After a swath of deflection attempts and half-apologies, notorious truth-exaggerator and Apple opponent Mike Daisey has finally issued the genuine apology we’ve all been waiting for.
In an entry posted to his blog yesterday, Mr. Daisey apologized to everyone who ever paid him a modicum of attention, including his audience, theater coworkers, journalists and human rights advocates, for exaggerating the negative details of Apple’s Chinese factory conditions on “This American Life.”
“I speak about truth because it is what I aspire to,” he wrote. “All my stories, even when I’ve fallen short, have been attempts to experience the truth with my audiences. I am sorry for where I have failed. I will look closer, be more patient, and listen more clearly. I will be humble before the work.”
We’re not really surprised that it took him this long to bite the bullet and dish out an honest apology; it took news organizations months before some intrepid fact checker bothered to Google “Cathy translator Shenzen,” so every element of this story has been a frustrating collection of WTFs from the get go.
Mr. Daisey isn’t the only one whose reputation suffered from the controversy. “This American Life,” a show with a rabid fan base that (disclosure!) includes this reporter, emerged with ethics guns blazing, only to come off on their “Retraction” show like a bunch of self-serious truth hoarders that get off on public flagellation.
Sometimes a good story correction is the same thing as a good apology: acknowledge you were wrong, say you’re sorry and get back to work–like say, on our collective fact-checking Google skills.