Btw. does anyone here remember the USS Vincennes?
Funny thing, I once bought a used Science Fiction pulp novel from a used book store (up in State College, PA), sometime in the late 90's. Only later did I realize that "USS Vincennes" was stamped on one of the edges, indicating it must have come from some on-board library. It's a small world.
Anyway, to continue with your question -- yes, I remember it pretty well. And there were plenty of talking heads in the media trying to shift some of the blame onto Iran (that it must have been a martyrdom operation where Iran sacrificed it's own citizens to make us look bad, or that Iran shouldn't have operated civilian and military aircraft out of the same airport, or that the pilot should have known better than to fly on a path directly crossing that of a U.S. warship -- all bunk excuses).
But the U.S. government never denied that we were the ones who shot it down, they admitted it quickly and bluntly.