Three journalists at CNN resigned Monday over a story that the network says was improperly vetted and should not have been published.
Thomas Frank, who wrote the story in question; Eric Lichtblau, an editor in the unit; and Lex Haris, who oversaw the unit, have all left CNN.
“In the aftermath of the retraction of a story published on CNN.com, CNN has accepted the resignations of the employees involved in the story’s publication,” a spokesman said Monday evening.
An internal investigation by CNN management found that some standard editorial processes were not followed when the article was published, people briefed on the results of the investigation said.
“CNN did the right thing. Classy move. Apology accepted,” Scaramucci tweeted the next morning. “Everyone makes mistakes. Moving on.”
“On Friday, CNN retracted a story published by my team. As Executive Editor of that team, I have resigned,” Haris said in a statement. “I’ve been with CNN since 2001, and am sure about one thing: This is a news organization that prizes accuracy and fairness above all else. I am leaving, but will carry those principles wherever I go.”
The departures of Haris, Lichtblau and Frank are likely to come as a surprise to colleagues, particularly given the reputations of the three men.
Frank worked for USA Today and Newsday for three decades, pursuing investigations and covering the Iraq war as an embedded reporter, before coming to work at CNN.
He was part of an ambitious new investigative unit that was created last winter, bringing together existing teams from within the company and new hires like Lichtblau.
A veteran of The New York Times who won a Pulitzer Prize for national reporting in 2006, Lichtblau joined CNN just three months ago.
Haris, who was named the executive editor of CNN Investigates in January, was previously the executive editor of CNNMoney.