An observation worth repeating: The National Enquirer’s Edwards story, ignored by the mainstream media, was better documented than the New York Times’ hit-piece on McCain, which implied that he was having an affair with a lobbyist. From MRC:
ABC, CBS, and NBC all waited for weeks to touch the emerging story of the adultery of John Edwards as the National Enquirer nailed down the story. None even breathed the name of Edwards until he decided to confess. But when the New York Times used far weaker editorial standards than the Enquirer, reporting on February 21 that there might be adultery between John McCain and lobbyist Vicki Iseman, citing hearsay from unnamed former McCain aides who were “convinced the relationship had become romantic,” all three networks leaped on the story.
McCain’s outraged denials didn’t stop the story from erupting on TV the very morning it hit the Times. CBS Early Show host Harry Smith touted “This bombshell report that Republican front-runner John McCain may have had a romantic relationship with a lobbyist who was a visitor to his office and traveled with him on a client’s corporate jet.” ABC’s George Stephanopoulos said it could be deadly. On a scale of one to ten, with ten being fatal, he warned it was a “six or a seven…a damaging story, there’s no doubt about that.” NBC’s Tim Russert said the story would “play out today in a very big way.”
Rush Limbaugh often says that when he sees something interesting in the New York Times, he says to himself: “Hmm. I wonder if that’s true?” The National Enquirer is trashy, but they don’t lose a lot of libel suits, either; on these kinds of stories, they’re outperforming their allegedly respectable counterparts.