Conservative Republicans, who most of the time derive great pleasure from distrusting and castigating the "mainstream media," occasionally find it convenient to depend heavily on it.
For example, a John McCain campaign spot refers to former Fannie Mae CEO Franklin Raines as advising Barack Obama on "mortgage and housing policy. Shocking." "Bad advice. Bad instincts," the ad concludes. "Not ready to lead."
John McCain relies for these tidbits on an item in the Washington Post. This is news — to both Obama and Raines.
In fact, Raines had sent an e-mail message to Carly Fiorina, who really is a McCain adviser — or was until she was unceremoniously "disappeared" — that read, "I am not an adviser to the Obama campaign. Frank."
Turns out Franklin Raines once took a "couple of calls from someone" with the Obama campaign, and this offhand remark during a photo shoot made him into an official Obama economic adviser for the purposes of a puff-profile in the paper's "Style" section.
Which was close enough to truth for John McCain's "good instincts."