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60 Minutes: Greg Mortenson Fabricated Parts of Books

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

  1. JayFarrar

    JayFarrar Well-Known Member

    I'm currently reading Nothing to Envy and the writer, a LA Times reporter, says upfront that because the book is about North Korea she has no way of verifying any of the details or facts in the book outside of interviews.

    It was kind of refreshing.

    And the book is a pretty good read as well.
  2. JR

    JR Well-Known Member

    Up until recently, because of the unspoken contract between author and publisher, it was assumed that a ms sent in as non-fiction was exactly that. It would never have crossed the minds of publishers like Knopf, Farrar Straus, S&S, Doubleday etc, that an author would have fabricated events. It was, to use a quaint expression, "a gentlemanly business"

    From a practical point of view, the cost associated with fact-checking a 200,000 word manuscript would be prohibitive.
  3. YankeeFan

    YankeeFan Well-Known Member

    Mortenson's tales have resulted in a pretty nice career for him:

  4. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    When I wrote a book, the publisher's lawyers did a read through it for potential libel triggers. Anything that was unflattering, they wanted the source (I didn't have source notes at the end - just a bibliography/sources cited page). They also checked the spelling of names. That was the extent, I think, of the fact-checking, though mine was a work of journalism/history and not a memoir/first-person book. I assume that my experience was fairly typical.
  5. YankeeFan

    YankeeFan Well-Known Member

    60 Minutes profile is on now.
  6. YankeeFan

    YankeeFan Well-Known Member

    Devastating report. Mortenson is a fool for not getting out ahead of this story.

    He should have called a press conference and admitted all. He should have answered every single question and begged people to forgive him.

    Millions juts saw him refuse to speak with Steve Kroft. Drudge is now linking to the story and his institute's website is overwhelmed and won't load.
  7. Point of Order

    Point of Order Active Member

    Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.
  8. JayFarrar

    JayFarrar Well-Known Member

    So it is true, CBS News can move mountains to get the story when they want it.

    Why, if they only pursued real news with half the amount of vigor things could be remarkably different.
  9. YankeeFan

    YankeeFan Well-Known Member

    Jones on why the Greg Mortensons of the world should worry all of you:

  10. TheSportsPredictor

    TheSportsPredictor Well-Known Member

    That they can get a guy like Krakauer to go all-in on Mortensen is the most damning.
  11. SoccerFan

    SoccerFan Member

    Read both of his books and it's not surprising information. The publisher and the writer who co-authored his first book should be getting hammered as well. Mortenson is a snake, no doubt, but this discredits journalism because it shows that, once again, editors can't do their freaking job and ensure that the story is spot on. Or maybe they did and didn't give a shit since they wanted everyone to profit off his stories.
  12. Point of Order

    Point of Order Active Member

    Seems to me journalism exposed this fraud.
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