Future retractions from This American Life *

Mar 21 2012 Published by under Uncategorized

Following the unfortunate Mike Daisey embarassment last week, This American Life has decided it need to emphasize the importance of journalistic integrity to all its guests. So serious are they that Ira Glass has sent a letter to all former contributors emphasizing journalistic standards, and asking for any admissions of factual error. I have obtained the internal memo detailing the upcoming retractions the show will make, and am publishing it here, in the interest of openness in the media.

Episode 74 ("Funny Things Kids Say"): The intro to the episode interviews several 6 year olds on their feelings about watching their parents kiss. Little Susie claimed that it make her want to barf. Actually, this was originally said 5 minutes earlier by her brother Danny, but he was too shy to come to the microphone, so Susie repeated it. They were not her words and we can neither confirm nor deny that thinking about her parents kissing made her want to barf. Also, Susie was 7 and a half at the time, not 6. TAL regrets the inaccuracy.

Episode 103 ("Valentine's Day Special: Love at First Sight"): In this episode Ira claimed that Duncan and Edith kissed the first time they met, at a canteen in Luzon in 1945. Edith now admits that Duncan awkwardly hit on her three weeks earlier at a WAC/WAVE dance, but that he was so drunk he forgot. It was not, in fact, love at first sight. TAL apologizes for the error, and regretfully admits this weakens the episode's broader claim that love at first sight is real.

Episode 256 ("Poultry Slam 2005"): One of the stories involved a graduate student at the University of Idaho who kept a pet eagle. According to USDA guidelines, eagles are not considered to be poultry, and the story should therefore have not been broadcast in an episode called "Poultry Slam." TAL regrets the error and retroactively retitles the episode "Words about Birds".

Episode 381 ("Road Trip"): It is stated that Dishwasher Pete hopes to wash dishes in all 50 states. Even before this episode was broadcast, Dishwasher Pete was had admitted to Ira that, like Sufjan Stevens, he had no hope of achieving his 50-state goal, and now has the more modest goal of washing dishes in all the 8 states of the upper midwest, and, if he has time, Kansas and Oklahoma.

Episode 411 ("Driving Lessons"): In Act 3 of this episode, Ira teaches Sarah Vowell to drive. Although never explicitly stated, the recording of their conversation implies that they would have great romantic chemistry. Unfortunately, subsequent meetings have demonstrated that Ira and Sarah have no chemistry, but are both happy to be platonic friends. The episode has been re-edited to introduce more awkward pauses, and to make it at least 20% less flirty overall.

Episode 442 ("Animals in Love"): In Act 4, David Sedaris tells the charming story of mixed signals and barnyard romacne between a talking squirrel and a sulky pig. In the events the story was based on, the squirrel was actually a chipmunk, and the pig was actually a different chipmunk. TAL regrets the error, and promises to just skip all animal love stories in the future.

Episode 460 ("Retraction"): In Act 1, it was implied by guest Mike Daisey himself the he is not a mendaacious con-artist, and that he had some legitimate defenses to Ira's questions. TAL regrets the misleading impression.

* Note: this post is not literally true, in the journalistic sense. Neuropolarbear is unfamiliar with Daisey's Rules of the Theater, but they seem to match the rules of the internet. Meaning, when people read the internet, they expect everything to be made up facts with no basis in reality. Neuropolarbear apologizes most of all his loyal audience.

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