This American Life retracts the Apple-Foxconn story

Popular NPR radio show, This American Life, retracted its recent hugely popular story about the labor abuses at Apple’s Foxconn plants in China, claiming that portions of the story were fabricated.

This American Life‘s upcoming episode will cover the topic of why Mike Daisey, the producer of the original episode, misled the show. Daisey released a muddled statement explaining that what he does is “theater” and he regrets allowing This American Life to “air an excerpt from my monologue.”

However, Ira Glass the host of This American Life is far more damning of Daisey:

The China correspondent for the public radio show Marketplace tracked down the interpreter that Daisey hired when he visited Shenzhen China. The interpreter disputed much of what Daisey has been saying on stage and on our show.

Daisey lied to me and to This American Life producer Brian Reed during the fact checking we did on the story, before it was broadcast.

The Apple-Foxconn episode of This American Life became the single most popular podcast in This American Life’s history, with 888,000 downloads and 206,000 streams.

Apple has been in the news for various labor abuses at its China Foxconn plants. The Daisey story on This American Life was just one of the many stories in the press about the awful working conditions at the Foxconn plants.


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