conflicted at all about performing his show, but he felt sick and conflicted about TAL spreading them to a broader audience. However, I don’t think that trapped and uneasy feeling came from willfully spreading misinformation. But from the inevitability of his web of lies slowly coming undone.
Rob Schmitz could not have been the first person to notice fallacies in Daisey’s story since there were so many obviously fabricated details that are apparent to anyone educated in Chinese policies. Just like Rob’s Google search for “Cathy Shenzhen translator” my search for “China gun laws” produces the first result of “Possession of firearms is prohibited in China, with exceptions for government authorities, sport shooters, hunters, and farmers” So unless the people on TAL think Foxcom is guarded by farmers with pitchforks in one had and M4’s in the other, this is a pretty glaring fabrication.
When Mike comes back on the show to apologize for a second time, Ira seems more audibly displeased that the first follow up interview. The tone of the first interview was very odd, neither Rob nor Ira seem very confrontational or upset about the blatant deception and lies. They attitude towards Daisey seems to be that of a parent who doesn’t want to hurt their child’s feelings for doing something wrong, but they still want to let them know they are disappointed. If Daisey had me going around supporting his lies I would be pissed and I would want people to know I how pissed I was. Especially if he tarnished the reputation of my radio show. So why did they take it so easy on him? Could it have had something to do with the fact that the Daisy podcast episode was the most downloaded episode of all time? Outside of this class and this specific podcast, I haven’t listened to TAL before. So is this what TAL was hoping to achieve? The job of a journalist is to tell the truth, but the goal of a journalist is to get the most press. It is hard to think a reputable institution such as TAL allowed so many lies to slip through their fact checkers…and it raises even more questions.