I’m going to let you skip listening to the Retraction episode of This American Life. Here are two short snippets from the transcript. First, This American Life made it clear what they expected from Daisey. This bit is from an email that This American Life producer Brian Reed sent to Mike Daisey before the original episode excerpting Mike Daisey’s show aired:

Being that news stations are obviously a different kind of form than the theater we wanted to make sure that this thing is totally, utterly unassailable by anyone who might hear it.

And why did Mike Daisey lie to everyone? Here’s why:

I think I was terrified that if I untied these things, that the work, that I know is really good, and tells a story, that does these really great things for making people care, that it would come apart in a way where, where it would ruin everything.

The rest is just details.