'This American Life' retracting report about Apple's Chinese plants
UPI News Service, 03/17/2012
"This American Life" will devote a weekend episode to retracting a report about working conditions at Chinese electronics plants.
The host of the Chicago-based radio show, Ira Glass, said the reporter of the episode in question had embellished his tales of workers supposedly injured on the job while churning out Apple iPhones and iPads.
Glass accused Mike Daisey of lying about incidents portrayed in the Jan. 6 episode.
The New York Times said Daisey, the producer of the off-Broadway play "The Agony and Ecstasy of Steve Jobs," was undone by a reporter for the radio program "Marketplace" who found holes in the story and worked with "This American Life" to straighten out the narrative.
"Marketplace" China correspondent Rob Schmitz told the Times Daisey's report was not concocted out of thin air but also was not backed up in iron-clad fashion.
"What makes this a little complicated is that the things Daisey lied about are things that have actually happened in China," Schmitz said. "Workers making Apple products have been poisoned by hexane. Apple's own audits show the company has caught underage workers at a handful of its suppliers."
Schmitz said such incidents at Chinese factories are rare and not as common as the report on "This American Life" indicated.
Daisey conceded to embellishing some of his narrative by using secondhand information but stood behind the show's premise, the Times said.
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"I'm not going to say that I didn't take a few shortcuts in my passion to be heard. But I stand behind the work," he said on the upcoming "This American Life" episode.