A New Yorker staff writer has quit the magazine and confessed to attributing phony quotes to Bob Dylan, reports the New York Times' Media Decoder blog. Jonah Lehrer says he initially panicked when cornered by a reporter about the quotes in Lehrer's book, Imagine: How Creativity Works. "I told [him] that they were from archival interview footage provided to me by Dylan’s representatives," said Lehrer in a statement. "This was a lie spoken in a moment of panic."
Even when the reporter, Michael Moynihan, followed up with Lehrer, the New Yorker scribe continued to lie. But "the lies are over now," said Lehrer. "I understand the gravity of my position." He explained that the quotes were either wholesale lies, "unintentional misquotations," or blends of "previously existing quotes." New Yorker editor David Remnick called it a "terrifically sad situation." Oddly enough, Lehrer had already stolen from his own articles. (See Moynihan's original article in Tablet.)