Early this afternoon, we published a story by Michael C. Moynihan on Jonah Lehrer’s book Imagine, which as Moynihan discovered, featured fabricated Bob Dylan quotes. Lehrer, shortly after being hired as a staff writer by The New Yorker in June, almost immediately became embroiled in a scandal in which it was revealed that he had recycled quotes and paragraphs from his previous work. The acts of self-plagiarism brought him public opprobrium, but Lehrer was allowed to continue his work at The New Yorker.
But a few hours after Tablet’s report was published, Lehrer resigned from his post at The New Yorker, saying:
“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. I also owe a sincere apology to Mr. Moynihan. I will do my best to correct the record and ensure that my misquotations and mistakes are fixed. I have resigned my position as staff writer at The New Yorker.”
New Yorker editor David Remnick said:
“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.”
Additionally, Barnes & Noble, Inc. as well as Lehrer’s publisher, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt , are halting the shipments of physical copies of Imagine and pulling the e-book off the market.
Related: Jonah Lehrer’s Deceptions
Q & A: Michael C. Moynihan, The Guy Who Uncovered Jonah Lehrer’s Fabrication Problem [The Observer]
Jonah Lehrer Resigns from The New Yorker After Making Up Dylan Quotes for His Book [NYT]
Author Jonah Lehrer Fabricated Dylan Quotes for Book ‘Imagine’ [WSJ]
Adam Chandler was previously a staff writer at Tablet. His work has appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Atlantic, Slate, Esquire, New York, and elsewhere. He tweets @allmychandler.