"What makes this a little complicated is that the things Daisey lied about seeing are things that have actually happened in China"
I can’t even believe this is a debate. Mike Daisey is a storyteller, one of the best alive. He knows the difference between truth and fact.
He didn’t “lie about seeing.” He told a story about something visible (that no one wants to look at.) Just because he didn’t see it doesn’t mean it’s not true. Is the lie about his eyes, or about factory hexane poisoning? Is it the most substantive lie in American news in the last 24 hours? In the last 15 minutes? Are we really having this conversation?
It doesn’t make it “a little complicated”. It makes it storytelling. His skill in telling the story he told is responsible for the phenomenal amount of media around Chinese factory labor practices. Not the New York Times’ China bureau. Not Bloomberg Businessweek. Show me some reporters who were able to generate the same cultural engagement with the issue, will you? Show me reporters who can match Jon Stewart’s numbers? What might account for that?
Stories aren’t made out of facts. Storytellers use facts to reveal truth but they use a lot of other things too. And if ever I have to choose between facts and truth, I’ll take truth. It’s always a great story, and stories are the life inside the human mind.