It appears the McCain Camp was the first to play up Ashley Todd‘s story—before the police concluded its investigation. A top official in the campaign went so far as to provide details of the attack, including a quote from Ashley Todd’s now-made-up attacker. Huffington Post reports:
“John McCain’s Pennsylvania communications director told reporters in the state an incendiary version of the hoax story about the attack on a McCain volunteer well before the facts of the case were known or established — and even told reporters outright that the ‘B’ carved into the victim’s cheek stood for ‘Barack,’ according to multiple sources familiar with the discussions.
John Verrilli, the news director for KDKA in Pittsburgh, told TPM Election Central that McCain’s Pennsylvania campaign communications director gave one of his reporters a detailed version of the attack that included a claim that the alleged attacker said, ‘You’re with the McCain campaign? I’m going to teach you a lesson.’
TPM has a lot more on this.