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PRI show pulls Foxconn story, says 'partially fabricated'

updated 02:15 pm EDT, Fri March 16, 2012

This American Life says Daisey story wrong

(Update: details) A popular documentary radio show that airs on most National Public Radio (NPR) stations, This American Life, has taken the rare step of not just retracting its story on Foxconn's working conditions, but devoting an entire episode to the correction. Its earlier episode, "Mr. Daisey Goes to the Factory," was said by the production company to have been "partially fabricated." Marketplace reporter Rob Schmitz, a figure in the new "Retraction" episode, believed that "much" of Daisey's story had problems.

Just what had been in error wasn't discussed, although Daisey had allegedly "misled This American Life during the fact-checking process," the radio show said. The program is produced by Chicago Public Media and distributed by Public Radio International.

As a response, Daisey insisted his point of view was authentic. As evidence, he pointed to the detailed investigation at the New York Times that, he believed, echoed much of his experience. He regretted letting This American Life play a segment of his monologue from The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs, but only because he believed it may have given the false impression that the semi-fictional stage performance was completely accurate.

He was still glad that his investigations and his stage show helped spark a "growing storm of attention and concern about technology manufacturing in China, not just for Apple but for others.

An about-face on the contents of the show wouldn't completely overturn the perception of Foxconn, where excessive overtime, underage labor, and sometimes dangerous conditions have been well-known. It may call into question the accuracy of some accounts as well as protests that might lean too heavily on a single account of events.

Update: In a release (PDF), This American Life pointed out three key problems. Daisey allegedly didn't have contact information for the translator, radio host Ira Glass said. He had also supposedly met workers poisoned by n-hexane in a different city than where it has been an issue. Daisey also supposedely hadn't talked to some of the prominent subjects, such as a person with a crippled hand or underaged workers.



By Electronista Staff
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  1. lkrupp

    Junior Member

    Joined: May 2001

    +22

    Politics...

    Politics and activism are a bad combination. I recall the trouble NBC got into years ago when they faked gas tanks catching fire and exploding on GM trucks. GM filed a $2 billion lawsuit and NBC had to devote and entire news segment to retracting and admitting they faked it. Katie Curic had the saddest look on her face while coming clean. Then there was Dan Rather's "scoop" about George Bush's National Guard service, just before the election, that got him fired from CBS.

    Guys like Daisey will do anything, say anything, fake anything, to get their message out and justify it because they beilieve in their cause.

  1. Flying Meat

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Jan 2007

    +1

    It appears you are willing to

    fall into the same trap.

    "Guys like Daisey..."

    Once one has made a statement that inspires bad feelings, the impression left behind can not be fully repaired. We already know that many people will cling to that information even in the face of corrections.

  1. localnet

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Feb 2005

    -6

    Another leftist anti-business hit piece...

    It amazes me what the media gets away with, at least this bunch at NPR came clean. I bet Apple was getting ready to clean their clock in a court of law... That would be priceless and worth the price of admission.

  1. Bobfozz

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jul 2008

    +4

    business is good for jobs

    It's not required that one be a bad employee or employer. If you don't like where you are, start your own company and soon you will see how the leftists and people who want to spend YOUR money treat YOU! Activists love publicity. They should be in the PR business for business. Narcissistic.

  1. PaavoNurmi

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Mar 2012

    +13

    Fact-checking needed

    Ironically, this article & its headline make a sloppy error of their own: This American Life is NOT an "NPR show." It is produced by Chicago Public Radio and distributed by Public Radio International, an organization that is NOT part of NPR.

    This American Life is carried on NPR stations, but it is not an "NPR show;" as with any other public radio program, each station decides whether or not it wants to air it.

  1. ccprstuff

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Mar 2012

    +7

    Not NPR

    Small point, perhaps, but the headline and first sentence of this article are incorrect in stating that NPR pulled/retracted the This American Life episode.

    The program is not an NPR program. It is a Chicago Public Media program that is distributed by Public Radio International.

    Not all public radio programs are NPR (National Public Radio) programs, and not all nationally syndicated programs broadcast on public radio stations are from NPR.

    To state otherwise would be the equivalent of saying that CBS pulled a program broadcast by ABC.

  1. ferdchet

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Feb 2011

    +7

    Actually...

    ccprstuff's analogy is not right. Closer would be to say CBS pulled a program broadcast by their Chicago CBS affiliate.

    Regardless, NPR did not bother to do any fact-checking. They just assumed it was right, because it fit their agenda. This theme is repeated constantly in Big Media, regardless of which side you are rooting for. Another reason I hate 24/7 news. Too much need to fill airtime and get advertisers. Put the story out there, and then clean it up as you go.

  1. facebook_Michael

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Mar 2012

    -3

    font-size:13px

    is himself.

  1. ccprstuff

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Mar 2012

    +6

    Re: Actually

    --"Regardless, NPR did not bother to do any fact-checking."

    I still don't see how NPR should be held responsible for not better fact checking a program produced for/distributed by a rival public radio network (Public Radio International). Everything I've been able to find states flatly that This American Life and PRI are not affiliated with, funded /controlled (etc.) in any way by/with NPR.

    A more factual version of your statement would be: "Regardless, This American Life, Chicago Public Media and Public Radio International did not bother to do any fact-checking."

  1. ccprstuff

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Mar 2012

    +1

    Thank You

    Thanks for correcting the headline and the lead sentence. Since you went to the trouble of stating what NPR stands for in the article, doing the same for PRI in the story or headline might be in order.

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