Accuracy in Media

CNN announced late yesterday that three employees have resigned based on their involvement in a now retracted story on Trump advisor Anthony Scaramucci’s ties to a Russian investment fund.

Thomas Frank, who reported the story; Eric Lichtblau, who recently joined CNN from The New York Times and edited the piece; and Lex Haris, the executive editor of “CNN Investigates,” have all resigned in the aftermath of the retraction.

The story, which linked Scaramucci to a Senate investigation of a “Russian investment fund with ties to Trump officials,” cited a single anonymous source.

CNN’s internal investigation determined that some of the standard editorial processes were not followed before the article was published, resulting in the retraction and apology to Scaramucci that I reported on yesterday.

Before joining CNN, Frank worked for USA Today, where he was a Pulitzer Prize finalist in 2012, and several other newspapers for more than three decades as an investigative reporter.

Lichtblau, who won a Pulitzer Prize for national reporting in 2006, has been with CNN for just three months.

Haris, who was named the executive editor of “CNN Investigates” in January, and is the longest tenured of the three having been with CNN since 2001, accepted the blame for the faulty story in a statement:

“On Friday, CNN retracted a story published by my team. As Executive Editor of that team, I have resigned. 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.”

Despite the swift action by CNN to clean house after this major embarrassment, there still has been no official statement from CNN Worldwide president Jeff Zucker on how his network got caught with its hands in the fake news cookie jar.

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