A half truth is a whole lie


If the first words I ever told you were loud enough to make you speak up for a cause, then its inspirational. If the first words I ever told you were strong enough to make you take action, then its motivational. If the first words I ever told you were powerful enough to change your life entirely, then its momentous. But if the first words I ever told you were corrupt, misleading, and downright disrespectful, then its dishonesty and betrayal to not only yourself, but to the rest of the American people for what you’ve done. When Mike Daisy’s words were first spoken, This American Life should have been looking into the situation before deeming it a credible story. I believe it is just as much as This American Life’s mistake as it was Mike Daisy’s mistake for lying about a lot of the things he said.

This story should never have reached the light of day if they took the time to approve its validity and now, there are people out there who actually believe what Mike Daisy claims. I believe Mike Daisy was also lying when he said the main reason for his performance was to make people care about what was happening in China. Listening to the way he answered questions about why he lied shows that he never thought he was going to get caught. His intentions, he claimed, was to open up to the world about the lives of China’s factories workers, but you do them and yourself no good when you make false claims to raise awareness.

In Mike Daisy’s monologue he discusses all the horrible things he “heard” about dealing with labor conditions, but never mentioned the fact the Apple or Foxconn are doing things to improve them. Mike Daisy is a fraud in my eye and should never be credible or taken seriously ever again. I’m very disappointed in This American Life for releasing this story before finding out whether it was the truth or not. I believe the image of Mike Daisy has gone down and he deserves it. You can’t make things up and expect to get away with it. In the end, everyone gets caught.

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5 thoughts on “A half truth is a whole lie

  1. I agree that Daisey should not be trusted as a journalist. However, sometimes a half truth helps bring to light the whole truth. Whether this is a good or a bad thing will probably never be decided but I think that completely neglecting the half truth can sometimes be consequential.

    • Yes I completely agree with you Jesse. While what Daisey did was absolutely inexcusable and dishonest and a lie – he may have done a betterment to society. Was whatever he said true – no – was everything a lie – probably not either. A lot of the message Daisey was trying to get across had significance. Apple and Foxconn as we talked about last week are unethical. They are supporting factory workers at absolutely terrible conditions. If Mike Daisey’s monologue helped – even the slightest bit – raise awareness of their wrong doings – maybe Mike Daisey isn’t such a bad guy after all

  2. I agree with you that This American Life made a huge mistake with not looking into the “facts” behind Daisey’s story. TAL has standards to uphold and needs to maintain its credibility for publishing true journalism. However, I can hardly blame them. Mike Daisy was just so darn convincing. His account sounded so real and first-hand. TAL knew they had their hands on a huge story and cut the corners that they normally would not cut in any other normal circumstance, with probably a more mediocre story. I appreciate TAL for running the story because without their reach, the story may not have been heard by so many and would not have brought so much awareness to the true issues at hand.

    • I agree with you when you say you can “you can hardly blame” TAL for believing Daisy. Like Glass says in the “Retraction” segment,

      “I know but I feel like I have the normal worldview. The normal worldview is somebody stands on stage and says ‘this happened to me,’ I think it happened to them, unless it’s clearly labeled as ‘here’s a work of fiction.’”

      Some of the events Daisy told didn’t seem outlandish and he claimed the events to be true, so why would we doubt him right off the bat? I find Mike Daisy to be fully accountable for the betrayal of trust with the American people.

    • I completely agree. You really can not blame TAL for Daisey’s misrepresentation. He not only misrepresented his work to TAL, but to Public Theaters where he gave live performances of his show as well. He labeled it as “non-fiction”, when that was clearly not the case. The show would not have gotten nearly the amount of attention that it did if he had been upfront and said that parts (or most) were that of fiction.

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