Mike Daisey, KONY 2012"s Jason Russell and the Viral Allure of the Almost True
The viral seems to have a close cousin in the almost true. Two recent sensational stories, Mike Daisey's monologue about working conditions at the Chinese factories that make Apple products, and the KONY 2012 video, both owe some of their potency, it turns out, to fabrications and simplifications of the truth.
And the practitioners of both fictions, Daisey and Invisible Children filmmaker Jason Russell, used similar defenses to explain the gaps between reality and their representations.
Daisey is in a doubly jeopardous position. He has been performing "The Agony and Ecstasy of Steve Jobs" at the Public Theatre in New York, and elsewhere - under the banner of "nonfiction" - for the past two years and he presented an excerpt of the play as "Mr. Daisey Goes to the Apple Factory" at the beginning of this year on " This American Life." The seeming veracity of his presentation made me ask in a comment on one of my own posts about Daisey, "What does it say that some of our best journalists are comedians (or vice versa)?" ...