Talk:Jonah Lehrer

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NPOV dispute[edit]

It seems to me that since the beginning of the current self-plagiarism controversy (and possibly before?), positive facts about Jonah Lehrer have been systematically removed from the article, and there have been efforts to re-focus the entire article on this controversy. This is in addition to the comments about the controversy itself and the bias in the reviews already mentioned on this page. No matter his current status, Jonah Lehrer has published 3 successful books and written for a number of esteemed magazines and newspapers -- there must be something positive to say about him Lbarquist (talk) 23:21, 22 June 2012 (UTC)

There have been a number of edits to the "Books" section that have included more positive reviews (in addition to the negative reviews that were already present), and the self-plagiarism controversy seems to have settled down in the past week. In my opinion, the article presents a reasonably balanced view now, so I'm removing the NPOV dispute tag. --Lbarquist (talk) 00:01, 30 June 2012 (UTC)

Plagiarism Controversy[edit]

Can we please limit discussion of the current self-plagiarism controversy to the appropriate section? As this event has only been unfolding in the past 3-4 days, I think it is premature to turn the entire article in to a discussion of this incident. Please remember to maintain NPOV. Lbarquist (talk) 16:39, 22 June 2012 (UTC)

The following (or similar edits) have been made repeatedly to this article: This appears to be reuse of a quote, rather than plagiarism. Malcom Gladwell himself has stated this does not constitute plagiarism, see: In the absence of further evidence of plagiarism, I do not believe this should be included in the article. I would be grateful if additional editors could weigh in on this issue. --Lbarquist (talk) 20:54, 24 June 2012 (UTC)

I should also note that an accusation of plagiarism with little evidence is potentially libellous and must be removed under BLP policy. --Lbarquist (talk) 20:59, 24 June 2012 (UTC)

However, multiple reputable journalism publications have come out and said that regardless of what Gladwell thinks, it constitutes plagiarism. Additionally, the truth is an absolute defense in any libel situation. In this case we see an example of direct plagiarism so there is absolutely no issue of libel. It may be plagiarizing a quote, but that does not matter. Plagiarism is plagiarism. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:11, 24 June 2012 (UTC)

Here is what the Columbia Journalism Review (perhaps the most respected publication in the field) has to say about the plagiarism “Yes, people are still working out what does and does not work on blogs, but what Lehrer did has nothing to do with those mutable conventions. It has to do with one of the most basic and established conventions of journalism: honest reporting.”

I would be open to including some mention (possibly a sentence?) noting the *accusations* of (non-self) plagiarism, with the qualification that the accusations were based on reuse of a single quote. This is the whole basis of this particular controversy, correct? My main objection is to the re-making of the section so it appears that Jonah Lehrer has been demonstrated guilty of wide-spread (non-self) plagiarism. Also I would like to apologize for my use of the word "libel," I may have been getting a bit overzealous. --Lbarquist (talk) 22:03, 24 June 2012 (UTC)
69., at this point, rather than argue somewhat in the abstract, it would be helpful if you would post here (below) what you would like this section to say (with your sources - don't put the sources in as formal citations, just the URLs surrounded by single brackets, which, in turn, are surrounded by parentheses). I strongly urge you to keep the content as small as possible. Otherwise, the sheer weight will undermine any progress we can make toward reaching a consensus. I've created a subsection to separate out what you propose.--Bbb23 (talk) 22:56, 24 June 2012 (UTC)

I like the part where it says "Lehrer had previously published related sentences"! OMG, time for a Burning of a Living Person, At the Stake! (talk) 21:26, 31 July 2012 (UTC)

Proposed text[edit]

Overly critical?[edit]

The article, in its current state, seems to be mostly critical of Lehrer without containing any positive review of his work. NPOV? (talk) 00:52, 21 June 2012 (UTC)

I agree... particularly the "Books" section seems to have cherry-picked reviews and quotes. Lbarquist (talk) 14:23, 21 June 2012 (UTC)

Terribly done so far, it just seems like a hackjob done by a hater. No one else's literary biography would contain ONLY criticisms and a lot of them at that. Silly. -WhiskeySeven — Preceding unsigned comment added by WhiskeySeven (talkcontribs) 04:30, 23 June 2012 (UTC)

I agree with WhiskeySeven. A number of the recent edits, such as here and here, look like the work of someone (or several someones) with an axe to grind against Lehrer. It was reasonable for Lbarquist to revert some of those edits. We all need to be careful not to get too carried away describing the more sensationalistic aspects of the reporting on Lehrer's missteps as a writer. Taking out mentions of the positive comments in the reviews of his book while beefing up the critical comments from the reviews is at odds with the spirit of maintaining a neutral point of view. Dezastru (talk) 06:25, 31 July 2012 (UTC)

Does anyone agree that the lede text about Jonah could use some strong citations? Phillopian (talk) 07:27, 24 April 2013 (UTC)

Ideally, a lead should contain no citations. A lead is supposed to summarize and highlight the most important parts of the body. The body should be cited. Therefore, the lead needs no cites if it's done properly.--Bbb23 (talk) 14:29, 24 April 2013 (UTC)


If you find this link useful may you please add it to the article’s external links: Interview with Jonah Lehrer on Decision-Making Thank you, Anon111 (talk) 17:43, 14 April 2010 (UTC)Anon111

Not done This account only seems to exist for the purpose of getting this link into Wikipedia. See WP:LINKSPAM. ThemFromSpace 20:11, 22 April 2010 (UTC)


Lbarquist has repeatedly removed any information on the page that is in any way critical of Lehrer and claims it violates NPOV. I remain mystified how providing examples of plagiarism can be seen as violating NPOV. I understand that it is suboptimal to have negative information appearing on one's Wiki entry, but facts are facts regardless of how one feels about them.

It is indisputable that plagiarism took place. For an author this is an extremely serious charge and should be described accurately and fully. Lehrer's actions go far beyond self-plagiarism as the examples in section that Lbarquist continuously deletes show. I suggest tat Lbarquist refrain from editing the plagiarism section of the Jonah Lehrer page as s/he continues to remove important and relavant information on Lehrer. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:01, 24 June 2012 (UTC)

I have not removed "any information on the page that is any way critical of Lehrer," as evidenced by the multitude of negative book reviews still left in the "Books" section, and my own contributions to the "Self-Plagiarism" section. I have repeatedly tried to engage you in good-faith discussion on this page, as well as the BLP noticeboard where I have requested comments, as I posted two days ago on your talk page:
I have also requested a third opinion for the edits you propose:
You are free to respond to the points I have made in the appropriate section of the talk page or the noticeboard. --Lbarquist (talk) 21:17, 24 June 2012 (UTC)

As I've already stated at BLPN, you both need to stop editing the article and work the content dispute out here and/or elsewhere. Edit-warring will only result in blocks. 69., don't use the term vandalism. It's wrong and inappropriate. What Lbarquist is doing is NOT vandalism. Lbarquist, don't use legal terms like libel. They can be perceived as legal threats, and they unnecessarily chill discussion.--Bbb23 (talk) 21:27, 24 June 2012 (UTC)

Removing criticism[edit]

User:, a WP:SPA, has been removing sourced reviews critical of Lehrer's work. I've reverted a couple of times, warned him, and just now issued a 3RR warning. Another editor reverted most recently. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the material that the IP is removing except that he doesn't like it. His edit summary ("I deleted quotes from negative reviews (which isn't included in Wikipedia pages for thousands of other authors with both negative + positive reviews") is unsupportable.--Bbb23 (talk) 18:32, 3 July 2012 (UTC)

Jim Lehrer[edit]

I went to this article because I was curious about whether Jonah Lehrer is related to Jim Lehrer. I think it would be good if the article says how, if at all, the two journalists are related. Pha telegrapher (talk) 01:44, 31 July 2012 (UTC)

And what do we do if they are not? Esrever (klaT) 02:10, 31 July 2012 (UTC)
They are not related. Jim Lehrer's wiki page says he has three daughters. I don't think it's necessary to include the fact that people with the same name are not related unless there is widespread confusion, as in the case of Al Yankovic and Frankie Yankovic. Anson2995 (talk) 16:42, 31 July 2012 (UTC)

Quote Recycling?[edit]

The newly-added bit about quote recycling doesn't make sense in context. Lehrer was accused of recycling quotation he previously used in his OWN work, but the example shows Lehrer using a quotation that Malcolm Gladwell also used. That's not the same situation at all. Can someone pls address this? -- SlickVicar (talk) 23:26, 05 August 2012 (UTC)

Shulman House[edit]

According to Shulman House, he paid $2,250,000 for it as a 29-year-old. Is it common for US authors to be able to do that? --Tim Landscheidt (talk) 11:16, 15 March 2013 (UTC)