More on Daisey (Mostly), Plus a Little Russell and Gleick

It turns out that journalists have thought a lot about this whole question of whether it is or isn’t cool to lie to make your story more compelling. Weighing in on the Mike Daisey story are a bunch of journalists:

And a few climate-obsessed non-journalists:

Having now listened to This American Life’s Retraction episode, I’m with Ira: Daisey has moved on from fooling his audience to fooling himself, if he thinks his contortions about “it’s theater not journalism, and I stand by it” are anything but self-serving special pleading.

The difference between journalism and theater are important, if for no other reason than this: Audiences have bullshit detectors, and once you’ve activated them you’ve lost the ability to persuade. In a hyper-connected era, going before an audience the size of This American Life’s means that for someone in that audience, your lies will be transparent, and that someone will have access to the same communication tools you used.

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