Baumhower: The answer to last week’s questionWritten by Jeremy Baumhower | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Last week’s beautifully laid-out Toledo Free Press cover showed a man juggling numerous logos, with the words “What About Don?” below. “What About Don?” was the starting point and inspiration for an article about local residents’ growing concerns about levy fatigue and its effect on our wallet.
TFP’s inspiration from “What About Don?” came from local radio disc-jockey Fred LeFebvre (1370 AM), who coined the question about a former co-worker, Don Zellers. Don worked part-time for Clear Channel since 2005 and lost his job in October after surviving a few rounds of cutbacks.
From the article:
“What about Don?” is the question LeFebvre asks his listeners to consider when they head to the polls this November. “We want people to begin to think of Don and themselves when they go to vote,” LeFebvre said.
LeFebvre has been using “What About Don?” as a rallying cry against the levies scheduled for November’s ballot.
There is a fundamental flaw with WSPD using the image and name of a former employee, who lost his job in October, as an inspiration for voters this November. It’s really easy to see if you look closely … C’mon, you see it … right? WSPD is owned and operated by Clear Channel Communications. Clear Channel is owned by …wait for it … Bain Capital! Bain Capital, the very company at the center of our presidential election, was founded in 1984 by Mitt Romney and others.
In 2006 Bain Capital and Thomas H. Lee Partners announced they were acquiring Clear Channel and in 2008 finalized the deal, worth more than $18 billion.
Clear Channel has consistently downsized jobs since its merger with Jacor in the late 1990s. Technology, including the creation of “Voice-Tracking,” has eliminated local on-air radio personalities to almost extinction. In October, the Bain Capital-acquired CC eliminated hundreds of jobs, including Don Zellers.
So why is Fred directing the question “What About Don?” to his audience, when it should be directed to Mitt Romney and Bain Capital? Here lies the irony of the situation: Fred wants you to vote President Obama out of office to be replaced by the guy whose company eliminated Don’s job? Don could easily afford the property taxes increased or not by the levies if he had not been fired by the Bain Capital-owned Clear Channel.
As catchy as the question “What About Don?” is, it’s completely directed to the wrong people. The answer to WSPD’s question is: Don Zellers is a victim of Bain Capital and its downsizing, outsourcing, etc. The fact that WSPD is using Don’s job loss as a rallying cry for you to vote is comical.
Don deserves better, he’s a great guy, lifelong Toledoan, whose name is being used as propaganda against levies and taxes in general. Last October when Don was given his pink slip, I am sure he had a different question in his mind: “Why me?”
Who knows, next year an imported voice from a different city could be using the question “What About Fred?”
Jeremy Baumhower produces and contributes to radio morning shows across the country. Please follow him on Twitter @jeremytheproduc.