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Gloria Wolk

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Central Asia Institute
April 18, 2011

The "60 Minutes" expose is not the first time this program has been sloppy, at best. Before detailing another example that is not well known I wonder why they challenge someone who risks his life to make a difference in an admirable way, something not done by anyone else--and there have nearly two decades for someone to replicate his activities.

Did the program compare Mortenson's salary with that of others in similar situations? Nope. And it is not excessive. Did the program take into account the risks Mortenson faces when he appears publicly--because he has friendships with and helps Muslims, who are viewed in this country today the way Japanese-Americans were viewed during WWII?

Did the program include Tom Friedman, who wrote about his experience with Mortenson when a new school was opened? No.

Too often "60 Minutes" shows its fondness for yellow journalism.

And now the vulture media--the parrots--repeat and exaggerate everything concluded by the program.

Now for another grievance about "60 Minutes." In December 1996, featuring Morley Safer, there was segment about the new viatical settlement industry. Safer seemed to praise it. He was widely quoted by viatical companies as stating this was "the perfect no-risk investment." The phrase was taken out of context, but it led to tens of thousands of elderly people investing in fraudulent viatical contracts.

I contacted the program, asking to speak to several anchors, finally left a message asking them to retract the apparent endorsement and run a correction. Silence.

A number of viatical companies even used a video of that segment as a marketing device.

In a follow-up message I told "60 Minutes" that they were co-conspirators, helping to induce people into becoming fraud victims.

No response. In my mind, "60 Minutes"chooses not to be responsible.

ln my mind, the veracity of reports on "60 Minutes" should be questioned whenever they attempt an expose.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I've read reports of Mortenson's success from other sources, unbiased, objective sources who were witnesses to his achievements. AND, the IRS forms for the organization are readily available to the public. I do not have a problem with how this organization is run.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Have an audit committee since that seems to be the only thing lacking.

MY ROLE:
Donor & I am a donor and will continue to be.

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