The Times story may have succeeded in accomplishing what politics itself could not: unifying the conservative base around McCain by way of their visceral disgust with the New York Times and its lib-ber-ral politics.
Check out this sampling of reactions from conservatives.
The American Spectator | The National Review | Commentary | Powerline | Captain Ed
More important will be the reactions of Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham.
Update: Politico gets an e-mail from Limbaugh:
The story is not the story. The story is the Drive By media turning on its favorite maverick and trying to take him out. The media picked the GOP's candidate, the NYT endorsed him while they sat on this story, and is now, with utter predictability, trying to destroy him.”