I hate liars. But more than that, I hate unapologetic liars, liars who are so good at lying that they’ll continue to lie even when confronted with undeniable proof of their lie-osity.
I hate those guys.
This Mike Daisey character, the dude who made up the stuff about Apple’s Chinese factory (child workers, mangled hands, etc.), is one such liar. (Alan Siskind of Dog News Daily is another.) His blog post from today reads like a page from The Psychopath’s Handbook. He presents his arguments like a boxer, fancy-footworking from one lame tactic to another. First, he states that:
There is nothing in this controversy that contests the facts in my work about the nature of Chinese manufacturing.
Huh? Is he trying to say that because bad conditions exist elsewhere in China, it’s OK to have lied? Or is he saying he never lied? Either way, it’s laughable. (Do I really have to go into reasons why?)
Then, he goes on the attack, stating that we are wrong (horribly, terribly WRONG) for paying attention to him, rather than paying attention to the true conditions in manufacturing plants.
If people want to use me as an excuse to return to denialism about the state of our manufacturing, about the shape of our world, they are doing that to themselves.
That’s a beautifully constructed straw man, isn’t it? You know, we can all care about truth in journalism and exploited child workers. They are not mutually exclusive last I checked.
But my favorite part of his piece is where he states:
But understand that if you felt something that connected you with where your devices come from—that is not a lie. That is art. That is human empathy, and it is real, and even if you curse my name I hope you’ll recognize that and continue reading, caring, and thinking.
See, man, that’s art! It doesn’t matter if it was presented as fact. It doesn’t matter if it hurt Apple, or the plight of real workers, or journalists’ integrity, or if it made you super famous. No, man, it made people feel. Excuse me a mo’, my eyes just rolled right out of my head.
Mike Daisey is a liar. An unrepentent one. No fancy semantics, excuses, self-righteous attacks, appeals to emotion, or half-baked “apologies” will change this fact. But no one is more creative than when he is justifying his own appalling behavior. So, I guess Mike Daisey really is an artist. Kudos, douchewad.