'First question..are you comfortable, Senator McCain?'

As you probably know, I took part in last night's meeting of reporters and editors of the Daily News and Inquirer with Barack Obama. It's been a running joke -- especially on "Saturday Night Live," which inspired the headline of this post -- that the press is far too deferential to the Illinois senator, and to be candid I was disappointed we didn't ask him a few tougher questions in our one, brief crack at him.

That said, while we alternatively laugh and gripe about Obama's treatment in the media, the free ride granted to John McCain is soaring to a cruising altitude of 37,000 feet, far above the Democratic flak. Yesterday McCain spoke to the Associated Press -- you call them the elite, he calls them his base -- and, well, just see what happened next:

McCain's moderators, the AP's Ron Fournier and Liz Sidoti, greeted McCain with a box of Dunkin' Donuts. "We spend quite a bit of time with you on the back of the Straight Talk Express asking you questions, and what we've decided to do today was invite everyone else along on the ride," Sidoti explained. "We even brought you your favorite treat."

McCain opened the offering. "Oh, yes, with sprinkles!" he said.

Sidoti passed him a cup. "A little coffee with a little cream and a little sugar," she said.

"Donuts for Walnuts: A Love Story" -- coming to a major mass medium near you, run just extended through early November. Sigh. To paraphrase Gen. David Petraeus, tell me how this ends.

Oh, Obama spoke to the AP, too. They called him a terrorist.