iPhone’s hellish Chinese workplace: the sequel

“This American Life” has retracted a much-discussed news segment about the horrors of Apple’s Shenzhen, China workplace after discovering it was faked; Mike Daisey’s report contained “numerous fabrications,” it says. For more on how readiness to believe the worst about big business can leave media open to being fooled by manipulative packagers of news, see the GM trucks episode, Food Lion, and a great many others. [Ira Glass, Jack Shafer, Edward Champion]

More from David Henderson. And Coyote: “The problem with the media is not outright bias, but an intellectual mono-culture that fails to exercise the most basic skepticism when stories fit their narrative.”


  • […] iPhone’s hellish Chinese workplace: the sequel […]

  • For an over the top set of links to articles about what a POS Mike Daisey is in regard to this subject visit: http://daringfireball.net/

  • The introduction says it all: “I have difficult news,” writes Glass. Shouldn’t it be good news? Or at least good news/bad news?

  • After working in the nuclear industry for nearly 40 years, I have found that almost everything that I read about nuclear energy in the popular press has major factual errors, or takes a few facts and spins them to support the narrative of the “journalist”. Whenever I read an article about some other technical subject, therefore, I take it with a grain of salt.

    The only things your can absolutely believe in the popular media are the sports scores, and the closing stock prices, although the stock prices can actually change after the closing of the exchange. All the rest should be considered suspect, because it is susceptible to manipulation or ignorance of the “journalist”.

    It is interesting that modern “journalists” now want to stifle political commentary by non-“journalists” by changing the constitution to only protect speech that they produce.

  • The story has much in common wit many common urban legends. It tells us more about ourselves than about ourselves and what we — as a society — believe than about what goes on the world: all corporations are evil.


  • Wow…thanks for sharing this. I listened to this story, I passed it on to friends and shared it on my blog. Shoot!

    But I gotta say bias isn’t just one-sided. I’ve seen equal amounts of liberal and conservative bias following different fact-checking sites on political campaigns and such. There’s actually been studies that show that if someone has a prior belief about something they can receive the same set of facts about something and come to different conclusions than someone with the opposite set of beliefs.

    But the media should have a higher standards.

  • I’ll bet dollars to donuts that this piece was done at the request of or financed by a labor organization. Any takers?

  • These days “dollars to donuts” is about an even-money bet, I think.

  • Even with Daisy’s reporting, the “OWS” people still shouted “DOWN WITH BUSINESS” out of one side of their mouths, while blogging about it on their MacBooks from the other side of their mouths. So I don’t think it influenced anyone.

  • This quote sums it completely:

    “The problem with the media is not outright bias, but an intellectual mono-culture that fails to exercise the most basic skepticism when stories fit their narrative.”

    That quote deserves to be repeated over and over and over again. We used to have these grouchy crustacean-like editors sitting at desks across the newsrooms in America, grouching and grumbling about everything, sneaking sips of whiskey here and there, and likely telling sexist jokes. Most were liberal, as in, World War II liberal — but they were old-style men who DOUBTED things. They loved accuracy. They loved facts.

    Those men are gone.

  • And yes, they were men.