Whitewash or Half-a-Loaf?
I think the term WHITEWASH is actually too kind because not only was the content deliberately soft, the Thornburgh-Boccardi panel itself was intended to simulate a "blue ribbon" or independent commission. I have seen those words used to describe the panel. As has been noted elsewhere the lawyers worked for CBS before this report was created. The Panel's task was to represent their client, not report the truth. Because the panel allowed (or even fostered) a misrepresentation of themselves as being independent I call the production of the report a "pig circus" and its product was a whitewash.
To understand the thinking of the Half a Loaf crowd, please note the Panel did a world-class job of achieving their intentions. It is a marvelous document where significant time and great skills were invested to devise the most favorable report to CBS's interests- given the seriousness of the situation.
The report laid out a great many facts and it did not lie even though its manipulation of the proof threshold to vary from a preponderance of the evidence to beyond a reasonable doubt to an elephant hanging from its tail on a dandelion to best serve the interests of CBS was machiavellian. But it should come as no surprise (follow the money) that this report was bought and paid for by CBS, and it was worth every penny.
The panel has attempted to perform the same service for CBS as was done for OJ Simpson by his jury. Note that Mr. Simpson did not pay the jurors; if he had their verdict would have surprised fewer people. It was proper for CBS to hire lawyers to defend themselves- note CBS could face legal consequences related to potential.
Did Mr. Heyward have control over the contents of the report? I am not aware of any reason which would have prevented this. How much more favorable could this report have been for Mr. Heyward, and still have gained significant acceptance?
Considering how 110 days were spent only to find no proof of faked memos or bias at CBS, my thoughts for the "half a loaf" crowd would include an understanding that the report did include many damaging and detailed facts, that it did not lie and was very well written… but my personal verdict on your perspective: there is a sucker born every minute!