Since the retraction hit, I thankfully haven't seen anyone come to Mike Daisey's defense (apart from himself). Yet he still seems quite incapable of seeing not only how damaging his lies have been to the cause he so vehemently claims to stand for — to the point that I wonder if he really thinks that he is the only one who cares? — but he also is apparently without regret for having misled his audience. He'll apologize to Ira Glass and This American Life, perhaps mostly because he was found out, yet he honestly believes that his audience was in on the joke. That when they paid him money, and sat down to listen to his monologue, it was understood that it was in fact a 'show'-show, and not a 'true story'-show, despite the fact that it was presented like it in every way shape or form. Despite the fact that the monologue presents itself as an actual travelogue; as truth. As fact.
That because he believes there is something to be outraged about, whatever it takes to get other people outraged is fair game, including misleading people, handing off things he never experienced as his own experiences, and being indignant when confronted with the fact that perhaps the rest of the world does not live in his bubble of 'theater reality'.
Let it be no secret that I can't stand Daisey's affected intonation, and 'I am outraged!' diatribe, I haven't liked him since I read his Amazon book in fact, but listening to his Georgetown talk from yesterday made me actually furious.
Nevermind that the man can't even talk straight about his mistake, without putting on another goddamn show; without giving it a reading that would need toning down if it were Shakespeare; one that makes Michael Moore blush. But to hear him defend his work, of which he is unwaveringly proud, despite the fact that it was made up, is unbelievable. You created a story. Guess what? You're not the first person to do so. You piggybacked your cause on the back of Apple's success and the perception of the defenseless chinese worker, and yeah there might in fact be something to be outraged about, but what you did is called drama. Melodrama. What is there to be proud of, when you manipulated the truth, to create a more compelling version of it?
And nevermind that Daisey continually presents himself as a knight in shining armor, a sole defender of the weak and oppressed, the single voice of reason in an uncaring world. He is outraged I tell you!... Well... As should be abundandly clear, except I don't think it is to Mike Daisey, that does not give him the license to mislead his audience.
I guess the lesson is that, if you can hang it on a cause, anything goes.
Except it doesn't.