I'm not sure this is sign number one, but it definitely makes my top ten list. Over at National Review, Charlotte Hays sides with New York Times reporter Jeff Zeleny in his now-notorious exchange with the former Pennsylvania senator:

On the video of Rick Santorum’s lashing out at Times reporter Jeff Zeleny, Zeleny appears to be trying to do something we wish more reporters would do: ask the follow-up question. He wants to make sure he heard right: Did Santorum really say that Mitt Romney is the “worst Republican in the country” to go up against Obama? Face contorted with rage, Santorum insisted he was only making the charge that Romney is the worst Republican to confront Obama on the issue ofhealth care. (This is a big difference?) The video of Santorum’s response is like a car wreck: You can’t stop looking at it. Alas for Santorum, the outburst doesn’t come across as a mischievous, Newt-like attempt to pick a fight he knows he will win with a member of the media. Santorum’s anger appears all too genuine. Coming on the heels of this performance, Santorum has let it be known that he’d take second place on a Romney ticket. Is Mount Vesuvius not available?

I disagree somewhat--to me it looks more like Santorum is trying to gin up a fight and use Zeleny as a Gingrich-like foil. But that's really beside the point. When National Review starts elevating the Times as a model of reporting protocol at the expense of a GOP candidate--the item's headline is "The Reporter Did the Right Thing"--it's probably time for said candidate to consider dropping out. 

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