The Real Story Remains: Where Was George?
Regardless of the validity of these particular papers, we do know that the content was an accurate representation of what Killian was saying at the time. This would not excuse the forgery of documents (if this occured), but the questions raised about George Bush remain.
We have two different issues here. One is whether CBS was conned, and it is undeniable that if they were this would be an interesting story. Even so, it would represent one incident, and not a total reflection upon CBS. Even if their story is wrong, this is trivial compared to the falsehoods spread by outlets such as Fox News on a nightly basis. More importantly, if CBS was conned, the result would be to reduce the risk of this happening in the future. Fox News will continue its Pravda imitation and continue to present their propaganda for the Bush Administration disguised as news.
The more important story remains that of George Bush's character. The story was present before the Killian memos and does not depend upon them. Other journalists have come to similar conclusions using entirely different sources. Bush has still not produced any evidence to the contrary.
For those interested in this story, a collection of articles is present at the Kerry 2004 Reference Library at: