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The media foundation paid Lehrer to speak at its conference about his plagiarism scandal.
“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,” the foundation wrote on its website. “We regret our mistake.”
Last year, Lehrer, a popular science writer, resigned from The New Yorker after he was charged with plagiarism, making up quotes and other questionable journalistic practices.
More from GlobalPost: Jonah Lehrer resigns from New Yorker
Lehrer told the crowd at the Knight conference in Miami, “I am the author of a book on creativity that contains several fabricated Bob Dylan quotes... I committed plagiarism on my blog, taking without credit or citation an entire paragraph from the blog of Christian Jarrett. I plagiarized from myself. I lied to a journalist named Michael Moynihan to cover up the Dylan fabrications.”
But Lehrer angered many critics during his speech by avoiding full responsibility for his lies, calling them “errors” and “mistakes," according to the Times.