Was John McCain's Al-Qaeda Gaffe a Slip of the Tongue or a Deliberate Deception?

On the heels of John McCain's recent middle east political sojourn, he made a couple of statements linking al-Qaeda to the Ahmadinejad regime in Iran. If one of the two remaining Democratic Party presidential candidates had attempted to make such a linkage, the media would have blanketed the airwaves with GOP accusations of such statements being evidence of that the Dems are light on foreign policy experience. Perhaps Fox News would even go as far as to accuse the Dems of being "deceptive".

But St. John McCain? He gets a free pass - not just for the initial malaprop in Jordan - but for two subsequent statements claiming almost the same thing.

This morning, Glenn Greenwald put together a spot-on analysis of the media's treatment of McCain on not only the Iran / al-Qaeda issue, but in general:

...The tepidness of the TV "liberal" pundits when it comes to GOP political leaders is always a major factor in the imbalance of media coverage. As this last week yet again demonstrated, conservative commentators do not display any similar reluctance when it comes to eviscerating the character and fitness of Democratic candidates.
But there's an even more distortive aspect to all of this. The reality is that John McCain's understanding of foreign policy and his approach to national security has proven to be simplistic, destructive and idiotic. Nobody spewed more pre-invasion falsehoods and confused and misleading claims about Iraq than John McCain did. And he's been the Prime Cheerleader for one of the most destructive wars in U.S. history. The notion that he has expertise in foreign policy or sound judgment is a total myth, yet it's one that his press fans accept and enforce as orthodoxy...
A few weeks ago, John McCain held a private, "no news" get-together in Arizona for the media corps that follows him around the country (and apparently overseas, as well). The affair was pure schmooze, booze, bbq'd ribs, and free beer. As the McCain campaign termed it, a "thank you" to the media for following him around and providing coverage of the candidate stenography services.

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