CNN caved to Trump. It should have stood by its reporters.

But should the three journalists involved have resigned? That seems pretty extreme given the type of error involved. After all, unraveling the financial dealings of Trump and his associates with various individuals connected with the Russian government is an exceedingly complex task that will undoubtedly take time and result in at least a few missteps along the way. As journalism professor Phillip Meyer has written, “A newspaper with a zero level of factual errors is a newspaper that is missing deadline, taking too few risks, or both.”

Moreover, the CNN journalists in question were not fly-by-night individuals with no track record. The reporter, Thomas Frank, has been in journalism for three decades and was a Pulitzer Prize finalist for USA TODAY before coming to CNN. Eric Lichtblau, the editor of Frank’s piece, is a Pulitzer Prize winner himself and was a highly respected reporter at The New York Times for many years. And Lex Haris, the executive editor of CNN Investigations, had been a long-time employee of CNN and most recently Executive Editor of CNN Money. These are people deserving of support in a time of crisis. They should not have been allowed to resign.

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