There is a certain course a candidate for the Presidency has to take on the way to the Office. Name, hard to the wing in the primaries and hard again to the center for the general election. Captain's Quarters has compiled the signs of John McCain, infamous Maverick of the Republican Party, taking the turn right-ward.
One of the quotes cited has McCain on the Daily Show conceding that he is headed toward "crazy-base world" in preparation for a run. Agreed, not a great way to get in good with that base, but I think that it does prep the road back for him to the center should he pull in the nomination. The media might just be a bit more forgiving if he comes off as insincere in the first part rather than in the second. Granted, the media will never favor a Republican, no matter how unorthodox, or a Democrat.
That wink is going to keep him in relatively good stead through the primaries. At least for him, the media will cover him as if they didn't have their noses pinched shut.