Better Than Lipstick on a Pig

October 27, 2008

News judgment is a fickle subjective beast. I spent most of my adult years exercising it, for better or worse.

Now I spend free moments judging others’ judgment, a cynical hobby for someone obsessed with national politics the last several years. During this time I’ve become an avid blog reader, while increasing my news consumption from the mainstream media.

I’m baffled why other media aren’t picking up a report posted today on the left-leaning TalkingPointsMemo.com. Maybe I haven’t looked hard enough, but I can’t find mention among major newspapers and television networks of arguably the presidential campaign’s most unusual human-interest story.

As many as forty workers at an Indiana call center walked off the job, refusing to read a John McCain campaign script claiming Barack Obama has, among other things, voted against protecting children from danger. Voters in other states are hearing the same script read to them in robo-calls. The prerecorded calls are illegal in Indiana. Apparently the workers won’t be fired but will receive no pay for the missed work time.

This is a case of modestly paid people sacrificing income on principle at a time when job security is a paramount concern. Even with my Obama bias, I’d argue their action would be a great story if an Obama script attacking McCain with a reprehensible lie triggered the walkout.

The TPM story is replete with unanswered questions. Were any of the employees McCain supporters? What do the campaigns have to say in response? Has this happened before in previous presidential campaigns (I doubt it)? And so on.

What’s clear is this: some people are mad as hell and, finally, aren’t going to take it anymore.