Mike Daisey, the writer and monologist behind the controversial and damning report on Apple’s Chinese manufacturing facilities that was later proven to be largely fabricated, is set to bring back a reworked version of the show this month.
Daisey’s scathing piece, “The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs,” described poor working conditions at Apple’s manufacturing plants.
After his work was featured on “This American Life,” the radio show retracted the story — a first for the popular Chicago-based program that airs on public radio stations. The retraction episode tracked down the translator who had worked with Daisey in China and contested many of Daisey’s accounts.
Daisey said in the retraction episode that he eventually felt trapped by the fact-checking process for “This American Life” and was worried that if he was honest his work would be derailed.
The reworked show “cuts the contested material and addresses the controversy head on, using the struggle over fact and fiction to tell an even better story that pierces the hear of our human relationship with labor,” according to the listing from Woolly Mammoth Theater Company in Washington, D.C.
Washington Post media columnist Erik Wemple says that he and a handful of other pundits — who each lambasted Daisey earlier this year for fabricating his story — were invited to the show. Wemple sees that as an attempt to call out the critics in person.
"It all smells like an attempt to put media critics on a firing line, the better to blast them in front of a rapt audience," Wemple writes.
The new show runs from July 17 through August 5.