“There are all kinds of crimes and misdemeanors in this business,” New Yorker editor David Remnick tells Jon Friedman in an interview about Jonah Lehrer, “and if he were making things up or appropriating other people’s work that’s one level of crime.”
Recycling his own material “was wrong and foolish,” says Remnick, “and I think he thought that it was OK to do this in the blogging context — and he is obviously wrong to think so.”
Friedman says that by keeping Lehrer, the New Yorker “is effectively minimizing its own role. The New Yorker is telling us that Lehrer’s ‘misdemeanor,’ in Remnick’s word, didn’t warrant dire consequences. So, if the offense wasn’t that awful, then the New Yorker can’t be accused of gross sloppiness, unprofessional behavior or guilt by association.”
Erik Maza has updated his WWD.com post to include this statement from Malcolm Gladwell:
The conventions surrounding what is and is not acceptable in magazine writing, books and speaking have been worked out over the past 100 years. The conventions over blogging are being worked out as we speak. Everyone who writes for a living is going to learn from this. I’m just sorry Jonah had to bear the brunt of it.
He added that allegations Lehrer had left from his books are “ridiculous.”