This is why I'm scared to death that no matter how bad a campaign John McCain runs, he's got a chance to win because the media is giving him a huge handicap. Like Lindsay says, the angle on the story is that McCain is a "straight talker" and a war hero, a blatant spin on a story that is really about how McCain is on the unpopular side of war-mongering.
Within hours [of the attacks on 9/11], Mr. McCain, the Vietnam War hero and famed straight talker of the 2000 Republican primary, had taken on a new role: the leading advocate of taking the American retaliation against Al Qaeda far beyond Afghanistan. In a marathon of television and radio appearances, Mr. McCain recited a short list of other countries said to support terrorism, invariably including Iraq, Iran and Syria.
“There is a system out there or network, and that network is going to have to be attacked,” Mr. McCain said the next morning on ABC News. “It isn’t just Afghanistan,” he added, on MSNBC. “I don’t think if you got bin Laden tomorrow that the threat has disappeared,” he said on CBS, pointing toward other countries in the Middle East.
Within a month he made clear his priority. “Very obviously Iraq is the first country,” he declared on CNN. By Jan. 2, Mr. McCain was on the aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt in the Arabian Sea, yelling to a crowd of sailors and airmen: “Next up, Baghdad!”
I shouldn't bitch about the word choices, because at least the NY Times isn't colluding in a cover-up of McCain's history in the Iraq War. You can weigh down the story with gushy talk and echo arguments about how McCain's war-mongering is supposed evidence of his decisiveness, but really, it's just more evidence that he was with the Bush administration from day 1 playing the game of, "How can we spin these attacks to get a war on Iraq?"
Remember how it was scandalous when Richard Clarke said that Bush was asking how to blame 9/11 on Saddam the day of the attacks? This article shows that McCain was part of the plot to spin 9/11 into a war that was desired by the Bush administration prior to that day. It's no stretch to say he was part and parcel of the bullshit marathon of selling this war, and that he'd happily step up to pull the same lying and cheating routine to get us into war with Iran.