Term of the Day: "tire swinging", "in the tire swing"
A media figure biased in favor of McCain is said to be "in the tire swing" or "tire swinging" for McCain. Here are examples from TPM and Yglesias. Usually this label is applied by liberals when a media figure says that McCain's anger, false attacks, or gob-smackingly stupid vice-presidential nominations aren't "the real McCain". Then the pundit waxes lyrical about McCain's alleged integrity, character, and abhorrence for smear tacticts; postulating confidently that they know the real good McCain is somewhere in there, deep down inside, locked away in the depths of his heart. Or maybe the real, virtuous McCain is being held hostage by his evil, smear-mongering campaign manager who just won't let him be who he truly is.
This annoys the crap out of us liberals, who point out that McCain should be held responsible for his actions, and that if his campaign manager is so evil he could fire him and get a new one, and that opinion makers should get off the tire swing and stop making excuses for McCain.
Origin: There was a BBQ at McCain's ranch where he charmed the media with his grilling. Several reporters were seen having fun in the tire swing. Many liberals felt it was inappropriate for media figures to get so chummy with someone who they were covering. So "in the tire swing" came to mean "inappropriately chummy with McCain, and thus prone to make excuses for him when he did something bad or failed". McCain's daughter made a YouTube video of the event that originated this phrase:
Note: I love how in this video, that huge Sedona house is called a "cabin". Note that when we rich folk say "cabin", we usually mean "multi-bedroom luxury vacation house in a picturesque rural setting". This euphemistic use of the word "cabin" is something that I have in common with the McCains. I didn't realize how silly it was until I first described my family's "cabin" to my wife. She thought it was hilarious that I would describe such a structure as a "cabin". But it was the common term among our social set, so it never struck me as weird.