It's no secret that Barack Obama fared poorly among white-working class voters in the Indiana primary. Why did he not win them over? Thomas M. DeFrank of The New York Daily News knows -- Joe Six-Pack is a religious bigot:
While the case for Hillary Clinton to stay in the race is shakier than ever, one ugly reason for staying in could be found Tuesday amid the ruddy, sun-kissed Hoosiers who cheered her on to victory at the Indianapolis Speedway.
With Clinton posing alongside pioneering Indy speedster Sarah Fisher, there were almost no African-Americans to be seen. Many in the white, working-class crowd were simply not ready to back Barack Obama - for reasons that are disturbing.
"I'm kind of still up in the air between McCain and Hillary," said Jason Jenkins, 32, who cited information from a hoax e-mail as a reason to spurn Obama.
"I'll be honest with you. Barack scares the hell out of me,"he said. "He swore on the Koran."
Obama did manage to pull in many white voters, but still encountered similar sentiments from a man who refused to shake his hand at a diner in Greenwood, Ind.
"I can't stand him," the man said. "He's a Muslim. He's not even pro-American as far as I'm concerned."
Give DeFrank some credit. He talked to ordinary voters, and he got revealing quotes from them about religion. Neither is an easy task.
Yet it is outrageous for DeFrank to assert that the two men represent the sentiments of all white-working class voters. It's nothing more than a smear. (DeFrank's alternative explanations -- that Joe Six Pack was mortified by the Rev. Wright or is a racist -- are no less assuring).
DeFrank gives his readers no evidence that the two voters' views are widespread. He offers no statistical or survey data. He did not talk to a representative sample of white-working class voters or even a small sample. He simply implies that the part stands for the whole.
This journalism is beneath a man of DeFrank's prestige.
His story also inspires speculation about whether national-class reporters give, as one Hoosier Democrat sang, a damn about the Jackie Browns of this world.