The Knight Foundation says it regrets the deal it made with Jonah Lehrer.
The Knight Foundation paid known plagiarist Jonah Lehrer $20,000 for a speech about his plagiarism at a conference this week, speaking about what cost him his job at The New Yorker, says Slate.
An apology had been issued on the Knight Foundation’s blog on Wednesday night, saying they never should have rewarded him with payment for committing the most basic of crimes known to journalism.
Jonah Lehrer started his speech Tuesday with remarks about the plagiarism that led to the loss of his career at a Knight Foundation seminar. The speech drew some raised eyebrows, and the reception went chillier with the reveal that Knight had paid him several thousands of dollars for a speech about his criminal endeavors.
It is a terrible example to reward anyone in the name of their crime. Jonah Lehrer probably didn’t mind though. Not everybody gets paid a low-income yearly salary to talk about what the crime they committed.
According to the Huffington Post, The Knight Foundation posted the following apology on its blog:
“On Tuesday, the Knight Foundation paid Jonah Lehrer to speak at a community foundation conference. In retrospect, as a foundation that has long stood for quality journalism, paying a speaker’s fee was inappropriate. Controversial speakers should have platforms, but Knight Foundation should not have put itself into a position tantamount to rewarding people who have violated the basic tenets of journalism. We regret our mistake.”
How do you feel about the Knight Foundation regretting their deal with Jonah Lehrer to confess his plagiarism?
— Piya Sinha-Roy (@PiyaSRoy) February 14, 2013