One of the biggest nightmares of making a magazine which must equal that of news or any journalistic media is a story that’s fake and you weren’t in on the joke. It’s being punked by a subject who tells you something that’s completely made up. It happens, but rarely on a scale that’s so large that a world stage gets unhinged when it’s outed. This happened with a recent episode of This American Life. Tons of people listened to it, and for what? Now it’s going to be a lesson in research, believing media and tweeting and Facebooking things you think are true. Much of this wasn’t. Granted, things might be factually true or it happened to someone else or in some other place and time, but in this case, it might not have happened the way it was presented.
The most popular podcast for the show is now being retracted and perhaps just as large will be their next episode which will explain it all. Ira Glass is mad at the theater actor Mike Daisey. From Ira Glass, “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.”
Mike Daisey the theater man contends that what he did was for theater, not journalism. He walks away with more publicity than ever. Some of it, bad. I’ve never heard of him until all of this news so go figure, he’s famous.
(NY Times - This American Life Retracts)