From The New York Times:
"An investigation by “60 Minutes” casts doubt on the accuracy of the inspirational best seller “Three Cups of Tea” by Greg Mortenson, saying it is filled with inaccuracies. It also says that Mr. Mortenson’s charitable organization, the Central Asia Institute, has taken credit for building schools that don’t exist.
The report, which will be broadcast Sunday night on CBS, questions the veracity of one of the most gripping stories in the book, Mr. Mortenson’s account of being lost in 1993 while mountain-climbing in rural Pakistan. Mr. Mortenson wrote that he stumbled upon the village of Korphe, where he was cared for by local residents, and that their kindness inspired him to build a school. The “60 Minutes” report draws on observations from the porters who joined Mr. Mortenson on his mountain trip and dispute his being lost. They say he only visited Korphe a year later.
The news report also says that some of the schools in Pakistan and Afghanistan that Mr. Mortenson’s charity is said to have established either don’t exist or were built by others.
In a statement issued through the institute, Mr. Mortenson defended the book, which he co-wrote with David Oliver Relin, and his humanitarian work."
Meanwhile, The Daily Beast rightly observes:
"If this were just about one author’s reputation, the story would have few repercussions outside the publishing world. But Mortenson is not just a memoirist—he’s also the single most famous champion of the transformative power of education for girls in poor countries. If his downfall leads to skepticism about his cause, it would be not just a scandal, but a tragedy. “It raises cynicism about the role of nonprofits in general, because I think that all of us who are in this space now are going to have to prove ourselves or do that much more to re-engage with our public, especially those who are not already donors,” says Shalini Nataraj, vice president at the Global Fund for Women. Adds New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof: “It's probably true that advocates sometimes exaggerate how easy it is to help. But I worry that the latest round of sour news will leave people thinking it's almost impossible to help.”