The AP Picks Up the Ball and Runs With It

The New York Times got the ball rolling by sliming John McCain yesterday, knowing that others would jump into the mud-pile. The Associated Press lost no time, weighing in with an article on Cindy McCain titled, “Cindy McCain joins other political wives by standing by her man in face of rumored infidelity.”
So it’s official: the New York Times has started a rumor. The AP makes explicit the Times’ salacious intent:

The New York Times had strongly suggested there was an inappropriate relationship between her husband, John McCain, and a female lobbyist, including favors for her clients.

That’s true, although the Times offered zero evidence of either the affair or the favors. That didn’t bother the AP, though; if the Times “suggests” something, it’s fit to print.
The AP next proceeds to place Cindy McCain in a long line of political wives whose husbands have been accused of sexual misdeeds: Larry Craig’s wife Suzanne; Hillary Clinton; Dina McGreevy, whose husband publicly announced an affair with a gay lover; Carlita Kilpatrick, whose husband, the Mayor of Detroit, sent “sexually explicit text messages” to his top aide; Lee Hart, whose husband Gary frolicked with Donna Rice aboard the Monkey Business…you get the picture.
But wait! Those are all women whose husbands actually did something wrong. To put Cindy McCain in that group implies that the “rumor” that the Times “strongly suggested” might be true is actually a fact. I think that John and Cindy McCain belong in another group altogether: innocent people whose reputations have been slimed by irresponsible rags.
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