The interesting question, now, is whether or not this smart young man can ever bounce back.
Such scandals can be hard to overcome; I don’t see Jayson Blair or Stephen Glass making a comeback any time soon. On the other hand, some writers seem to be made of Teflon.
The good news for Lehrer is that rehabilitation isn’t far off. Remember the Doris Kearns Goodwin plagiarism scandal? Probably not, but you may well remember a subsequent bestseller by Goodwin, and the warm welcome she got on PBS and NPR during her book tour. For a country considered puritanical, America is actually a pretty forgiving place.
I’m not as optimistic as Wright, but then again, I’m also not sure why some people bounce back, while others are cast out of the garden forever. It will be interesting to see if Leherer is more Glass or more Goodwin…