Jonah Lehrer: New Yorker writer resigns after faking Bob Dylan quotes

Jonah Lehrer attends the "You and Your Irrational Brain."

A staff writer for The New Yorker magazine resigned on Monday, after admitting he had made up quotes from singer and songwriter Bob Dylan in his book “Imagine: How Creativity Works”.

Science journalist and author Jonah Lehrer became the latest nonfiction writer to admit making up material, saying in a statement released Monday by the book’s publisher, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, that he had lied to a journalist for online publication Tablet who had questioned Lehrer several weeks ago about the authenticity of quotes in a section devoted to Dylan.

The inquiry by reporter Michael Moynihan followed earlier allegations that Lehrer had repurposed quotes in several New Yorker blogs.

“The quotes in question either did not exist, were unintentional misquotations, or represented improper combinations of previously existing quotes,” Lehrer said.

He also admitted to lying to Moynihan by initially telling the Tablet reporter that the quotes were authentic and taken from archival interview footage provided by Dylan’s representatives.

“This was a lie spoken in a moment of panic. When Mr. Moynihan followed up, I continued to lie, and say things I should not have said,” he said. “The lies are over now. I understand the gravity of my position. I want to apologize to everyone I have let down, especially my editors and readers.”

Lehrer said he had also resigned from his position at The New Yorker.

“This is a terrifically sad situation, but, in the end, what is most important is the integrity of what we publish and what we stand for,” said New Yorker editor David Remnick.

Other books – mostly memoirs – that have caused controversy for being fakes in past 10 years include James Frey’s “A Million Little Pieces” and Herman Rosenblat’s canceled 2009 holocaust memoir, “Angel at the Fence: The True Story of a Love That Survived.”

Most publishers say they rely on authors to tell the truth.

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt said in its statement, “In light of the serious misuse of quotations” in “Imagine,”, “we are exploring all options available to us. We are taking the e-book of IMAGINE off-sale, and halting shipment of physical copies.”

Among other publishing scandals, Jayson Blair famously resigned from the New York Times in 2003 amid charges of plagiarism, and Stephen Glass fabricated a number of stories for The New Republic magazine in the late 1990s before he was discovered.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Memorial held for Sean Collier, MIT police officer…

More than 1,600 people gathered at MIT on Friday for a memorial service for Sean Collier, the police officer shot to death a year ago in the aftermath of the…

National

Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.

International

Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.

News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

Entertainment

Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

MLB

MLB video highlights: Red Sox defeat Orioles, 4-2

Brock Holt the difference in the Red Sox' win

NHL

NHL video highlights & analysis: Red Wings dump…

NHL video highlights & analysis: Red Wings dump Bruins in Game 1

MLB

MLB video highlights: Orioles top Red Sox, 8-4…

John Lackey roughed up for second straight outing

MLB

MLB video highlights: Red Sox score two in…

Lester shines in Red Sox win over White Sox

Tech

VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.

Tech

#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.