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Showing posts from April 15, 2012

Defending Mr. Daisey (part 2: Big Fact, Little Fact)

[cross-posted at Huffington Post]

A little over a week ago, I began this series about the flap over This American Life's hour-long "Retraction" of its January broadcast of excerpts of Mike Daisey's The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Lobs. In Act One, entitled "Lies Like Truth," I made the fairly obvious observation that theatre and journalism are not the same thing, and that we should be looking a bit more critically at Ira Glass' inability to distinguish between the two. Judging from the comments on that post, there are quite a few people who are obsessed with the "lies" that Mike Daisey told in his performance, and they fail to see that the question of "journalistic fact" in the realm of memoir and creative nonfiction is not quite as settled and cut-and-dried as they would like to make out.

Which brings us to


Act Two, "Big Fact, Little Fact."

Let's begin by revisiting the statement Ira Glass makes at the very beginni…