Bob Dylan was inadvertently caught in the middle of a major journalism scandal, revealed by Michael Moynihan in a Tablet Magazine report published earlier today.
Jonah Lehrer, author of Imagine: How Creativity Works confessed to fabricating Bob Dylan quotes for his popular new book. The truth came out after Moynihan, a Dylan fan, went searching for the full context of the Dylan quotes, for which – surprise, surprise – he couldn’t find a source. Moynihan then contacted Lehrer directly. After three weeks of questions, Lehrer finally admitted that the quotes were made up.
This afternoon Lehrer – who last month admitted to plagiarizing his own work for several different publications – resigned his staff writer position at the New Yorker. He issued the following statement:
“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.”
Publisher, Houghton Mifflin has currently halted all e-book sales and has stated that they are “exploring all options available” as to how they will address the issue.