This is some good stuff from Brave New Films.
While Chris Matthews tried to join McCain in "moving on" today and putting the focus on the NY Times instead of the lobbyist issue, other outlets actually haven't. This is starting to have legs, despite the best efforts of some in the traditional media (of all people to assail the credibility of the media, you get Armstrong "Paid In Full By The Department Of Education" Williams? Seriously?). McCain's been getting a free ride from the media for years; he literally can get away with stuff that no other politician can. Yglesias spells it out pretty well:
One thing reporters like about McCain is that he offers shoot-from-the-hip statements on topics that come up in discussions. Reporters like this for good reason -- the carefully worded, artfully hedged statements in which the vast majority of politicians speak nowadays is really annoying. That said, politicians don't talk like that because they're all douchebags, they talk like that because that's how you have to talk. If you make the slightest slip-up or misstatement, the press will pounce all over you.
Unless, that is, you're John McCain. If you're John McCain you can make an obviously false statement like claiming you've "never done favors for special interests or lobbyists" or saying that "no representative of Paxson or Alcalde & Fay personally asked Senator McCain to send a letter to the FCC" when you yourself said in the past that you'd been contacted by Paxson and the press just lets it slide. Why? Because they like him. But they like him because he's spontaneous. But he's spontaneous because they let him get away with this stuff. And they let him get away with it because they like him. It's what makes him such a formidable political figure -- he can run around doing things no other politicians could get away with and actually attract praise for it.
But when the straight talk reformer shuns the media and runs a campaign dominated by lobbyists, suddenly the McCain Rules go out the window. This is extremely damaging, and while the media is split over it for now, some are waking up.
David Brooks actually has a pretty good column about this issue today.