Mar 182012
 

Mike Daisey’s lies almost single-handedly created a cottage industry of bitching about Apple’s supply chain. Since Daisey has been outed as a fraud, I was curious to see how some of these groups such as SumofUs.org and Change.org reconciled Daisey’s fiction with the causes based on his work. Turns out, they don’t feel they need to.

Mike Daisey, mugging for the camera he’d come to worship at the expense of truth. Photo credit: Associated Press/Mary Altaffer

The Change.org petition reads, in part:

Last week’s This American Life shined a spotlight on the working conditions in the Chinese factories where iPhones are made. Just one example of the hardships there: the men and women in these factories work very long days spent repeating the same motions over and over, which creates amped-up carpal tunnel syndrome in their wrists and hands. This often results in them losing the use of their hands for the rest of their lives.

All of that’s true, except for all of it. This American Life retracted the entire episode upon which Change’s scathing allegations are based. Allegations made by Mike Daisey. Allegations that turned out to be fabrications spun so that the rotund monologuist could most effectively cash in on Apple’s brand.

The petition offered by SomeOfUs Are Bored is a little more watered down. It demands that Apple turn over the time sheets of workers who made the new iPad so that the eagle-eyed watchdog group could certify that they didn’t break any Chinese labor laws. Setting aside for a moment that it’s Foxconn that actually employs the laborers, and that it’s the Chinese government that’s responsible for enforcing Chinese labor law, the petition is weak tea. They make too much time and a half! Ironically, the chief complaint among Chinese workers is that they can’t get enough overtime, but that’s what a petition looks like when you have only the truth to back your pleas for online signatures absent the drama injected by some huckster’s lies. If I didn’t know better, I’d think that NoneOfUs Are Poor had no interest in getting answers, because being told to GFY keeps the cries of “we want answers!” still hanging in the air.

But nothing about Mike Daisey. No distancing. No statement about him single-handedly whitewashing the Chinese labor issue so completely that online petitions against Apple have become even more laughable than they originally were on their faces. This man destroyed any chance you have to feel better about yourselves!

I guess it’s better than having no issue to rally around to begin with.

 Posted by at 4:54 pm
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