Well, yeah. But before that's going to happen they have to acknowledge that fact, at least to themselves. Does that seem like it's happening, or about to happen? Not remotely, as far as I can tell. If anything, it appears to be the opposite -- they'd just as soon not mention any of the previous unpleasantness, and get right back to pretending to do something. That is not a solution to what got us into this mess, a great measure of which can legitimately be chalked up to the press' profound indifference to how the administration played them.
Think about that. You can even give them some benefit of the doubt -- they didn't realize it at the time, were cowed by the office of the person they were interviewing, 9/11 changed everything, they wanted to do their part, blah blah blah. But by now, it should be obvious even to the Joe Klein short-bus set of the punditocracy that they were all played like the mighty Wurlitzer that they are.
So what's their fucking problem?
I don't think that was the deal at all. I got the distinct impression that the "rueful chuckle" was a combination of having the truth shoved in their faces and not knowing whether they were supposed to laugh or not. Look, they're herd animals for one thing, but more importantly, this particular breed of journamalist is inextricably tied to the very same people they cover. This is a phenomenon endemic to the DC political media and their human (or in some cases, half-orc) subjects. They attend the same events, fundraisers, parties; their children go to the same prep schools. They know all the same people; they know each other, frequently on a personal basis.
Conservatives are especially bad about blurring the lines between reportage, advocacy, and policy involvement via "think tank" honoraria or convention speaking engagements. But even the generally more staid corporate media characters are at least conditioned not to make waves. That would be bad form, which in turn can be bad for business. That is not a red or blue issue, but a green one.
These people all have careers staked on the perception of credibility, and Colbert mercilessly skewered that, exposing them as credulous, gulled by their own insularity, and their unacceptable chumminess with the very people they write about.
They're not likely to let something like that sneak up on them again in the near future. That is an entirely different matter than something simply being an honest mistake that one is willing to remedy. There was nothing intellectually or journalistically honest about their pattern of mistakes, nor do they seem to be willing to do anything about it.