I could go into a long analysis of all the things that this period of media self-flagellation over Iraq says about our culture and media, but I'll keep it brief. As I've said many times before, being sorry is no substitute for making actual, structural change. The problem is not that people aren't sorry. The problem is that almost nobody got fired for being wrong about one of the most important issues of our time. If what matters is not the ritualistic display of contrition, but actually preventing another Iraq in the future, the composition of the media is what is important, not the apologetics of the same-old media. People respond to incentives. Many, many people apologizing now have been nothing but rewarded since they were wrong.
Now I have essentially given up on the idea that people who were pro-war will face professional consequences. They're dug in like ticks. But perhaps what the powers that be could find some room, within the prominent media, for genuinely, consistently non-interventionist voices. I know that serious people in the media love to act as though being categorically anti-war is a disqualifying position, but perhaps they'll consider that there are many people who are categorically pro-war in the prominent media, and push for a little balance. Whoever it is doesn't have to be a flaming lefty; hell, it can be a conservative. But putting people who are consistently anti-war into positions of prominence within our media is essentially the only way to balance the conversation.
It's important to say that you're sorry. But apologizing, by itself, makes nothing happen.
(Necessary addendum: I am not talking about me. I don't want a career in media. I have only wanted one career since I was 11 years old, and I'm trying to make it happen. I'm not talking about me.)