“[This American Life] said [Mike Daisey’s] story about meeting underage workers at Foxconn… was untrue. The program says Daisey also lied about meeting a man who mangled his hand making iPads… [and] that factory guards carried guns. ‘The only people who are allowed to have guns in China are the military and police,’ [China bureau chief Rob] Schmitz said in a phone interview from Shanghai. He also doubted Daisey’s contention that he met factory workers in a Starbucks, a pricey venue assembly workers would never visit.”
Mercury News, 3/17/12

Mike Daisey, 2008. “I saw President Obama’s birth certificate. I flew to Hawaii — not on a plane, but by flapping my arms, back and forth, very quickly. I met with the woman who worked for the Hawaii Department of Health. Not the woman who works there now, but the woman who worked there then, at the time President Obama was born. She was carrying a gun. She showed me the birth certificate. She showed me many birth certificates. She makes birth certificates, in a factory, on an assembly line. She works sixteen-hour days making birth certificates. I don’t remember her name. I used to have her phone number, but I lost it. She wore glasses. On her feet, she wore glasses. She was very strange.”

Mike Daisey, 2000. “I met voters who were thirteen years old. I went to Florida and met voters who were twelve, thirteen, fourteen years old. They looked like senior citizens, but they were really much younger. They were carrying guns. They showed me a list from the government. The list had hundreds of names on it. They were names of underage voters. Or maybe it was a shopping list. My interpreter translated the list from English into the language I speak, which is similar to English but adds extra words that are not true. I counted the votes. I saw the hanging chads. I saw a man named Chad, hanging from the ceiling. I am a man named Chad. And I am a voter. I voted for myself. And I won the election.”

Mike Daisey, 1836. “I knocked on the door, and out came Martin Van Buren. I was, of course, younger then, twelve or thirteen. Maybe fourteen. And my hand was mangled. We went to a Starbucks. I watched Van Buren touch an old man, with leathery skin. Their eyes widened when I showed them an iPad. They had never seen one before. They stroked the screen and watched the pictures change, like magic. Just like magic. Van Buren used my Starbucks gift card to buy a caramel macchiato. The macchiato came with a gun.”

Mike Daisey, 2012. “I saw Mitt Romney. I took him to a Starbucks. He had never seen one before. I showed him a working man. He had also never seen one before. I put the man in Romney’s hands, with his leathery skin, and his empty investment account, and Mitt Romney stroked the working man, and looked at him as if he were magic. I showed Mitt Romney my iPad. He had seen an iPad before. He knew the owners of the company that made the iPad. He watched the icons slide back and forth. He said he had been to China. The factories there were just the right size.”

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JEREMY BLACHMAN is a freelance writer and the author of Anonymous Lawyer (Henry Holt), a comedic novel satirizing the world of corporate law. His writing has appeared in McSweeney's, The Wall Street Journal, The New Republic, and on other Internet sites near you. Check out jeremyblachman.com for more, or follow him on Twitter @jeremyblachman.

2 responses to “Mike Daisey’s Stories from the Campaign Trail”

  1. Rachel Pollon says:

    Very funny. “I am a man named Chad.” LOL.

  2. Romney is so out of touch. He talks of entrepreneurship and venture capitalism and free markets and small business. Well all fine and good and that’s how America got built. What he does not understand is that 95% of us ain’t entrepreneurs We are firemen, waitresses, teachers, carpenters, bus drivers, and janitors and so forth. So who does he think he’s speaking to and how will his philosophy work if 95% of us are not in his target population ? Enjoyed the read. Please notify new posts.

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