Under the Radar

Three Cups of Tea Meets the 60 Minutes Buzzsaw



At least Three Cups of Tea author Greg Mortenson knows enough not to answer when 60 Minutes sticks a camera in his face, but he still gets hammered in this report from this week's episode.

The book's runaway success has made Mortensen has become a worldwide celebrity renowned for his relief work in Pakistan and Afghanistan. He's even earned some cred as a U.S. Military adviser

Three Cups of Tea presents the story about how Mortenson became lost on a mountain-climbing expedition after his descent from K2, stumbled upon the village of Korphe, Pakistan where he was inspired to help the villagers build a school. But first, he had to escape from the Taliban after they kidnapped him. The moving story made for a huge bestseller and the book has even come to be used as a textbook in more than a few school systems around the country.

Unfortunately for Mortenson's reputation and the author's fans, the 60 Minutes profile enlists even more famous and well-respected writer Jon Krakauer for the takedown. Now his alleged kidnapper has gone on the record and called Mortenson a "liar." The author disputes the accusations but still admits to "simplifying" some events to make the story more clear.

Of course, objective truth is hard to come by in a war zone and (as General McChrystal will be glad to tell you), sometimes sensationalistic news stories don't hold up to closer scrutiny.

Still, this one's pretty brutal. You can watch the whole thing over at the 60 Minutes website.


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