Scandal Aside, Mortenson Did Good Work

Let's not get cynical about education
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 21, 2011 12:16 PM CDT
Nicholas Kristof: 'Three Cups of Tea' Author Greg Mortenson Did Good Work Despite Scandal
Greg Mortenson, his son Khyber, and daughter, Amira Mortenson, with students at Gultori War refugee school, Bromolo Colony, Karakoram mountains.   (PRNewsFoto/Central Asia Institute, Deirdre Eitel)

Nicholas Kirstof is reeling from the allegations against Three Cups of Tea author Greg Mortenson, who he considers a personal friend. “Part of me wishes that all this journalistic energy had been directed instead to ferret out abuses by politicians who allocate government resources to campaign donors,” he gripes in the New York Times, “but that’s not a real answer. … We need to hold school-builders accountable as well as fat cats.”

“On the other hand, I’m willing to give some benefit of the doubt to a man who has risked his life on behalf of some of the world’s most voiceless people." While the allegations are disturbing, Kristof has visited some of Mortenson’s schools, and seen the genuine good they're doing. “Let’s not forget that even if all the allegations turn out to be true, Greg has still built more schools and transformed more children’s lives than you or I ever will.” (More Three Cups of Tea stories.)

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