(Please welcome Cliff Schecter, author of The Real McCain in the comments — jh)

Anyone who has ever seen some lame Democrat on television nodding their head in agreement with their Republican "opponent" and bemoaning the fact that those tasked with defending the progressive agenda on TV are so hopelessly inadequate thank their stars every night for Cliff Schecter. Cliff is that rare breed of progressive who has the natural charisma and forthright manner such that he’s always on offense and never loses his cool. He’s one of the only people we have with the media skills to handle himself on Fox without getting pwnd.

In a word, we need Cliff Schecter.

But Cliff’s duties on behalf of the D’s extend beyond his PR skills. He’s now written a book about John McCain that is full of details that McCain’s fawning fanboys just don’t want to cover, like his very un-family values personal life, his hypocrisy when it comes to campaign finance reform and his hair-trigger temper — and he’s got McCain on the run.

Watch the YouTube attached and try not to smile as McCain is forced to go on Fox News and deny the stories in Cliff’s book about his fight with Rick Renzi and his public reference to his wife Cindy as the "c" word.

But only this weekend, in the Washington Post article about McCain’s temper (which by all reports has McCain — with no small amount of irony — "furious"), McCain’s staff now confirms Cliff’s story about Renzi:

Reports recently surfaced of Rep. Rick Renzi, an Arizona Republican, taking offense when McCain called him "boy" once too often during a 2006 meeting, a story that McCain aides confirm while playing down its importance. "Renzi flared and he was prickly," McCain strategist Mark Salter said. "But there were no punches thrown or anything."

The Washington Post doesn’t credit Cliff (lazy bastards), but it’s no mystery where the story came from. In a media landscape where John McCain refers to journalists as his "base" and they won’t print negative stories about him because they don’t fit with their image of him as serious, honorable, knowlegeable and dripping with virtue, Cliff is one of the few to get any traction.

Teflon John, meet Velcro Cliff.

You can support Cliff’s work by buying his book.