HOWARD KURTZ, HOST (voice over): Backlash. A “New York Times” bombshell on John McCain’s relationship with lobbyist Vicki Iseman sparks charges of a political smear. Should the paper have cited unnamed sources who believed without firm evidence that the two had a romantic relationship nearly a decade ago? Did the story show the senator cozying up to one of the special interests he crusades against? And why did editor Bill Keller delay the piece until after McCain had all but captured the Republican nomination?
Playing defense. As Barack Obama moves closer to the Democratic nomination, the media jump on charges of plagiarism and his wife’s controversial comments about America. Are journalists turning more skeptical towards this political phenomenon?
Plus, Jon Stewart’s encore. Will the comic sink or swim at tonight’s Oscars? And can the show help heal the wounds of a crippling strike?
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