The thing I find so fascinating about the conservative reaction to the McCain story is what it reveals about how conservatives see the media. We knew they thought the media was liberal, partisan, and dishonest--that it regularly distorts reality. I now see that they think the reality depicted in the media isn't so much distorted as completely manufactured.  

I thought this quote from Laura Ingraham in Mike Allen and Jonathan Martin's piece today was especially telling:

“I’m reading through this piece and I’m thinking, Did McCain think that having all these people on the Straight Talk Express — and getting Jonathan Alter and all these guys to sit down with him and laugh and chat — do you think that was going to inoculate him from this kind of absurd attack?” Ingraham mused. “Of course it wasn’t going to.”

Absent here is the idea that a publication might run a damning piece because, you know, it's true. The subtext of Ingraham's quote is that reporters make up nice things about you if you're with them ideologically, and they make up terrible things if you're not, regardless of how much sucking up you do. I guess that's why we only ever see stories about Republican peccadillos. Oh wait...

--Noam Scheiber