My coauthors and I have submitted a paper to a fairly prestigious journal. We have received favorable reviews and were in the process of incorporating the reviewer's suggestions into the final revision.
Unfortunately, a few days ago a crank paper was published in the very same journal. The paper received a whole lot of publicity, and has severely damaged the journal's reputation. We no longer have confidence in it.
We plan to withdraw our paper and submit it to another, more reputable journal. However, we are not sure how to go about this, since the current version of the paper already contains acknowledgements pertaining to the anonymous reviewers (who have done stellar work) and their suggestions.
What's the appropriate way to acknowledge these reviewers in the new submission? Should we submit a new version of the paper to the new journal, leaving out the acknowledgements to avoid confusion? Should we leave them in and write a letter to the editor of the new journal explaining the circumstances? Something else altogether?