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February 14, 2013

Knight Foundation Says It Regrets Speaker Fee for Jonah Lehrer

The Knight Foundation issued a statement on its blog Wednesday night saying it regretted it had paid author Jonah Lehrer $20,000 to speak at a conference.

Mr. Lehrer, who admitted to plagiarism last year, was invited to talk about a book he had written on decision making but ended up speaking about the scandal that erupted last year after he re-used his own material, made up quotes, and plagiarized others.

The fee was typical for well-known writers, the statement said, but under the circumstances, it should not have paid him at all.

Nevertheless, the statement continued, "we do not want our foundation partners to think that journalism controversies are too hot for them to handle. Instead, we want to send the message that when things go wrong the best action is to admit the error and get back to work.