Self-Plagiarist Jonah Lehrer In Trouble Again: This Time For Making Up Bob Dylan Quotes
Last time we caught up with Jonah Lehrer, he was facing a shitstorm for recycling his own content. People were upset, but at least it kicked off a moral debate as to the legitimacy of his actions. This time around, everyone can agree he screwed up hard—for his best-selling book, Mr. Lehrer invented quotes that he attributed to Bob Dylan and passed off as real.
As you can imagine, once the falsification was revealed, everyone freaked out a bit: Lehrer resigned from The New Yorker under editor David Remnick’s advice, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt pulled every copy of Imagine: How Creativity Works it could find from bookstore shelves and eBook sites, and apology statements were issued.
Lehrer admitted that some Dylan quotes appearing in Imagine did "not exist." Others were "unintentional misquotations, or represented improper combinations of previously existing quotes."
“The lies are over now,” Lehrer said in a statement to the New York Times. “I understand the gravity of my position. I want to apologize to everyone I have let down, especially my editors and readers.”
If we can learn anything from this debacle, it's this: if you're gonna make shit up, always cover your tracks. (Or maybe the lesson is not to make shit up... I can't tell.)
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