The McCain campaign is apparently blaming TNR for forcing the Times' hand on this story. We can't yet confirm that. But we can say this: TNR correspondent Gabe Sherman is working on a piece about the Times' foot-dragging on the McCain story, and the back-and-forth within the paper about whether to publish it. Gabe's story will be online tomorrow.
Update: McCain senior aide Mark Salter tells Time:
"They did this because the The New Republic was going to run a story that looked back at the infighting there," Salter said, "the Judy Miller-type power struggles -- they decided that they would rather smear McCain than suffer a story that made the New York Times newsroom look bad."
Update II: Here's Gabe's piece.