After fabricating Bob Dylan quotes, Jonah Lehrer resigns from the New Yorker

Jonah Lehrer

Pop science writer Jonah Lehrer, who found himself in trouble last month when it was revealed that he was recycling his own previously written content in New Yorker blog posts, is now resigning from his position as a staff writer at the magazine. The news follows Tablet magazine reporter Michael Moynihan’s discovery that Lehrer fabricated Bob Dylan quotations in his bestselling book Imagine: How Creativity Works. (Update: Tablet’s website is down at the moment. A cached version of Moynihan’s article is here.)

New York Times book publishing reporter Julie Bosman first reported Lehrer’s resignation on Twitter.

Lehrer’s publisher, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, is “exploring all options available to us,” HMH spokeswoman Lori Glazer said in a statement. “We are taking the ebook of Imagine off-sale, and halting shipment of physical copies.” (For now, though, the book is still available on Amazon.)

Houghton Mifflin also provided a statement from Lehrer:

Three weeks ago, I received an email from journalist Michael Moynihan asking about Bob Dylan quotes in my book Imagine. 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.

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.

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