squashed says: With respect, that’s not a very good question. If you’re making things up (like Jonah Lehrer) and trying to pass them off as factually accurate, you’re violating all sorts of journalistic ethics. If, on the other hand, you’re concerned that Bob Dylan’s songs might not be very good journalism, you’re being silly.
Some professions have very stringent plagiarism standards. Academics, journalists, and students all have serious prohibitions on plagiarism for very good reason. The reasons simply don’t hold for artists. It’s worth asking whether Dylan violated copyright law—but plagiarism is simply the wrong lens.
» SFB says: It’s a perfectly interesting question to ask, considering Lehrer was nailed on an ethics issue related specifically to Bob Dylan’s words. Now, whether the broader question of plagiarism and ethics is worth asking, the fact of the matter is, the issues have more in common than they don’t. — Ernie @ SFB
When I asked about aspects of his interactions with Rosen, Lehrer provided a sketchy timeframe and contradictory specifics—he first told me that he had personally exchanged emails with Rosen, then attributed this supposed email exchange to his literary agent—then further claimed that Dylan’s management had approved the chapter after being sent a copy of Imagine. He added that Dylan’s management didn’t want their cooperation sourced in the book. But when I contacted Dylan’s management, they told me that they were unfamiliar with Lehrer, had never read his book, there was no bobdylan.com headquarters, and, to the best of their recollection, no one there had screened outtakes from No Direction Home for Lehrer. Confronted with this, Lehrer admitted that he had invented it.
Jonah Lehrer has since resigned from the New Yorker and his publisher is halting shipments of print copies of Imagine. (via capitalnewyork)
In other words, a slow news day in the world of journalism scandal. This is actually round two for Lehrer. As it is, Dylan says so much interesting stuff already — why do you have to make it up, anyway? (Update: Joe Hanson has pasted a version of the article on Google Docs, because the site is down.)
It was a stupid thing to do and incredibly lazy and absolutely wrong.New Yorker blogger and author Jonah Lehrer • Apologizing for duplicating his material on his New Yorker blog from multiple other sources, including a post called “Why Smart People Are Stupid,” a recent post of his that went viral, which discussed why otherwise intelligent people make stupid mistakes. Spot the irony, folks.
(Source: The New York Times)