Ann Arbor, Michigan — July 19, 2011 at 9:33 am

Detroit News “humorist” thinks 11K Borders employees losing their jobs is hilarious


Yesterday, Borders Books announced that it was going out of business and liquidating its assets. This will put another roughly 11,000 people out of work including many right here in Michigan. It’s a huge loss both in terms of jobs and in terms of having a good bookseller around.

But P.D. Lesko at A2Politico points out, there is at least one person that thinks this is hilarious.

“Obama backs book bailout” was posted to the at 11:47 p.m. Monday evening. Obama’s reason for backing the federal bailout, according to Payne, is simple:

President Barack Obama on Monday afternoon announced a $500 million federal bailout for Borders Group Inc., the Ann Arbor-based national superstore book chain, on fears that bankruptcy could destroy American reading and leave millions of children illiterate.

“If Republicans allow this American icon to go out of business,” warned Obama, “American literacy will plummet and our children will not be able to compete internationally for the jobs of tomorrow.”

If you haven’t clued in yet, Henry Payne was just “pulling your leg.”

If Henry Payne hasn’t clued in yet, his [piece is a] tasteless, thoughtless, cold-hearted jest at the expense of 400 Michigan people in Ann Arbor (and hundreds more across the state) who just lost their jobs…

Payne’s piece is a pathetic attempt to … actually I don’t know what the hell he thought he was doing. It seems like he was trying to poke fun at President Obama’s bailing out some companies and not others. Or maybe he was criticizing people who criticized the automotive company bailouts. I actually don’t know why he thought is was funny.

Because it is not. Decidedly not. At a time when people are losing their homes, losing their life savings and, in some cases becoming homeless due to the failing economy and businesses shuttering their doors, Henry Payne chose a truly dismal time to joke about it.

Payne needs to pull his piece and apologize to every Borders employee that lost their job.

And then, just so he can write about it from personal experience, he should lose his. I’ll bet that would be really funny, eh, Henry?

You can read Borders CEO Mike Edwards’ letter to his employees announcing their decision HERE.