1. “… Byliner kicked off its narrative nonfiction “Byliner Originals” publishing program this past spring, with Jon Krakauer’s exposé of Three Cups of Tea author Greg Mortensen. That e-single, “Three Cups of Deceit,” became the #1 bestselling nonfiction title across Amazon …”
    . . .

    “It’s [“Into Thin Air”] there in print forever.  It’s part of history.   People should be above taking someone else down.   And for what?   For money and egos people are willing to destroy other people to further their careers.  
                                                          — David Breashears, (“Improper Bostonian”, Sept 24, 1997)
     
    On April 17, 2011 CBS’s “60 Minutes” aired their expose of Greg Mortenson (best-selling author of “Three Cups of Tea”).  Jon Krakauer (best-selling author of “Into Thin Air”) said that Mortenson tells a “beautiful story, and it’s a lie” and “uses Central Asia Institute (CAI) as his private ATM machine.”
    This expose resulted in a dramatic drop in Mortenson’s book sales and donations to CAI.   So, it’s rather ironic that after his break with Mortenson in 2004, Krakauer had written:  “I still believe in CAI’s mission … I don’t want to make any public statements that would have a negative impact on Greg’s work….”   
    So then, seven years later, what prompted Jon Krakauer to speak out on “60 Minutes” and write his e-book “Three Cups of Deceit”?  Well, Krakauer was not just a “jilted crank” or “crusading do-gooder” outraged by literary deceit and lax accounting practices.   It appears that Krakauer’s e-book was largely a publicity stunt whose publication was timed with the “60 Minutes” broadcast (that was largely based on research spoon-fed to them by Krakauer) to create the “buzz” to raise the investment capital needed to launch his old friend Mark Bryant’s start-up of Byliner.com.
    Once Mortenson comes out of seclusion, he certainly needs to answer questions about his literary and financial practices.   However, I believe Krakauer also needs to answer questions about how he “got onto the Mortenson story” (but, like Mortenson, Krakauer isn’t talking to the press).
    And, while it certainly appears that Greg Mortenson confabulated parts of his ”inspirational story,” Jon Krakauer has also had “credibility problems” with his own books.   Krakauer displayed hypocrisy by “throwing stones” when his own hands are not clean of deceit. 
    Overall, I believe Daniel Glick (at danielglick.net) has offered the most balanced commentary on this affair:  “[‘60 Minutes’ and Jon Krakauer’s assault was overkill] lacking in basic elements of fairness, balance, perspective, insight and context. … Mortenson is neither a saint nor a charlatan; Krakauer is not either a jilted crank or a crusading do-gooder.  There are nuances, debatable “facts” and conflicting motivations in almost every situation, messy and at times seemingly irreconcilable.  This is no exception.”
    . . .
    Note:  An un-abridged version of this post (with hyperlinks, more detailed quotes, and complete references can be found in the chapter, “With Three Cups of Luck,” in the post, “Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem” at http://www.feralfirefighter.blogspot.com 

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  2. “… Byliner kicked off its narrative nonfiction “Byliner Originals” publishing program this past spring, with Jon Krakauer’s exposé of Three Cups of Tea author Greg Mortensen. That e-single, “Three Cups of Deceit,” became the #1 bestselling nonfiction title across Amazon …”
    . . .

     “It’s [“Into Thin Air”] there in print forever.  It’s part of history.   People should be above taking someone else down.   And for what?   For money and egos people are willing to destroy other people to further their careers.”
     
                                                              — David Breashears, (“Improper Bostonian”, Sept 24, 1997)
     

    On April 17, 2011 CBS’s “60 Minutes” aired their expose of Greg Mortenson (best-selling author of “Three Cups of Tea”).  Jon Krakauer (best-selling author of “Into Thin Air”) said that Mortenson tells a “beautiful story, and it’s a lie” and “uses Central Asia Institute (CAI) as his private ATM machine.”
     
    This expose resulted in a dramatic drop in Mortenson’s book sales and donations to CAI.   So, it’s rather ironic that after his break with Mortenson in 2004, Krakauer had written:  “I still believe in CAI’s mission … I don’t want to make any public statements that would have a negative impact on Greg’s work….”   
     
    So then, seven years later, what prompted Jon Krakauer to speak out on “60 Minutes” and write his e-book “Three Cups of Deceit”?  Well, Krakauer was not just a “jilted crank” or “crusading do-gooder” outraged by literary deceit and lax accounting practices.   It appears that Krakauer’s e-book was also a publicity stunt whose publication was timed with the “60 Minutes” broadcast (that was largely based on research spoon-fed to them by Krakauer) to create the “buzz” to raise the investment capital needed to launch his old friend Mark Bryant’s start-up of Byliner.com.
     
    Once Mortenson comes out of seclusion, he certainly needs to answer questions about his literary and financial practices.   However, I believe Krakauer also needs to answer questions about how he “got onto the Mortenson story” (but, like Mortenson, Krakauer isn’t talking to the press).
     
    And, while it certainly appears that Greg Mortenson confabulated parts of his ”inspirational story,” Jon Krakauer has also had “credibility problems” with his own books.   Krakauer displayed hypocrisy by “throwing stones” when his own hands are not clean of deceit. 
     
    Overall, I believe Daniel Glick (at danielglick.net) has offered the most balanced commentary on this affair:  “[‘60 Minutes’ and Jon Krakauer’s assault was overkill] lacking in basic elements of fairness, balance, perspective, insight and context. … Mortenson is neither a saint nor a charlatan; Krakauer is not either a jilted crank or a crusading do-gooder.  There are nuances, debatable “facts” and conflicting motivations in almost every situation, messy and at times seemingly irreconcilable.  This is no exception.”
     
    . . .
    Note:  An un-abridged version of this post (with hyperlinks, more detailed quotes, and complete references can be found in the chapter, “With Three Cups of Luck,” in the post, “Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem” at http://www.feralfirefighter.blogspot.com 

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