Breaking: 'This American Life' Retracts Apple-Foxconn Expose

View comments: oldest first | newest first | threaded
Page 1 of 3   Next >   Last >>
Mitch Wagner
User Rank
Blogger
Too good a story to be true
Mitch Wagner   3/16/2012 5:27:39 PM
NO RATINGS

Apple blogger John Gruber writes at his blog Daring Fireball that Daisey's stories "set off my spidey sense:" "one guy claiming things that no one else was claiming or reporting, all uncovered during a single six-day trip to China by a man who doesn't speak Chinese and with no prior investigative reporting experience. Ends up my spidey sense was right: Daisey made it up."

And so we see history already being rewritten, because Daisey was not the only person reporting these things; as noted in my blog post above, human rights organizations reported the same things, as did the New York Times (IIRC) a short time after the Daisey report aired on TAL. 

Time.com's TV blogger James Poniewozik: This American Life's Apple Retraction: The Danger of Truthiness. Poniewozik rips Daisey's defense: This is not David Sedaris doctoring a quirky anecdote about his family. For Daisey to shrug this off as simply a poor choice of venue is willfully naive at best."

Poniewozik goes on to say that even if you buy Daisey's justification that he was going for the larger truth, that larger truth -- the other investigations corroborating Daisey -- "risk being tarred by a false 'larger truth' created by Daisey's exposure."

Poniewozik's language is similar to my own in describing how this will play to the masses:


We've seen this happen before when journalistic outlets have cut corners in their reporting on legitimate stories. The scandal is what makes the biggest splash, and no matter how many well-researched 5,000-word exposes anyone else does, the takeaway among the general audience, half-following this and dozens of other stories at home could end up being: "What, that thing about the exploited iPad workers in China? Didn't they find out that was a hoax or something?"


Ellis Booker
User Rank
Blogger
NO RATINGS

A small win for Team Booker. Daisey just admitted that his too-perfect anecdote about the injured, claw-handed Foxconn worker stroking an iPad could not be verified. I knew it! 

On the other end, the broadcaster, Ira Glass of NPR's "This American Life," just said on air that he screwed up by allowing a story in which a major piece (Daisey's translator) couldn't be reached to verify Daisey's accounts.

All this underscores a simple fact: A compelling lie in the hands of a compelling lier sometimes can defeat a fact-checking process. The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and lots of others have been tricked in the past, and will be tricked in the future. Sh*t happens. 

 

WaqasAltaf
User Rank
Proponent
Damage done
WaqasAltaf   3/17/2012 10:35:53 AM
NO RATINGS

No matter what is said about the genuineness of allegations; the level of coverage the Foxconn issue got on the internet will be higher than the coverage received for the news questioning the claims made. The only thing Apple might consider is suing the reporters suspected guilty in defamatory law suit and restore some lost respect. One thing is for sure that the power of social media and other internet-based platforms have been verified and every company now needs to realize that sooner or later all their unethical activities esp providing dismal HR working conditions will be exposed. The current news about publishing of the exit letters from Goldmansachs is an example.  

sohaibmasood
User Rank
Proponent

As per the Human Right organizations, working conditions in China are awful and we have seen this news more than once. If that is the case then I have a fundamental question. Are we willing to give up buying these gadgets? Because the only thing that will make things better is if consumers protest against using products that have been made in hazardous working conditions. 

Else, the demand will continue to surge and the products will be made in the same awful working conditions. 

 

nasimson
User Rank
Blogger
NO RATINGS

I'm amazed that the story was not investigated sufficiently before broadcast and am disappointed at how real issues are swept under the carpet so quickly due to irresponsible journalism. It's not about any brand, the malpractices do need to be investigated and regulated and rectified as best as they can. I hope there are associations taking note of it and raising the issue at the right platforms where someone does take responsibility for it.

nasimson
User Rank
Blogger

@sohaib, do the majority of the consumers really care where are the parts coming from? All they care is they get the best quality in the minimum possible price. The issue of workplace conditions is one to be raised at larger platforms which have influence over the regulatory bodies and major industry players in order for them to comply.

nasimson
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Damage done
nasimson   3/18/2012 9:44:57 AM
NO RATINGS

@waqas, I agree that social media has that power. But this power would be best utilized if the users keep the topic alive on social forums, making the trend so active that companies are bound to take notice. For such a movement, a major impetus is required which I have not seen as far as this story is concerned.

AliceAMM
User Rank
Proponent

Will consumers stop buying Apple products because of this? Highly doubtful. Look at how many buy pirated music and videos because of price. I'm not so sure our collective social conscious is strong enough to disrupt the power of Apple.

sohaibmasood
User Rank
Proponent

@nasimson, Exactly, we as consumers don't care if the products are made in hazardous conditions or not. We only care about the brands we love and how go get them cheaply. That is why I said, we have a role in this too.

And yes I am up for regulations or legislation that will make things better for the workers. But I have serious concerns if they could be made in the developing nations. 

sohaibmasood
User Rank
Proponent

@AliceAMM: I agree with you that it is highly unlikely consumers will stop buying Apple or any other brand they love because of hazardous conditions at the manufacturing sites. But unless we have strong legislation and/or high consumer sentiment about it things will not change. 

Page 1 of 3   Next >   Last >>


More Blogs from Mitch Wagner
A half-century of space opera teaches valuable lessons.
Brands say the hot new visual media help foster more intimate connections with customers.
Older people are more likely to see Millennials as "spoiled," "lazy," or "entitled."
Brands hurt their reputations by making their spokespeople hard to find.
leadership reports
Getting the Most from Mobile Marketing
The CMO Site, The CMO Site
The proliferation of smartphones and tablet devices presents new opportunities and challenges for marketers to reach customers where they are and when they’re ready to buy. Apps, the mobile Web, social check-ins, geofencing, and mobile ad standards are among the tools marketers need to master in this new world. Learn how to use new mobile technology effectively and avoid its hazards.
LEARN MORE
CMO videos
GM's Customer Focus
How GM uses customer metrics and analytics.

2:34

(8) comments
Del Mar Races to Win
How the racetrack uses social and mobile marketing

1:54

(6) comments
Social Media Resolutions
Ideas for social media marketing in 2012.

4:25

(45) comments
My Viral Tweet
What marketers can learn from a tweet.

2:54

(10) comments
Trikkes & Marketing
Retailers face three options in 2012.

3:41

(14) comments
Mobile Marketing Is Hard
Meet Amazon.com's Price Check app.

3:01

(1) comment
Neither Snow Nor Rain
The USPS plans to curtail mail delivery.

02:18

(6) comments
Careful With Foursquare
Mitch Wagner trips over his own feet.

04:26

(4) comments
Community Is 'Where It's At'
If brands want their names to stick they need to ...

2:27

(13) comments
Twitter Upgrades
Twitter is now more useful for brands.

2:42

(3) comments
Fonts Mean Brands
Mess with your font at your peril.

3:12

(6) comments
CMOs Need More Customer Time
CMOs are missing the opportunity to get info ...

2:21

(2) comments
Behavioral Ads
Marketers are losing on behavioral advertising.

2:54

(9) comments
'Moneyball' Marketing
"Moneyball," the new Brad Pitt baseball movie, is ...

3:00

(5) comments
twitter feed
The CMO Site Twiter Feed
like us on facebook
The CMO Site Linked-In Group Ad
Charlotte Blank
General Motors: Keeping the Customer at the Center

2|29|12   |   2:34   |   (8) comments


How the carmaker uses metrics and analytics to track all the proliferating information streams it has on customers, from social media, real life, and more.
Craig Dado
Del Mar Races to Win at Social, Mobile Marketing

2|15|12   |   1:54   |   (6) comments


Craig Dado, senior vice president of marketing for the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, describes how the racetrack uses social and mobile marketing to attract a younger, female demographic.
Mitch Wagner
Social Media Marketing Resolutions

1|25|12   |   4:25   |   (45) comments


Ideas for boosting B2B social media marketing in 2012.
Mitch Wagner
My Viral Tweet

1|18|12   |   2:54   |   (10) comments


What marketers can learn from a tweet that went viral.
Mitch Wagner
Trikkes & the Future of Retail Marketing

1|9|12   |   3:41   |   (14) comments


Retailers face three options in 2012: Go low on price, go high on service, or go out of business.
Mitch Wagner
Looking 5 Years Ahead in Marketing

12|21|11   |   3:51   |   (6) comments


IBM made five predictions for the future in its annual 5 in 5 projection, and three of them are relevant to marketing.
Mitch Wagner
Mobile Makes Retail Marketing Harder

12|19|11   |   3:01   |   (1) comment


Amazon.com's recent Price Check app heralds the beginning of a new era of creative destruction for brick-and-mortar retailers.
Keith Dawson
Neither Snow Nor Rain

12|13|11   |   02:18   |   (6) comments


As the US Postal Service prepares to curtail mail delivery, marketers relying on first class will have to plan more carefully and, over time, move into other channels.
Mitch Wagner
Don’t Embarrass Yourself on Foursquare

12|12|11   |   04:26   |   (4) comments


Editor-in-chief Mitch Wagner trips over his own feet trying to use a Foursquare discount, in a tale with a lesson for brands.
CMO Video
Community Is 'Where It's At'

11|15|11   |   2:27   |   (13) comments


Is a massive, three-day industry event featuring A-list speakers like Bill Clinton and Malcolm Gladwell the right approach for a company seeking to generate awareness of its brand? Steve thinks that goes part of the way, but if brands want their names to stick they need to build communities.
Mitch Wagner
Twitter Upgrades Activity Streams

11|9|11   |   2:42   |   (3) comments


Twitter improved its home page to make it more useful for brands looking to find influencers to engage with.
Keith Dawson
Fonts Mean Brands

10|31|11   |   3:12   |   (6) comments


Once you associate a font with your brand, you mess with it at your peril.
Mitch Wagner
IBM Study: CMOs Need More One-on-One Customer Time

10|20|11   |   2:21   |   (2) comments


CMOs rely on aggregate data for customer preferences and are missing the opportunity to get one-on-one information through social media and other resources, according to a study of 1,734 CMOs conducted by IBM. Watch a Webinar presenting the findings, and get a copy of the report for yourself.
Keith Dawson
Behavioral Ads: Getting Back in the Conversation

10|18|11   |   2:54   |   (9) comments


Surveys show that marketers are losing the mindshare battle on the benefits of behavioral advertising – and they need to rejoin that conversation.
Mitch Wagner
'Moneyball' Marketing

10|14|11   |   3:00   |   (5) comments


"Moneyball," the new Brad Pitt baseball movie, is one every marketer should see. It's not just about relying on metrics and analytics over gut feelings, it's also about relying on the right metrics and analytics.