Retraction Reaction

I found myself feeling very surprised after listening to the retraction podcast. This podcast really delved into Mike Daisey’s work, analyzing, critiquing and fact checking all of his claims about what he saw at the Foxconn factory in China, and seeing that such a large portion of his story had been made up, left me speechless. This follow up podcast made me realize that if information is framed in a convincing way, I am very likely to believe it- and if I’m believing it, a lot of other people probably are as well. The detailed recounts of Daisy’s observations were so rich in detail that I was easily convinced that everything he had observed and taken in on his trip to China had been factual. What was even more shocking about “Retraction” is that when interviewed by Ira Glass for the second time, he still actually believes that his story is valid, even after admitting that details were added, and things were switched around. Daisey took certain occurrences he had heard of happening in Chinese factories and pretended that they were visuals he had seen during his trip, such as hexane poisoning.

These podcasts show that its always important to consider your information source when doing research. Mike Daisey is an actor and a writer, so it should come as no surprise that his story wasn’t factual and accurate like that of a journalists would be. Daisey dramatized his stories and made them more emotional to get more of a reaction from his audience. So many forms of media do this exact same thing stories in the news, politics, turning everything into some kind of propaganda used to gain a following on a certain side of something.

Media is a funny thing, because it can be opinionated, biased, directed towards a right wing crowd, or a left wing crowd, media can be controlled by a government to only publicize what it wants its country seeing, and filter out what it doesn’t want being public. It is hard to form an accurate opinion on something when your sources have their own agendas. We know what we know by having the internet be as public as a forum as possible. Journalists truthfully report to newspapers. Things people see and think are publicized, so people can formulate their own opinions on things.

5 thoughts on “Retraction Reaction

  1. Don’t you think the government being able to control media is quite a dangerous thing. I think that freedom of information is an extremely important thing for a functional democratic society. If the government is able to regulate the information that is being read then what is to stop them from manipulating the media and thus public opinion for their own gains.

  2. I also noticed Daisey’s persistance in his second interview with Ira Glass about the credibility of his story. His tone changes and hesitation contrasted heavily with his tone and overall language in the original broadcast demonstrating just how much he committed to his role in the fabricated story. If Daisey had truly cared about the people of Shenzhen and the poor working conditions, he would have expressed full apology and confession during his interview with Glass. The fact that he didn’t do so makes me think that his fabricated story sounded so good to him that he just had to broadcast it to favor his image as a writer.

  3. It was not surprising to me that Daisey admitted to adding details, but then supported the legitimacy of his story. In his mind, the points he was trying to make were probably true. He may not see adding extraneous information as a bad thing. But again, if he was writing the story to favor himself as a writer rather then to reveal the truth, he may have permanently damaged his reputation. It’s very hard to tell what is true and what is false by only listening to the verbal accounts of others.

  4. I am honestly not that surprised at Mike Daisey’s response. While talking to Ira it seemed that the only thing he really regretted was letting TAL air his monologue. He really did not seem to think his adding details was such a large issue. He continually stated that he thought this to be his best work and from the response he got from me I would agree. However, we must now keep in mind that he is really just giving a performance rather than stating pure fact.

  5. Your last paragraph really resonated with me as I tried to convey some of the same in my post. So much out there can be manipulated and people cannot take anything at face value. Our sources are almost always biased. How can we protect ourselves against this? Where are we going in the future as the media impacts so much of our lives more and more each day? I don’t know.

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