The MSM's utter incompetance in ferreting out the truth in this case effectively negates their claim as the "Fourth Estate" at the dawn of the new century.
The MSM were not being incompetant in this story. They were being complicit with Wilson from before the very beginning. This whole thing developed in the atmosphere of the election and while the Democrat 9 were appearing on TV day after day relentlessly hammering away at Bush trying to grab the nomination for themselves. A so-called scandal was exactly what they and the media wanted and once they got this they had no interest in finding out what was really going on. This was 'Ground Zero' of the "Bush Lied" meme and provided the initial basis for Kerrry and the rest for denying that they had voted on the war fully informed of the facts.