Yeah, I know, that’s a cliche line if there ever was one, but the smear by the New York Times on John McCain is only the latest, and perhaps one of the most egregious, example in this election cycle.  They endorsed him while preparing this story, and now that he has the nomination essentially sewn up, they tossed a bunch of innuendo about him from disgruntled former aides on the front page.  The blogosphere has been all over this story, but Captain Ed gives a good post-mortem on the whole thing today.

So what do we have? We have salacious but completely unsubstantiated gossip, combined with a rehash of at least one old Times smear, placed on the front page of what used to be the premiere newspaper in America. And what exactly does that do for the Times’ credibility for the rest of this electoral cycle? They can’t run anything on McCain now without it being seen in the context of what the Times itself calls a "war" between the Times and McCain. Keller and company declared war on McCain yesterday, and it fired a bazooka of effluvium as its opening salvo. They’ve marginalized themselves for the next nine months.

Ed notes earlier that the Times has done what the Republican party couldn’t; fire up the base for McCain.  Blogger punditry on the Left still wants to milk this for all what it’s worth, but it’s unlikely their words will be taken seriously when trying to prop up rumor as some sort of "I told you so" moment.  Not gonna’ happen. 

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