A highly popular episode of This American Life in which monologuist Mike Daisey tells of the abuses at factories that make Apple products in China contained "significant fabrications," the show said today.
"We're horrified to have let something like this onto public radio," Ira Glass, the show's executive producer and host said in a blog post today. "Our program adheres to the same journalistic standards as the other national shows, and in this case, we did not live up to those standards."
The 39-minute piece aired in January and TAL says after 888,000 downloads, it became its most popular podcast. The story is compelling: It tells of the awful working conditions of Chinese workers making shiny Apple products like iPhones and iPads at factories owned by a company called FoxConn, which also manufactures products for other electronics giants.
The piece essentially made Daisey Apple's chief critic and it also inspired a Change.org petition that collected more than 250,000 signatures demanding that Apple better the working conditions at the factories.
Learn Dutch? Why? So I can watch more television? Is that really the argument you just made? WTF?
There are only 17 million Dutch speakers in the world and they all live in one tiny country. The payoff just isn't there. Moreover, having one language for everyone has tons of benefits, chief among them being fewer wars. The story of the Tower of Babel cursing humanity with thousands of mutually incomprehensible languages is a relevant myth.
I used to be impressed by people who spoke lots of languages until I moved overseas and became bilingual myself. Now, who the hell cares? Speaking another language doesn't mean you're super-intelligent or cultured or anything. It just means you can speak another language. If you set things up right, you won't have to. One of the worst pieces of human trash I ever met in my life was a Swiss who could speak seven languages.
It wasn't just Tom Brokaw, it was Walter Cronkite declaring the Tet Offensive in Vietnam a horrible thing. It wasn't until well after I became an adult that I discovered the Tet Offensive was actually a decisive victory for the anti-Communist forces. The Viet Cong were totally destroyed. Yeah, it was a surprise to me as well.
There was an anecdote by a soldier that had helped in the operation. The Viet Cong had committed many atrocities in the areas it had briefly controlled, and the soldier wondered why a wandering TV crew wasn't covering any of it. "We're not here to help Nixon's war," replied one of the journalists.
Let's not even get into the hippy counter-culture scum who really did want to overthrow the US government and institute a communist system. For real. They weren't joking.