It's kind of amusing watching CNN -- all the guests, all the anchors, all the, well, everything is being thrown together to defend John McCain against the slanderous accusations against him in the NY Times and the Washington Post this morning.
Amusing, because no politician, anywhere, at anytime, has had a protection racket the way John McCain does in the US media. Lost in the issues of anonymous sourcing, McCain's denials, etc is a simple list of questions any journalist should ask themselves when they see this kind of story, regardless of the characters involved:
1) When was the last time you saw a prominent politician spend prolonged amounts of time with a women half his age and it didn't involve sex, money, or both?
2) When was the last time you saw a cornered politician not lie about their involvement with a scandal?
3) How much would you trust a man with a history of adultery and ethics problems? (His current wife is McCain's 2nd, whom he was sleeping with while married to his 1st. Cindy McCain was not the only woman John slept with who wasn't his wife.) I mean, I know sexual misconduct is basically an entry requirement for the GOP Caucus, but that's not exactly exculpatory.
4) How many non-denial-denials do you need to hear before you start assuming the smoke really does mean there's fire out there? "No romantic relationship"? Naw, we're just fuck-buddies.
The other sad thing was watching Jon Stewart rush to McCain's defense last night on Larry King. Look, Jon, I know McCain's "a friend of the show", but he's still a politician, and yes they can disappoint you sometimes.