For CBS News, the moment of truth was here. And there was no shortage of interest. Or reaction.
"CBS has taken steps to hold people accountable … and we appreciate those steps," said Scott McClellan, White House spokesman.
The White House was gracious, but seemed to want more from today's report, CBS News Correspondent Jim Axelrod reports.
"We also hope that CBS will take steps to prevent something like this from happening again," McClellan said.
Even John Hinderaker, one of the first conservative bloggers to raise questions about the story, conceded that was thorough.
"The report was a bit better than I expected," Hinderaker, the founder of the Weblog Powerline, said.
But he maintained CBS dismissed charges of systematic "political bias."
"It's very clear to me that these people were on a mission to try to get President Bush for the purpose of influencing the November election," he said. "And we don't see any recognition of that in anything that's been said by CBS news."
On talk TV and radio, political bias was item No. 1.
"They wanted the story to be true, and why? Because they had an axe to grind with George W. Bush," conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh said.
Critics from all parts of the political spectrum agree today was the first step down the road of re-establishing credibility. Howard Kurtz, longtime media critic for the Washington Post said: "It's going to take awhile for CBS to get over a high-profile blunder."
"How long?" is the lingering question tonight.
As Andy Rooney, of CBS's 60 Minutes, said, "I don't think it does any further damage. But I don't think it gonna be forgotten for quite a while."
That's one thing every observer of the episode can agree on, Axelrod reports.
Copyright 2005 CBS. All rights reserved.