If John McCain weren't such a trusting soul he would have wondered why The New York Times endorsed him -- a member of the hated Republican Party -- as their (slightly) preferred candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, especially when he knew they were preparing a slanderous, largely anonymously sourced, story bound to damage his candidacy and his reputation.
The very wording of their endorsement should have been sufficient warning that eventually they'd be out to get him. He was merely the lesser of several evils facing GOP primary voters and they had at hand a weapon they believed they could use to scuttle his candidacy once he had snared the nomination and thus prevent a hated conservative from winning.
On January 25, when the bucket of sleaze was already filled and the story lying in wait, the Times editorialized: "We have strong disagreements with all the Republicans running for president. The leading candidates have no plan for getting American troops out of Iraq. They are too wedded to discredited [meaning non-socialist] economic theories and unwilling even now to break with the legacy of President Bush. We disagree with them strongly on what makes a good Supreme Court justice.
"Still, there is a choice to be made, and it is an easy one. Senator John McCain of Arizona is the only Republican who promises to end the George Bush style of governing from and on behalf of a small, angry fringe."
In other words, having any other Republican such as Mitt Romney (then the strongest of the contenders) as the GOP candidate was simply unthinkable to the ultra-liberal -- ahh, let's say it outright -- the Marxist New York Times.
To their corrupt way of thinking McCain, a maverick in their eyes with his ability to attract independents and even Democrats to his cause, was the perfect weapon to be used against conservatives such as Romney and Mike Huckabee.
Once they were out of the way, and McCain was the all-but-certain GOP candidate, they could spring the trap and hit him with the story they had waiting in Times Editor Bill Keller's bottom drawer, where presumably he also keeps the cross he burns in front of his former Roman Catholic church and his holy Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez relics.
Did it not occur to the Arizona senator that an endorsement by this virulently anti-American house organ for every enemy of the United States, a newspaper that routinely betrays vital national security secrets by publishing them on its front pages, and makes no secret of their undying hatred for Republicans and patriots, was an endorsement to be viewed, with at the very least, the utmost skepticism?