And speaking of Michael Kinsley...
I have lost count of how many people have sent me or urged me to read his column on the New York Times and John McCain. As others have remarked, it is a classic--and a Kinsley classic is an awesome thing.
To be absolutely clear: the Times itself was not suggesting that there had been an affair, or even that there had been the appearance of an affair. The Times was reporting that there was a time eight years ago when some people felt there might be the appearance of an affair, although others, apparently including Sen. McCain himself, apparently felt that there was no such appearance.
Similarly, I am not accusing the New York Times of screwing up again by publishing an insufficiently sourced article then defending itself with a preposterous assertion that it wasn't trying to imply what it obviously was trying to imply. I am merely reporting that some people worry that other people might be concerned that the New York Times has created the appearance of screwing up once again.
The article's final two paragraphs are a triumph. I won't clip them because you have to read the whole piece, if you haven't already, to appreciate the full majesty of this crescendo. Because Mike is a writer on politics who is both extremely clever and extremely funny--a gift granted to very few (who else could one point to, apart from the unserious, and much less prolific, P.J. O'Rourke?)--he upsets some of the competition and has his detractors. Well, critics of Kinsley, read this column and weep.