Dear Ira:

As a loyal listener of This American Life, I found episodes 454 and 460 quite intriguing.

Still, as Apple sold its 5 millionth iPhone during the past weekend, I was stunned to read the NY Times article indicating Foxconn Technology, a major supplier to some of the world’s electronics giants, including Apple, closed one of its plants Monday after the police were required to break up a fight among factory employees.

The NY Times reported unconfirmed photographs and video, purporting to be from the factory, showing smashed windows, riot police officers and large groups of workers milling around. Chinese state-run news media said 5,000 police officers had been called in to quell the riot.

Think about that: 5,000 police officers were needed to quell the riot. An entire U.S. Military ‘Brigade’ equals approximately 3,000 to 5,000 troops. The Chinese needed an equivalent of a U.S. Brigade to put down the unrest.

So in light of the fact that episodes 454 and 460 dealt with some fabrications and in light of the recent news coming from Foxconn, I have one question: “Are you sure we didn’t miss something significant?”


S. G.