I’m not sure whether this is good strategy or not. The John McCain campaign has a legitimate beef against Michael Leahy, it appears, as Senator Bob Smith, one of the sources on the record for the story, has now accused the Washington Post reporter of exaggerating the incident Smith described to him. However, is this a meme that the McCain campaign wants to keep in the headlines?
Perhaps McCain’s camp feels that a charge of media bias will help energize the conservative base, as it did earlier this year with the utterly vapid New York Times story on his supposed romance with Vicki Iseman. However, that story really had no basis at all, while McCain’s temper is a quality to which even McCain himself admits. Exaggeration, maybe, but the WaPo piece isn’t a tale out of whole cloth — and it’s ultimately a very minor point anyway. At some point, it will be better to make the rebuttal quickly and then get out of the way to let the meme die a natural death.
Update: I’ll talk with Jazz Shaw on Mid Stream Radio at 1 pm ET to discuss this.