Saturday, May 7, 2011

Three Cups Of Tea Author Mounts Weak, Unsatisfying Defense Of 60 Minutes' Allegations

outside mortensonGreg Mortenson still has some explaining to do.

A day after the news broke that he and the Central Asia Institute were the subject of a lawsuit, Outside posted an analysis of the organization's defense of the allegations made by 60 Minutes and Jon Krakauer.

The document -- the CAI's annual Journey of Hope newsletter -- does an adequate job of explaining why the charity only spent 41% of its budget building schools, but fails to address questions of financial impropriety by Mortenson or give an explanation as to why the details in Three Cups of Tea seem questionable.

For example, Journey continues to claim Mortenson made it to the village of Korphe in 1993, even though multiple sources have discredited that theory and it does not even sound possible.

Ultimately, it is an unsatisfying document that does little to put Mortenson and CAI in a more forgiving light.

There might be some hope in the future, however.

As Outside notes: "For supporters who were hoping for a more direct response from CAI’s founder, board chairman [Abdul] Jabbar offers that Mortenson will do a series of longer interviews 'after his impending [heart] surgery,' which is scheduled for sometime in May."

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