May 22, 2013
New Yorker Journalist Quits Over Fake Dylan Quotes
Posted on Jul 30, 2012
Journalist Jonah Lehrer resigned Monday from The New Yorker after he admitted to fabricating quotes from Bob Dylan in his book “Imagine.” The discovery was made by Michael C. Moynihan, a writer for the online magazine Tablet.
Moynihan, who described himself in the Tablet article as “something of the Dylan obsessive,” wrote to Lehrer inquiring about where the quotes came from. What came next was a series of lies and deceptions, but in the end, truth.
Lehrer released a written statement in which he attempted to explain his actions. “Three weeks ago, I received an email from journalist Michael Moynihan asking about Bob Dylan quotes in my book ‘Imagine,’ ” he said. “The quotes in question either did not exist, were unintentional misquotations, or represented improper combinations of previously existing quotes. But I told Mr. Moynihan that they were from archival interview footage provided to me 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 then apologized. “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.”
This isn’t the first controversy Lehrer has been involved in. In fact, he apologized just last month for, among other things, recycling his own work.
—Posted by Tracy Bloom.
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