Jonah Lehrer, a staff writer for The New Yorker, resigned hours after Tablet Magazine published an article revealing that he had fabricated Bob Dylan quotes in a recent book.
“This was a lie spoken in a moment of panic,” Lehrer, 27, said in a statement Monday announcing his resignation.
Three weeks ago Michael Moynihan, author of the Tablet article, first pressed Lehrer about quotes attributed to Dylan in Lehrer’s book “Imagine.” Lehrer, a neuroscience and psychology writer, initially claimed he had obtained certain quotes after gaining access to material provided by Dylan’s manager, Jeff Rosen.
On Sunday, according to Moynihan, Lehrer admitted that he had never made contact with Rosen.
“When Mr. Moynihan followed up, I continued to lie and say things I should not have said,” Lehrer said before apologizing to readers and editors.
The scandal comes six weeks after Lehrer was accused of “self-plagiarism” for recycling material from a Wall Street Journal article in his debut post for The New Yorker’s The Frontal Cortex blog.