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Posts Tagged ‘Mike Daisey’

Elizabeth Banks Plays the Slate Podcast Game

It was a big night Tuesday at the Petersen Automotive Museum for Slate’s LA based audio-video producer Andy Bowers. For the first time since the website’s “The Culture Gabfest” podcast ramped up in 2008, the program’s sharp-witted gang hit town for a SoCal audience taping.

FishbowlLA was in attendance as deputy editor Julia Turner, film critic Dana Stevens and critic at large Stephen Metcalf discussed the recent Mike Daisey-“This American Life” controversy, Zooey Deschanel‘s pixie-ish charms and the blockbuster adaptation of The Hunger Games. Joining the trio on stage for the last topic was the film’s co-star Elizabeth Banks, who proved to be a very fun participant and helped close out the show’s “personal endorsements” segment with a shout-out for graphic novels.

Bowers, once with NPR, still works out of the public radio network’s Culver City facilities, where he now rents space. Tuesday night’s event, co-presented by Zocalo Public Square, offered the unique pleasure of listening to an Internet podcast while surrounded by vintage cars from the days when vehicles had no radios. Among the second floor stunners flanking the Slate journalists was a shiny black 1949 Alfa Romeo Villa D’Este, the only known such model to exist in the U.S.

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‘Kony’ Viral Filmmaker Jason Russell Detained for Alleged Public Masturbation, Vandalizing Cars*

Quite the day for global awareness. First Mike Daisey, the man who brought global attention to the conditions inside Apple’s Chinese factories, was outed as a fabricator. Now the man behind the Kony viral video has been arrested was detained by police for–among other things–public masturbation and vandalizing a car. According to NBC San Diego, Invisible Children founder Jason Russell was arrested detained last night by San Diego police in Pacific Beach after residents complained about a man running through the streets in his underwear, causing trouble.

Having lived in San Diego and spent many a youthful night in Pacific Beach, we can honestly say Russell’s behavior wasn’t out of the ordinary for a Thursday night. That said, when you represent yourself as a Christian philanthropist and are in the midst of soliciting donations from all over the world for the noble cause of helping free child soldiers in Uganda, you might want to at least wait for the weekend to unleash that inner Caligula.

*TMZ reports that Russell will not be charged with any crimes. Initial reports that Russell was arrested by police now say he was merely detained. He was taken to a local hospital for treatment and, according to TMZ, he is currently on a 5150 psychiatric hold.

‘This American Life’ Retracts Mike Daisey Foxconn Story

“This American Life” has retracted its HUGE story on working conditions at Apple’s Foxconn factory in China. It turns out major parts of the piece were fabricated by performer Mike Daisey–who drew material for his story from his one-man show “The Agony and The Ecstasy of Steve Jobs.”

From a TAL release:

During fact checking before the broadcast of Daisey’s story, “This American Life” staffers asked Daisey for this interpreter’s contact information. Daisey told them her real name was Anna, not Cathy as he says in his monologue, and he said that the cell phone number he had for her didn’t work any more. He said he had no way to reach her.

“At that point, we should’ve killed the story,” says Ira Glass, executive producer and host of This American Life. “But other things Daisey told us about Apple’s operations in China checked out, and we saw no reason to doubt him. We didn’t think that he was lying to us and to audiences about the details of his story. That was a mistake.”

The ruse was uncovered by “Marketplace” reporter Rob Schmitz, who tracked down Daisey’s Chinese translator Li Guifen after the show aired. She disputed much of Daisey’s story–including Daisey’s claim to have interviewed workers suffering from n-hexane poisoning.

“We’re horrified to have let something like this onto public radio,” says Glass. “Our program adheres to the same journalistic standards as the other national shows, and in this case, we did not live up to those standards.”

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