Did He Get Cooties Or The Booger Touch?

Gray Lady Exclusive: John McCain talked to a girl.

I refuse to link to them, but others are dissecting nicely, and you can find the link there if you must. I like Powerline's take:
Every ten years, McCain does something that the Times can unfairly paint as inappropriate.... I guess making oneself vulnerable to two negative stories in forty years is the price of a lifetime of public service.
Extremely thin gruel, the "story" seems mostly an excuse to bring up the Keating 5 thing. Will someone (besides the Pope) now start launching a counter-offensive against the media? When the Founders spoke of liberty, they did not mean freedom for anyone to say or do whatever he liked, they meant our freedom to govern ourselves. This low, filthy and ridiculous NYT hit piece --notice it didn't run when it could have helped Romney, but only once McCain was the obvious nominee-- is yet another example of the tyranny of the media under which we now suffer.

Our media elites, thinking they know better than the people, are determined not to serve the common good by conveying truth, but to rule us by channeling opinions and "bringing down" candidates --or Presidents-- who don't meet with their approval. I would love for McCain to make a speech like Tony Blair's about the media. It is not their part to run elections this way. If Congress wanted to do something useful, instead of investigating baseball, it should investigate the MSM.

My DH called to my attention the last public figure who had the MSM quaking --and whose efforts forced the major editorial pages to start admitting some Conservative columnists to achieve some semblance of balance: Spiro Agnew. He gave a celebrated (or infamous, if you were part of the media elite) speech on the role of television in 1969, which noted:
No nation depends more on the intelligent judgment of its citizens. No medium has a more profound influence over public opinion. Nowhere in our system are there fewer checks on vast power. So, nowhere should there be more conscientious responsibility exercised than by the news media. The question is: are we demanding enough of our television news presentations? And, are the men of this medium demanding enough of themeselves?
He didn't call for censorship of any kind, but he did challenge the American people to demand more of their media.
This is one case where the people must defend themselves; where the citizen --not the government-- must be the reformer; where the consumer can be the most effective crusader.
Well, thank heavens for talk radio, the blogs, and FOX news in that regard --there is more of a free market of ideas now than then. But those who are sick of this stuff ought to make the NYT a pariah. Refuse to read it, link to it, write about it --if it wants to be the Village Voice or Mother Jones --or US magazine-- let it. Better yet, some venture capitalist should buy it and turn it once again into a liberal news organ.

Update:The final graph of this, while a bit crude, is stunningly like the conversation I had with The Sketchbook this morning. Curtsy to Jim Geraghty. The Corner notes if McCain's corrupt, he's a piker:
"Iseman clients have given nearly $85,000 to McCain campaigns since 2000, according to records at the Federal Election Commission."Hang on a second. Eighty-five grand? Over eight years? That's it? He was the chairman of the committee!If McCain is an extortionist, he's a pathetic excuse for one. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) shook down the hedge fund industry for ten times that amount in a single month.

Update 2: Quite interesting that The New Republic, which was on top of the story, is so critical of the Times. I don't credit the story at all, but supposing for argument's sake it were true, I'm supposed to be scandalized by a Senator resisting an affair? And this from the people who lionize Presidents Roosevelt, Kennedy & Clinton? And Senators Kennedy & Dodd? Spare me.

Update 3: On the other hand, as many today have noted, the Times could hardly have done more to rally people behind McCain than this. And the RNC's using it as a fundraising op. Heh.

Update 4: That makes two of us. Another woman resolved to stand up against tyranny of the media.
...she vows to no longer take the Times, nay, not even for the Sunday crossword. She is also now thinking seriously about voting for McCain just to spite the New York Times. ...She feels like the Times, and the sort of people who staff the Times, feel that they are entitled to manipulate the election in order to get the "right" results....