Jesus. Unless Mike Daisey is prepared to offer some actual heartfelt contrition about This American Larfpocalypse 2012, the dude needs to STOP TALKING. Because if he keeps digging like this, he's going to wind up in fucking China.
To be clear, I am a Mike Daisey fan. I think he's a magnetic and stunningly provocative performer; I saw a workshop of his 2009 monologue The Last Cargo Cult in Seattle and it's a theatrical experience that I still think about to this day. That's what makes all of this so incredibly disappointing and painful to watch—Daisey could stand by the political and humanitarian points he's trying to make without being defensive about this undeniably colossal fuck-up.
So what's the latest reason why none of this is really Daisey's fault and we should all be ashamed of ourselves? His wife did it. OF COURSE. Dig dig dig:
When the show hit it big, he said, reporters made uninformed assumptions about how much he had researched: Instead of correcting them, he'd let them believe he'd actually gone inside these factories, for example. And then the stories took off. He let a reporter assume that he'd met a victim of hexane poisoning - a detail that the director (his wife) then insisted become part of the play.
Ohhhhhhhh! Your wife insisted! Those women, how they do nag. Well then, sir, you certainly aren't culpable for lying to the press, making up a fake name for your translator to stall TAL's fact checkers, undermining any progress you might have made on these profoundly important human rights issues (that you obviously care passionately about!), and, most importantly, hurting Ira Glass's adorable feelings.
I really want to be compassionate. I want to understand Daisey's situation. I like Mike Daisey. But the more he talks, the more difficult that becomes.