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Erik Wemple
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Posted at 08:25 AM ET, 03/19/2012

News media derivatives: March 19

*Who’s got this one right?

The Hill is reporting that “George Clooney won’t predict a second term for Obama, hopes for reelection.” Politico is headlining: “Clooney: Obama has a good shot at reelection.” (h/t @pwgavin)

*Twitter and Facebook: not the news-traffic drivers that they sometimes get credit for being.

*Now for a special chapter on the fallout from the Mike Daisey episode:

— David Carr of the New York Times asks if it’s no to lie if you’re telling a “greater truth”? The answer: no. Carr:

Mr. Daisey admits to cutting corners, but “stands by his work,” in part because it moved people to care about other people’s suffering in a far-flung land. Unfortunately, the parts of his show with which his audience connected so viscerally were the ones that seem to have been based on nothing more than a need for drama.

— Jack Shafer of Reuters is an expert on lies, plagiarists and other agents of journalistic malpractice. He ends a strong column with these words:

I’m still waiting for somebody who got caught lying while practicing journalism to say why he did it. I have my theory: 1) They lie because they don’t have the time or talent to tell the truth, 2) they lie because they think they can get away with it, and 3) they lie because they have no respect for the audience they claim to want to enlighten. That would be an ideal subject for a one-man theatrical performance.

— Arik Hesseldahl of All Things D talks about all the media outlets that bought Daisey’s story as he hopped from theater to theater telling his tales:

At this point, it’s hard to determine what’s more outrageous, Daisey’s lies to Ira Glass and his team, or the national media’s willingness to give Daisey a platform to repeat the same lies and fabrications without making the slightest effort to vet them.

— Bloomberg Businessweek addresses the implications for business:

Daisey’s embellishments threaten to set back the efforts to improve the working conditions in China and other countries where many trendy gadgets are made, said veteran technology analyst Rob Enderle.
He fears Daisey’s tainted credibility will embolden more U.S. companies to turn a blind eye to how the assembly-line workers are being treated in the overseas factories run by their contractors. “It will make it more difficult to correct these labor injustices in China,” Enderle said. “Daisey tried to make this out to be an Apple problem, but it really wasn’t. It’s a China problem.”

Forbes: “The manipulation of the truth to get you to care followed by the assertion that onus is on the audience to delve deeper. I’m sorry, but if something is being presented as true, as non-fiction, as journalism it should actually be true.”

— The Atlantic’s James Fallows takes issue with one of Daisey’s critics, for an interesting reason.

— Daisey is amending his show to account for the embarrassment.

— A Wall Street Journal writer asks:

Could a very large, very round, very white man in a Hawaiian shirt really just roll up to the front gates of Foxconn and begin speaking to Chinese employees without interference? Could he really have happened upon multiple workers under the age of 16, even as young as 12, while standing unmolested and engaging in obvious conversation within barking distance of what he claimed were security guards with guns? (The latter, too, seemed odd: Guns are verboten in China to any but the police and military, and guards for financial institutions and classified-level research complexes. A Foxconn assembly plant doesn’t fit any of those descriptions.)

*Rachel Maddow takes aim at last week’s slam on President Obama.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

*Brian Lamb, the synonym for “C-Span” in these parts, is stepping down as chief executive of the outlet in favor of a new role as “executive chairman.” Two of his top people — Rob Kennedy and Susan Swain — will jointly take over the top job. He’s going to continue hosting his show “Q&A.”

By  |  08:25 AM ET, 03/19/2012

Tags:  mike daisey, brian lamb, jack shafer, david carr, rachel maddow, president obama, obama, the hill, george clooney

 
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