Poynter comes down hard on ‘This American Life’ and its unique brand of storytelling journalism.
He thought that China was so exotic and far away that it was uncheckable; that it was okay to take “a few shortcuts in [his] passion to be heard.”
(That’s a cliché too, of course, borrowed from every fabulist since Janet Cooke.)
Evan Osnos explains in this New Yorker post that Mike Daisey’s fatal mistake was assuming he was the Christopher Columbus, so to speak of China business reporters. Ira Glass’ fatal mistake may have been exactly the same.
And who’s Janet Cooke? She’s the Washington Post fabulist from the early 1980s who also believed her fiction could not be fact checked. The story of her very swift rise and fall is here.
Where do we draw the line between irresponsibility and poetic license?