Ira Glass on his nervous pitch to monologist Mike Daisey

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Current’s Feb. 27 story on This American Life’s recent breakthroughs with enterprise reporting describes the inspiration behind “Mr. Daisey and the Apple Factory,” the story on Apple factories in China that was later retracted.

Glass tells Current that after seeing Daisey’s monologue last October, he was already “editing the radio version in my head” as he left the theater.

“I thought [Daisey] was doing something remarkable,” said Glass, “which is taking a fact that we all already know — that these devices we love are made in China in conditions that are probably not so wonderful, and he makes us feel something about it.”

Glass invited Daisey to lunch, and he recalls feeling nervous when they met Nov. 16. “I came with a whole big speech on why he should do it,” said Glass. “My fear was he wouldn’t want to do anything while the play was still up.”

But Daisey, 37, loved the idea. He wanted his material published as broadly as possible.

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