Tuesday, March 20, 2012

STORIES ABOUT STORIES: "THIS AMERICAN LIFE" RETRACTS


Another in a series of posts of "Stories about stories" -- segments from "This American Life" and other sources that are about storytelling itself.

"RETRACTION": The entire last episode of This American Life is a discussion of why the show had to retract an earlier episode, which was of theater artist Mike Daisy's "reporting" on Apple Computer's manufacturing practices in China. Turns out that Mike Daisy made up a bunch of the material to make it more dramatic. He half defends himself by saying this was a theater piece, not journalism, but admits that he should never have passed it off to This American Life as fact. And in an exchange between Daisy and TAL host Ira Glass, there are some of the most uncomfortable moments -- and longest silences -- I've heard on radio! It's not only compelling listening, but further demonstration of This American Life's integrity. A great story about storytelling, fact vs. fiction, journalistic responsibility, and the like.

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