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'Radiolab' Distances Itself From Jonah Lehrer In Wake Of Fabricated Quotes

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Lehrer has appeared on more than a dozen episodes of Radiolab, according to the program's website. But New York Public Radio spokesperson Jennifer Houlihan said in a statement that Lehrer contributed only as an "explainer."

"Radiolab has not used Jonah as a standalone authority on any topic within an episode," she continued. "Rather, he has brought new research to the attention of the program and the producers in turn have interviewed primary sources and researchers, weaving the voices together as part of a choir -- a style of reporting that defines Radiolab. Since Jonah has not been in the role of reporter for Radiolab and we have employed standard practices of journalism in producing the episodes, we have no reason to believe his work with Radiolab is compromised. But we will review the work as needed."

Michael C. Moynihan in an article for Tablet magazine identified a handful of fabricated Bob Dylan quotes used in "Imagine." Shortly after Moynihan published a piece titled "Jonah Lehrer's Deceptions," Lehrer announced he resigned his staff writing position at The New Yorker.

"The lies are over now," Lehrer said. "I understand the gravity of my position. I want to apologize to everyone I have let down, especially my editors and readers."

In addition to writing for The New Yorker and appearing on Radiolab, Lehrer wrote a biweekly column for the Wall Street Journal. His stint as a columnist for the paper ended in June as he prepared to join The New Yorker full-time.

Journal spokeswoman Ashley Huston told TPM on Tuesday: "We are currently reviewing Mr. Lehrer's work for the Journal."

Read New York Public Radio's full statement below:

"Jonah Lehrer has been a regular contributor to Radiolab as an "explainer," making technical science more accessible and bringing much needed meaning to new scientific research. He has been a lively and compelling voice and has helped make the history of science come alive for listeners. We are deeply saddened by the news this week about such a talented and valued colleague.
Radiolab has not used Jonah as a standalone authority on any topic within an episode. Rather, he has brought new research to the attention of the program and the producers in turn have interviewed primary sources and researchers, weaving the voices together as part of a choir -- a style of reporting that defines Radiolab. Since Jonah has not been in the role of reporter for Radiolab and we have employed standard practices of journalism in producing the episodes, we have no reason to believe his work with Radiolab is compromised. But we will review the work as needed."

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