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60 Minutes: Greg Mortenson Fabricated Parts of Books

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by YankeeFan, Apr 16, 2011.

  1. YankeeFan

    YankeeFan Well-Known Member

  2. PCLoadLetter

    PCLoadLetter Well-Known Member

    Honestly, I had never heard of this guy or his story.

    I will say, though, after reading the summary of the books.. well, no shit he made up those stories. They're absurd.

    Does anyone in publishing have an even moderately critical thought when they read stuff like this? James Frey's stories were preposterous. Same with that woman who claimed she ran away from Nazis and was raised by wolves. I mean, come on.

    I should start pitching publishers with the events that happened to me last summer. I was at the Lincoln Memorial when a priest came up and threw a bag over my head, and I felt myself being hauled away. Next thing I knew I was waking up in the snow, and a band of penguins nursed me back to health. They built a small boat that I used to sail back to civilization, but just as the shore was in view I was swallowed by a whale. And that's when my adventure really began...
  3. Piotr Rasputin

    Piotr Rasputin New Member


    "I told you Mortensen is a liah!"

  4. YankeeFan

    YankeeFan Well-Known Member

    He's gotten a lot of press and the paperback has been on the Times best seller list for four years running:

  5. typefitter

    typefitter Well-Known Member

    Yeah, Fan's right. This is huge. It's also going to get really, really ugly. We'll hear a lot of arguments about ends and means, I suspect. If a few embellishments got some schools built in Afghanistan and Pakistan, then what's the harm?

    You know, except to the craft of non-fiction.

    And PC, most book contracts put the onus of truth solely on the author. There's no fact-checking process or anything like that. In a sick kind of way, the system's built to encourage publishers to overlook the fact that a true story might not really be all that true.
  6. PCLoadLetter

    PCLoadLetter Well-Known Member

    And in most cases I think that's understandable. I can understand publishers taking something like "Game Change" or "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks" at face value.

    If an author is claiming to be a cross between Pat Tillman and Forrest Gump like Mortensen, or claims to have escaped Nazis by living with wolves, it's very hard for me to sympathize with anyone who feels duped.
  7. Blitz

    Blitz Active Member

    I'd never heard of him either
  8. TheSportsPredictor

    TheSportsPredictor Well-Known Member

    Three Cups of Tea is a favorite of old-lady library reading groups. They are going to be awfully upset.
  9. dirtybird

    dirtybird Active Member

    /Throws massive sack of money at you.

    I must have that story... AND MOVIE RIGHTS!
  10. YankeeFan

    YankeeFan Well-Known Member

    It already looks like this is the way they are going to defend the book:

    "Standing by the 'information conveyed in the book,'" doesn't sound the same to me as if they said that the book is 100% factual.

    And they go immediately to an "ends justifies the means" argument.

    Though, even that appears to be questionable:

  11. YankeeFan

    YankeeFan Well-Known Member

    Here's the full statement:

    So, I guess if you question the veracity of his story then you "do not want our mission of educating girls to succeed."

    This guy is an idiot and it doesn't look like he's consulting or listening to good crisis management advisors.

    His story has been blown up. It's over. You obviously made up huge portions of it.

    And to deny, try to change the subject, or demonize your critics is not going to end the inquiries. It's one thing to lie if you can get away with it, but once you've been busted, you might as well come clean and beg for forgiveness.

    He's eventually going to have to admit the truth. His current strategy is only going to make that tougher.
  12. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

    Follow the money. If CAI isn't building schools, what is it doing?

    Mortenson's aunt was lecturing in Minnesota on CAI's mission. It was basically a fundraising and book selling drive.
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