Bimbo Banter


BIMBO Nominees for April 2013


  • Bimbo
  • April 1, 2013
  • by Spaeth Communications

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This month’s winner is former Republican presidential candidate and Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. Be sure to click through to the full Memo, which features more BIMBOs from President Obama, Sen. Diane Feinstein, CNN’s Piers Morgan and Whole Foods’ John Mackey. There is also a “Wrong Thing to Say” example from Sen. John McCain and a (bad) example from the Daily Voice.

THE WINNING BIMBO

“I’m not going to disappear,” said former Republican presidential candidate and Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney to “Fox News Sunday” host Chris Wallace. (Alas, we agree with University of Virginia professor Larry Sabato who said, “He lost what most Republicans considered a winnable race.” Thus, his stated desire to influence the Republican Party may not disappear but will be limited. Note also that the BIMBO quote made the headline as often happens when one denies a negative word.)

The Examiner, “Romney still stinging from loss:  ‘I’m not going to disappear,’” March 3, 2013

THE RUNNER-UPS

“We’re not stealing anybody’s money,” said House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer as he urged passage of a bill calling for higher taxes. (The word “steal” originally came from House Speaker John Boehner who said, “How much more money do we want to steal from the American people to fund more government?” Rep. Hoyer repeated the word and again, it’s not only the featured quote, it’s the headline.)

Yahoo! News, “Key House Democrat Hoyer on taxes: ‘We’re not stealing anybody’s money,’” March 5, 2013

“While we typically don’t comment on rumors/speculation, Ron Johnson has no immediate plans to resign his position as J.C. Penney CEO,” said a J.C. Penney spokesperson responding to rumors that Johnson was on his way out after the retailer reported an annual loss of $1 billion and a $4 billion decline in sales. (When news reports append the word “struggling” to you – as in “the struggling retailer tried to end speculation that CEO Ron Johnson is leaving” – you have an uphill climb.)

The Dallas Morning News, “J.C. Penney denies CEO leaving,” March 13, 2013

“This is not  Dick Cheney we’re talking about,” said President Obama, defending his policy on the use of drones during a private meeting where Democratic senators were allowed to review Justice Department Office of Legal Counsel memos outlining the justification for killing Americans abroad who were terror suspects. (Since my late husband, Tex Lezar, was Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Policy, the companion office to the Office of Legal Counsel, I take a personal interest in these seemingly esoteric debates. The President went on to say his perspective had changed since occupying the Oval Office. Note again that the denial made the headline.)

Politico, “President Obama: I’m no Dick Cheney on drones,” March 14, 2013

“I Am Not a Sixth Grader,” responded Sen. Diane Feinstein, D-Calif., to Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, in a debate over gun-control legislation when he asked her if the Senate could, given the First Amendment, pick and choose which books should be illegal. (Again, note that the denial became the headline.)

NPR, “’I Am Not a Sixth Grader:’ Sens. Feinstein, Cruz Spar on 2nd Amendment,” March 14, 2013 

“I’m not part of the liberal media,” said CNN host Piers Morgan in a conversation with Margaret Hoover about the gun control debates. (Interestingly, Morgan actually said “I’m not saying I’m part of the liberal media,” although he claimed not to be either “liberal or right wing,” while Hoover confirmed that Wayne La Pierre of the NRA was speaking to the “liberal media” including Morgan. And one more time, the denial made it into the headline.)

Newsbusters, “Piers Morgan: I’ not part of the Liberal Media,” March 18, 2013

“It wasn’t a total bomb,” said Whole Foods co-founder John Mackey about the chain’s pilot project of an upscale health resort where guests would learn about healthy lifestyles. (This quote wasn’t a total bomb, but it illustrates how denials crowd out other quotes. He also said that an in-house program to improve healthy behavior of Whole Foods employees had “improved the lives of hundreds of our team members.” His second quote should have been “We want our customers to have the opportunity to lead healthier lives.”)

USA Today, “Whole Foods checks into health resorts,” March 14, 2013

WRONG THING TO SAY

“Wacko birds,” was the term Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., used to describe Sen. Rand Paul, D-Ken., for his lengthy filibuster demanding accountability on U.S. drone policy. (Predictably, the “wacko” story made all the news and Sen. McCain quickly apologized, but the word dominated the articles obscuring the actual debate about whether the country could legally or morally use drones to target people, particularly U.S. citizens outside the country’s borders. McCain’s jab also gave Sen. Ted Cruz a platform to promote himself.)

The Dallas Morning News, “McCain apologizes for calling Cruz, Paul ‘wacko birds,’” March 16, 2013

BAD EXAMPLE

Daily Voice’s Chairman Caril Tucker sent an email to employees stating, “Monday morning we will share with you the news about where we’re going and how we’re going to get there. The news is good – but you’ll need to sit tight while we finalize our plans. I’m pumped about the prospect of working with you to build a great company.” (That was Friday. On Monday, employees of 11 bureaus got layoff notices – with no severance. In reporting the story, crisis management guru Jonathan Bernstein noted, “There is no universe in which lying to your employees is acceptable. It only makes a bad situation worse.” He’s exactly right.)

Crisis Management Blog, “Liar Liar,” March 2, 2013


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