Thirty-one-year-old Jonah Lehrer, a New Yorker staff writer and author, has resigned from his post at the magazine after admitting that he fabricated quotes from legendary musician Bob Dylan in his book, Imagine. Jayson Blair, a former reporter for the New York Times who resigned nine years ago after his own fabrications precipitated the end of his career there, can relate.
Now a life coach, he writes in a piece for the Daily Beast on Tuesday that he believes Lehrer deserves a shot at redemption.
Nine years ago, I was Jonah Lehrer.
His story is familiar to me in many of its details. A promising young journalist working at one of the most prestigious publications in the world heads down a slippery slope that starts with sloppy corner-cutting and leads to all-out fabrication…
It’s remarkable to me that someone who grew up professionally in the context of my scandal could make such a similar set of colossal mistakes. But I am sure Janet Cooke would have said the same thing to me…
Lehrer has taken the honorable way out by falling on his sword, sparing the magazine from much additional trauma that is largely connected to him. Lehrer now has a lot of explaining to do to his colleagues, friends, and family, tears to shed, humility to absorb, and he now must enter the strange land of going from the journalistic hunter to the hunted. Perhaps most difficult, he will have to come to grips with the self-inflicted wound that removes him from a profession that by all accounts he loved.
Of course I am biased on this topic, but I believe he deserves a shot at redemption.
Read more at the Daily Beast.