Josh offers some insights on the McCain story. When you read the story, it's clearly very lawyered.
Listening to conservatives this morning I picked up a couple things.
First, suggestions that the story is thinly sourced. The Times had two off the record sources close to McCain and one on the record. For a story of this nature, that's solid sourcing. The Monica Lewinsky story started with the anonymous betrayal of Lewinsky by one friend, who was a very disgruntled former WH low level staffer. Republicans had no problem with that sourcing.
Second, the timing of the story. The Times has had the story since at least December, and had they broke it earlier Republicans may have made a different choice. I think this is a legitimate question. Word is that The New Republic was about to run a story about the NYT newsroom in disarray and paralyzed ala the Judith Miller days. To save themselves embarrassment and blunt the TNR story, they ran the McCain piece. If true, that's a real shame and The Times gets what they deserve, again.
Final thought before I run to the airport to fly home. This story is about much more than just a piece of ass. It's about the Chair of the Commerce Committee doing favors for a piece of ass and much like McCain's Keating involvement was about favors for a crooked business man / big donor.
The push back right now seems to be against The Times. Will the McCain haters inside the GOP use this against McCain or rally to him and bash The Times. These kinds of stories against Dems get legs because they are pushed hard by the GOP. Dems don't push such stories so it will be interesting to see how this all plays out.
Watch this space.