On the McCain thing---
I'm sure a lot of you guys had the same reaction I did when hearing about this: who cares? It's not like I didn't know the guy was a scumbag and had already had no intention of voting for him.
But a quick glance at this afternoon's news is making me extremly uncomfortable. This whole thing is starting to remind me of the George Bush National Guard/ CBS/ Killian Memos controversy in which the story became the story. The results of that brouhaha effectively innoculated Bush from legitimate questions about his military service for the remainder of the election.
I'd hate to have a lack of proof of scumbaggery on McCain's part innoculate him in the same way from much more substantative accusations of scumbaggery later in the election. Much of the almost unanimous push-back by conservative howler monkeys against this story can be attributed to their recognition that they may be able to get the larger media to think twice before reporting on McCain's ethical problems in the near future.
As for the media participation in the push-back (most of the cable news networks are rushing to McCain's defense) the consensus on progressive blogs seems to pin this on conservative bias. It could be that. More likely it's the fact they they want the Presidential election to be a horse race. That will hardly be a possibility if McCain goes down in flames so early in the election.
Remember: it's always all about them.