While the publishing industry waited to see whether it faced the embarrassment of yet another partly fabricated memoir, Greg Mortenson, the co-author of the best-selling “Three Cups of Tea,” a book popular with the Pentagon for its inspirational lessons on Afghanistan and Pakistan, forcefully countered a CBS News report on Sunday that questioned the facts of his book and the management of his charitable organization.
Apparently the dramatic incident that launched his mission for education never happened or at least not in any way resembling the inspirational incident (man near death, rescued by villagers, vows to return and build school). I don’t much care as long as kids are getting schooled. But…60 minutes visited 30 out of 54 of his charity’s schools, found half of them empty or funded by someone else. Everyone associated with Mr. Mortenson including American high-ups who want to believe in him (and so would I) are staying low-key, wait and see.
I think the notion is an important and fabulous one. I am 100% behind providing assistance and funding for education in those regions. If it isn’t happening, then it ought to be, and those who can make it happen should be encouraged and funded. Those who aren’t–well, better to know the truth rather than cling to wishfulness, so the wish can become reality.