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‘This American Life’ retracts Apple sweatshop episode

Friday, March 16, 2012

image“I have difficult news,” begins “This American Life” host Ira Glass in a blog post today. Difficult, indeed. The revered weekly public radio program is retracting a story broadcast Jan. 6 about conditions in Chinese sweatshops where Apple computer products are made. The problem: Some of the material in a Mike Daisey monologue from his one-man show, “The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs” used in the episode was exposed as not having happened. From Media Decoder:
In the staged performance and in the radio excerpt from it, Mr. Daisey describes meeting mistreated Foxconn workers, relying on a translator to carry on the conversation. But in a later interview with Rob Schmitz, a correspondent for another radio program, Marketplace, the interpreter who traveled with Mr. Daisey disputed some of the details of the meetings, suggesting that Mr. Daisey did not witness what he said he did.
Add: It’s an embarrassing black eye for “This American Life,” which will devote this weekend’s show entirely to a retraction and explanation.
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