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Mike Daisey blasts Mossberg, Swisher over Tim Cook interview

The outspoken Apple critic says that the interview at the All Things Digital D10 conference fell short when the topic of China came up.

Apple critic Mike Daisey.
Apple critic Mike Daisey.
Greg Sandoval/CNET

Mike Daisey, a longtime Apple critic and monologist, has turned his sights on All Things Digital's Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher over their interview this week with Apple CEO Tim Cook.

"Kara and Walt -- do you really think you asked hard questions tonight? Goodness, you got Cook to admit that Ping was a failure! That's amazing," Daisey wrote on his personal blog yesterday. "If only you had another hour, so you could get him to tell us who he liked best on Dawson's Creek and what kind of ice cream is best: vanilla or cookies and cream. (Trick question: it's always cookies and cream.)" (See also: Cook on Ping: 'Will we kill it? I don't know')

Daisey went on to suggest questions the two interviewers could have posed to Cook, including several that centered on Apple's supply chain and its relations with Foxconn in China.

"'Recently you went to China for the first time as CEO to tour Foxconn's production lines," Daisey wrote as part of an interview question he claims he would have asked Cook. "Apple's first outside audits of Foxconn happened in 2006, after media coverage back then, and the report recommendations made six years ago are the same as the ones made by the FLA in 2012. Did it not seem important enough a priority for the CEO go until now, six years later? Why did it take so long?'"

Although Cook wasn't posed with that question during his interview, he touched on a host of topics, including his desire to stay out of the traditional console space and acknowledgment that he wants to make Apple even more secretive.

Swisher didn't take the criticisms lightly. Shortly after Daisey published his post, she took to her Twitter feed, telling him that his "15 minutes were up already," adding that it was a "good effort to make yourself relevant." Mossberg tweeted that "being attacked by an admitted liar is sort of a badge of honor."

Daisey has become a bit of a lightning rod in the Apple world. To Apple fans, he's widely viewed as an instigator and someone who takes aim at the company for little or no reason. To Apple critics, he's an outspoken leader of sorts who says what others might not.

Earlier this year, Daisey went on the "This American Life" radio show and told a story of the suffering he had witnessed among workers who assemble Apple's products in China. The issue, however, was that some of the most compelling details were later found to have been embellished or even fictional, calling Daisey's credibility into question. Still, earlier this month, he revealed that his career is actually on the upswing in the wake of the controversy, and he has work lined up for at least the next two years.

In yesterday's blog post taking aim at the D10 interview, Daisey admitted that he's made mistakes and "owned it." He also made it clear that he's not a journalist, but has "paid the price for where I've gone wrong." Even with all that, he seems to have a new resolve and willingness to continue to his work.

"The nice thing about coming through something like that is that afterward, you don't have anything to lose," he wrote.

Video: In the excerpt below from the interview, Cook touches on China supplier issues and other topics, including Apple's vaunted secrecy. You can see additional videos here.