It seemed a bit mysterious as to why “Bud” Paxson would go on the record as contradicting John McCain about his involvement in the Pittsburgh TV station sale matter, but Mark Kleiman flags the relevant story. Basically, Paxson (among others) also wanted a much bigger favor related to a spectrum giveaway to owners of UHF spectrum and McCain led the congressional charge against Paxson. Under the circumstances, you can both see why Paxson would be out for revenge and why McCain would be super-outraged that people would cast aspersions upon his integrity.
That said, it seems typically McCainian to decide that that outrage gives him a license to lie. He could defend his actions with regard to Pittsburgh on the merits. Or he could admit that he did a favor for Paxson with regard to Pittsburgh, but argue that this is more than counterbalanced out by his later actions. But the “I’m a good person so I’ll deny having had meetings I actually had” line doesn’t really wash.