Mike Daisy on Steve Jobs and China on Q&A Cspan – Transcribed.

 

And then begin asking people about the conditions, and yet that story is not actually being told in our Press

 

 

Brian Lamb:  Did you go with anybody?

 

 

Mike Daisey:  No, I went with my wife and director.  Who uhm basically acted as uhm sort of backup and it wasn’t really clear to me ah what was going to happen when I did this? So uhm you know?

 

Not to be dramatic about it but I mean she would stay behind at the hotel. In this opposition, it was I would check in with you at this time.  If I don’t check in, start calling people, start making noise.

 

Uhm I went I found a translator through friends of friends and so I went with a translator since I don’t speak Mandarin.

 

 

Brian Lamb:  When you got your Visa from China under what circumstances did they give it to you?  What did they think you were going to do?

 

 

Mike Daisey:  Uhm I did not actually say what I was going to do.  But I did have to say what my profession was which I said was teacher.  Which is true I do teach as well so.

 

 

Brian Lamb:  And ah did you contact Foxconn and did they let you in the factory?

 

 

Mike Daisey:  I did not contact Foxconn.

 

 

Brian Lamb:  Why not?

 

Mike Daisey:  It was very clear that was not going to lead anywhere and ah the only place that I saw that leading was leading to them, having a picture of me that would then cause more problems when I got to the factory.

 

When I first got to Hong Kong I uhm, worked with a fixer, who would work for the BBC, to try to get connections to other factories throughout the Special Economic Zone, to try to do something officially uhm above board, and that was ah hopeless it lead nowhere.

 

And it was very, very clear as the days went on that this was not going to work at all.  Ah that if I followed the rules ah of engagement, the rules of engagement for journalism in China are very clear.

 

Uhm no one there is incentivized to let anyone talk to you about anything.  Uhm because you’re just going to tell a terrible story of the things they know are wrong.

 

So ah they are not gonna let anyone in and ah they are very clear about not letting people in, and then if you’re a journalist you belong to a journalism organization.

 

Generally, your organization would require you to get a journalism visa.  At which point the Chinese government tracks you very, very closely the whole time your there and you can’t tell your story.

 

 

Brian Lamb:  Here is the little clip of you talking about China in your monologue

 

 

<Clip plays>

 

Mike Daisey:  I mean we think we do know where our shit comes from?   We think it comes from China, right?

 

 

Audience: (laughs)

 

 

Mike Daisey:  In a generalized way, China. There are dragons there…

 

 

Audience: (laughs)

 

 

Mike Daisey:  China.

 

 

Audience:  (laughs)

 

 

<Clip ends>

 

 

Brian Lamb:  Explain the China thing you do that a lot when you’re talking about China…

 

 

Mike Daisey:  Well yeah.

 

 

Brian Lamb:  Where you getting at?

 

 

Mike Daisey:  Well, this is just a stylized gesture to sort of capture something that we all know is true, which is that we are terrified of and fetishized China, ah we do both.

 

We ah we don’t want to address China.   We don’t want to think about the implications of China.

 

We are terrified that they are larger than us.  We are terrified of the economic relationship we are in with China.

 

Many of us don’t know the particulars but we know it’s scary. We don’t like to think about it.

 

Uhm the same time we fetishized China. So many business books adore China.  They talk about China the great new opening, the great new markets.

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