Having just reviewed Amy Goodman's recently published collection of syndicated columns, Breaking the Sound Barrier, I have been listening regularly to the podcasts of her news and opinion show, Democracy Now!. Friday's show included an interview with comedian Andy Cobb who had worked as a spokesperson for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida and has now come out to speak in favor of the current health reform proposals and against his former employers. Exactly why they were his former employers was never mentioned, although the suggestion that he left the insurance company's employee in disgust at their activities was fairly clear. Whether or not this is true, we really have no way of knowing. No one spoke for the insurance company. Goodman's show doesn't exactly subscribe to the "fair and balanced" mantra. Whatever the reason he left or was asked to leave, I would, myself, normally applaud his new appetite for biting the hand that fed him. I just wonder what took him so long.
What interests me is a moral question. What is your obligation when it comes to working for a company or a cause you find, not illegal, but offensive. This intrigues me because like Cobb, I've had to make this kind of choice. Last year during the election campaign, despite considering myself a staunch Democrat, I was cast in an election commercial for the Republican candidate for the governorship of a state other than the one I live and vote in. The question of whether or not I should take the job occupied me for all of ten minutes. I booked the job, made the commercial and pocketed the check. I wasn't happy about it, but then again I wasn't exactly not happy either. Paying opportunities come too few and far between to turn them down for something as impractical as principle.