The phrase “based on a true story” has become weak currency in the world of storytelling, and unfortunately it keeps getting worse.
The latest downgrading occurs at the hands of performer Mike Daisey and his falsehood-perforated theater monologue The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs, about the exploitation of Chinese workers who manufacture Apple products.
Chicago Public Radio’s This American Life presented an entire episode this past weekend to retract and correct its very popular January show that featured Daisey’s now-discredited reporting. The entire program can be found here, and it’s compelling listening – even if you didn’t hear the original broadcast.
Daisey’s defense is that worker abuse in China is real and documented elsewhere, and he only made up lies about meeting abused, ailing, and underage tech employees because he wanted to create a personal connection for the audience that would make them care.
Except Daisey has undermined his own cause by introducing us to a new genre of storytelling: counterfeit truth. READ FULL STORY