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Best Liar 

Mike Daisey

Staff Pick

The world — or at least the part of the world that listens to NPR — was shocked last March when it was revealed that parts of Mike Daisey’s monologue, The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs, turned out to be false. The theatrical piece, which describes Daisey’s trip to China to visit a factory that makes Apple products, had aired on This American Life and described all sorts of atrocities, from underage workers to chemically induced medical problems to blacklisted workers. Once it turned out that Daisey had made up or exaggerated many of those details, TAL’s Ira Glass coolly eviscerated him in a March retraction episode of the radio show, making for what must have been the most uncomfortable hour of public radio ever made. Despite the public humiliation, Daisey performed the infamous monologue at the Spoleto Festival, and the audience loved it. Lies or not, it’s a masterful piece of work.

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