Look, I know the whole Mike Daisey thing threw you guys for a loop. I completely understand the need to be beyond reproach professionally. I’m not a journalist, but I’ve worked with a lot of them and even worse, there are many people parading as journalists right now for whom ethics are a ticklish little question rather than a serious professional consideration, and that makes the whole damn bunch of you look bad.
I know. I get it. Daisey let his zeal compromise his integrity, and it bit you guys in the ass.
Daisey, whether he sees it this way or not, was not playing the role of storyteller with the Foxconn story. He was presenting his story to you as objective truth, trying to use that truth to accuse Apple and sundry as wrongdoers while ginning up outrage to make a change. The fact that he tried to cover up what he knew wouldn’t be corroborated speaks to that. He made a mistake, and I accept your apology that you did, too, by not checking up on him as thoroughly as you probably should have. That’s embarrassing, especially for someone with your standards. If it were me, I’d be upset, too, and trying to make up for it.
But… no one ever expected Sedaris to be telling real, factual truth. He’s telling subjective, human truth, and that can’t—and shouldn’t—be cross-checked. No one remembers anything accurately, as it turns out, and the details in Sedaris’s stories are not supposed to be factual. They’re supposed to be funny, and that target has been hit. Your audience is smart enough to know the difference.
You had a bad day. The Daisey thing made you skittish. I get it. And when David Sedaris comes to you with a story stating that someone is breaking the law and needs to be held to account, I’ll expect you to fact-check that. But until then, stop beating yourself up.
It’s not even remotely the same thing. Let lying Sedarises* lie.
And that includes Amy.
Big love from a huge fan,