Discussing The 'Times' Discussing John McCain's Lobbyist Problem

Michael Kinsley's column about the reaction to the Times' story about John McCain's alleged lobbyist romance is annoying, because it is a Michael Kinsley column in Slate, but it is also pretty spot-on in its parody of New York Times Kremlinology: "I may be creating the possibility that some people might worry that other people might think that I have created the appearance of suggesting that the New York Times has created the possibility that some people might worry that other people might think that McCain has created the appearance that some people might worry that other people might think that there could be an appearance that McCain was having an affair with a lobbyist." Funny cause it's innuendo! Meanwhile, Michael Isikoff's Newsweek story on same suffers from having its most newsworthy scoop sacrificed to the web last week, but it has a couple entertaining details:

First off, lobbyist Iseman is a flirt: "'You always wanted to be lobbied by Vicki,' recalls one longtime Democratic committee aide who often invited her into his office and did not want to be identified acknowledging that he found her attractive."

Secondly, former McCain campaign head John Weaver, who is McCain's old and dear friend, either sparked this whole story through ineptitude or bitterness at his ouster or maybe repressed bad feelings. He emailed the Times on the record about the weird Union Station meeting with Iseman during which he told her to stay the hell away from the candidate.

Finally, that New Republic piece about the Times piece that many say caused the Times to rush their story into print? TNR editor and noted Foer Franklin Foer says TNR would never have ran the piece if the Times hadn't ran their story because TNR is not in the business of running stories with unsubstantiated rumors of sexual impropriety. At least, the Foer-edited TNR isn't in that business.

With Friends Like These... [Newsweek]