This American Life’s Foxconn Retraction: Reactions

Apple CEO Tim Cook has met with government officials and representatives of the titanic but iPhoneless China Mobile in Beijing, according to The Wall Street Journal: A spokeswoman said Mr. Cook— who is on his first trip to China since becoming chief executive of the Cupertino, Calif., company— “had great meetings with Chinese officials today.” “China is very important to us and we look forward to even greater investment and growth here,” said the spokeswoman, Carolyn Wu. She declined to identify any of the Chinese officials or give further details about the meetings …. Some fans commented on the Web that the executive’s appearance shows that Apple is paying more attention to China. Many Internet users noted that Apple’s previous CEO, the late Steve Jobs, was never known to have visited China. Also visiting Beijing recently was the recipient of the 25 billionth App Store download, who in a convenient publicity windfall for Apple happened to be a resident of the strategically vital Chinese market. Fu Chunli was flown to the capital from Qingdao to receive a $10,000 iTunes gift card. Meanwhile, controversy over various fabrications uncovered in the one-man show ‘The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs’ has roared on. This American Life’s hour-long retraction (PDF transcript) of its earlier episode based on the monologue narrowly broke its predecessor’s download record, defying the adage that “you only need to move your lips to start a rumour, but you need to run until your legs are broken to refute one”. The show’s creator and performer, Mike Daisey, eventually apologised to colleagues, audiences, labour rights activists and the journalists he misled, while his target, Foxconn, seized the opportunity to recast itself as the wounded but magnanimous victim. “Our corporate image has been totally ruined,” a spokesman told Reuters. “The point ...
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