Best Liar

Mike Daisey

March 06, 2013

The world — or at least the part of the world that listens to NPR — was shocked last March when it was revealed that parts of Mike Daisey’s monologue, The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs, turned out to be false. The theatrical piece, which describes Daisey’s trip to China to visit a factory that makes Apple products, had aired on This American Life and described all sorts of atrocities, from underage workers to chemically induced medical problems to blacklisted workers. Once it turned out that Daisey had made up or exaggerated many of those details, TAL’s Ira Glass coolly eviscerated him in a March retraction episode of the radio show, making for what must have been the most uncomfortable hour of public radio ever made. Despite the public humiliation, Daisey performed the infamous monologue at the Spoleto Festival, and the audience loved it. Lies or not, it’s a masterful piece of work.

Comments (4)

Showing 1-4 of 4

I've seen Mike Daisey perform his monologues many times. In his performances he never identifies himself as Mike Daisey. He is an actor playing a role written by a playwright, which in his case happens to be himself. When he performed "The Agony and the Ecstasy..." in New York there was a note in the program that clearly stated that although the events of the play are true, the identities of the people involved are sometimes changed for dramatic clarity. So he created a monologue where the narrator witnesses things Mike Daisey saw himself and things that Mike Daisey learned of from other sources. Please explain how any of this adds up to lying.

Posted by MichaelDale on March 6, 2013 at 12:43 PM

O. I misread the title. Thought this was about Dirty Laundry

report 2 of 2 people like this.   
Posted by bullocksonU on March 6, 2013 at 1:33 PM

I accepted this award. You can read about that here:…

report 0 of 1 people like this.   
Posted by Mike Daisey on March 6, 2013 at 3:56 PM

Mike Daisey, you are a liar, who pawned off your lies on an exceptional journalist. You are not a story teller, you are a liar. Liar liar. Pants on fire.

Posted by Brandon Fish on March 7, 2013 at 1:59 PM
Showing 1-4 of 4

Add a comment