I’m more interested in the media feeding frenzy. Everyone’s got an angle. My favorite so far is a piece on Salon.com that uses Lehrer’s resignation to discuss talent in the modern age: “There is a cult of bright young things, a cultural obsession with genius, a need to find beacons of greatness in an ordinary world,” it says, and goes on bemoaning our lust for wunderkind for another 2,000 words. On the Daily Beast, Jayson Blair, the notorious former fabricator for the New York Times, confesses that “Nine years ago, I was Jonah Lehrer.” While the Guardian, home of ethically-sourced-and-community-based web journalism, asks its readers: “Jonah Lehrer put words in Bob Dylan’s mouth – who would you rewrite?”
I’ve got a special place in my heart for posts that take a Jonah Lehrer approach to the Jonah Lehrer story. Business Insider uses Lehrer’s own writing on cognitive bias to explain his deceptions.
Lehrer’s resignation has turned into link bait of the crassest kind. Why? Because it’s August, it’s 90°F (32°C) in Washington, and the Olympics are on. Journalists are the only ones reading the news, and we’re suckers for a story about another hack getting the smackdown. “It’s so sad,” we say to each other. “So sad!” If you worked with him I’m sure it is, but for the rest of us, that’s just code. “Send me another story, give me more analysis, I want to read more!”
For many of you, this blog post may be rock bottom. A meta-analysis of Jonah Lehrer coverage two days after the event. Could you really sink any lower? I can: I wrote it. So sad.
Go ahead, submit links to more Lehrer coverage below.