“It was completely wrong for me to have it on your show,” Daisey tells Glass on the program, “and that’s something I deeply regret.” He also expressed his regret to “the people who are listening, the audience of This American Life, who know that it is a journalism enterprise, if they feel betrayed.”
It’s hard to think of this as anything other than a massive failure by This American Life. UPDATE: especially considering Daisey’s prior admissions of fabrications and embellishments.
However, if there are a few things which can be learnt from this whole episode it’s that:
- A good, emotive story will often get you what you want, especially if you don’t allow facts to stand in the way of the preferred outcome, but
- Journalists really do need to check their sources
- News media could do worse than follow NPR and This American Life by giving at least the same amount of space for the correction as they had for the orginal
- There is still a need for tighter oversight in the way our shiny objects are created and by who