Mike Daisey isn’t the first “This American Life” monologist to see his veracity challenged.
Five years ago this week, under the headline “This American Lie,” the New Republic painstakingly detailed the habitual fabrications of David Sedaris, who grew up in Raleigh and set much of his supposed “nonfiction” there.
Contributor Alex Heard investigated Sedaris’s accounts of being bitten by a naked patient at Dorothea Dix Hospital, taking guitar lesson from “a perfectly formed midget” in a north Raleigh mall and being drafted into a gays-only speech therapy class at Brooks Elementary. Heard’s verdict: More fiction than fact.
The gently rendered expose slowed Sedaris’s career not a whit. Daisey, now being hammered roundly for his false claims about Apple factories in China, could be forgiven for wondering…. how did he get away with that?