I don’t know if you caught the original Mike Daisey broadcast on This American Life, where he told about his investigations on Chinese manufacturing jobs and the absolute horrors surrounding them. I remember how riveted I was to it. Then last week there was an ever more striking piece, where TAL interviewed Daisey on allegations that his story was embellished (if not outright fabricated). Just listening to Daisey choke on the followup interview (like the bit in the old Flash Gordon movie where Ming orders a loyal prince to fall on his sword) was gut-clenching. STORY HERE.
And now the producer of Kony 2012, suffering political blowback, was found running about a California suburb, naked and screaming. And STORY HERE.
The thing is, until recently, this was water-cooler stuff, info to chatter about and shake a rueful head over. But now that I’ve spent a few sleepless nights churning over book issues, the formatting, the distribution, the copyright, the sales, I can see this. And remember, this is hobby-publishing I’m doing, not big league stuff (with its associated Icarus plunges) these guys face. I can only imagine what its like to get burned, as publicly and thoroughly as a pig in a Viking roast, in the public space and the blogsphere.
Remember that fifteen minutes of fame also comes with forty-five minutes of stomach churn.