Good end of business day, everyone,

To me, the attached article from today’s NY Times about Jonah Lehrer, a (now former) staff writer for The New Yorker, who admitted that he made up quotes attributed to Bob Dylan for a book he wrote called “Imagine,” is stunning.  Stunning not because we haven’t heard this story before, or because we are surprised to hear it again, or because we won’t hear it anon.  But stunning more because Lehrer is a staff writer for The New Yorker, that Mt. Olympus of a writer’s and reader’s magazine, the reputation of which has been drenched for eons in perfection, the magazine to which only the best of the best dare submit their words. 

And because “Imagine” sold 200,000 copies and something must now be done about that.

And because, well, another writer fortunate enough to be paid for their work, in a field where that is not easy to do – either as a journalist for a newspaper, or as a contributing writer for a major magazine, or as the author of a publishable book – has chosen to sully the noble craft of writing by making stuff up.

Why do I care?  Because I respect writers and journalists and poets and novelists, and because every day I hear someone who does not respect them hold forth with a belief that plagiarizing is okay, that making things up is of the moment, that some of us are too stuffy, that no one really cares anyway, and that it doesn’t matter in the end because everyone does it.


That general belief is why this particular gentleman thought it was okay to do what he did.

I have an idea.  How about writing a good book and telling the truth? The pay is the same and you don’t have to be humiliated into quitting your job. 

There’s an idea.