I worry because even supposedly hardened and experienced political reporters are influenced by superficial acts of friendship that are actually transparent acts of manipulation. (I'm copying from Atrios here.)
Tucker Carlson writing in his book about the 2000 campaign:
McCain ran an entire presidential campaign aimed primarily at journalists. He understood that the first contest in a presidential race is always the media primary. He campaigned hard to win it. To a greater degree than any candidate in thirty years, McCain offered reporters the three things they want most: total access all the time, an endless stream of amusing quotes, and vast quantities of free booze.
I saw reporters call McCain "John," sometimes even to his face and in public. I heard others, usually at night in the hotel bar, slip into the habit of referring to the McCain campaign as "we"- as in, "I hope we kill Bush." It was wrong, but it was hard to resist.