Bimbo Banter


BIMBO Nominees for December 2010


  • Bimbo
  • December 1, 2010
  • by Spaeth Communications

Bimbo blog image christmas

The winning BIMBO this month comes from Bristol Palin and is a great example of the “wrong thing to say.” The full BIMBO features the never-dull Charlie Sheen, Ireland’s Prime Minister, and a bond strategist. There’s also a BIMBO variation from President Obama (courtesy of “60 Minutes”) and another example of the “wrong thing to say” from Professor Larry Tribe, the CEO of Alberta’s Public Health Authority. Check out how a Northwestern Professor uses technology to engage his students and we tip our hat to Carnival Cruises for demonstrating good communication during a very public crisis.

THE WINNING BIMBO and WRONG THING TO SAY

“Going out there and winning this would mean a lot. It would be like a big middle finger to all the people out there that hate my mom and hate me,” said Bristol Palin before she finished third on “Dancing with the Stars.” (Oh dear, the Palin family is still off-message. This politicizes what should have been a fun experience for the young Miss Palin. She should have said, “Winning would mean a lot, but whatever happens, I’ve learned a lot. I had a great partner; met some great people and I’ve got better moves!”)

The New York Times, “Fighting Words,” Nov. 28, 2010

THE RUNNERS-UP

“There is a lot of evidence in support of me not being a dumb bimbo and lying about my university degrees,” said Iliana Fischer, a young woman who may or may not be a stripper complaining about an online posting referring to her as (what else?) a dumb bimbo. (Whether or not to respond to criticism or misinformation is always a big issue in communication. In this case, Ms. Fischer should have just let it go. By posting a YouTube video, she confirms everything we never even thought of! And if she does have two degrees, the school might think about rescission.)

YouTube, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hVbS2Xzlfaw, Nov. 7, 2007

“You have one bad night and everybody panics. I’m not panicking,” said actor Charlie Sheen to a paparazzo outside CBS Studios. (This is another example where it is inappropriate to respond to criticism—Mr. Sheen should have let this one go. Capri Anderson, the woman who accused Sheen of drunkenness and violent behavior in a hotel room told her story on the morning shows. As Ron Weasley asks in one of the Harry Potter movies, “Can we panic now?”  The answer for Mr. Sheen, who once had a bright future, is ‘yes.’ Mr. Sheen’s lawyer, the famed Yale Galanter, came through with a bimbo of his own, “Ms. Capri never made any allegation of wrongful conduct on the part of Mr. Sheen after the night of the incident.”  Then he slings one back at her, “If you wanted to see more of her enter the web site for money.”)

Extra, “Charlie Sheen: 'I'm Not Panicking,'” Nov. 8, 2010
PopEater, “Capri Anderson Describes Infamous Night With Charlie Sheen,” Nov. 22, 2010

ABC News, “Adult Film Actress Accused Charlie Sheen of Assault,” Nov. 22, 2010

“See your way clear to say, 'This member was not corrupt,’” was the emotional plea made by Rep. Charles Rangel, D-NY, to the House Ethics Committee as they deliberated whether to censure him on almost a dozen charges of failing to pay taxes, report income and other violations.  (Mr. Rangel must have his own, personal definition of ‘not corrupt.’ Any of these violations would land most of us in jail, plus Mr. Rangel is the former chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, the committee that writes the nation’s tax laws.)

ABC News, “Ethics Committee Recommends Censure for Rangel,” Nov. 19, 2010

Ireland has no reason to feel “ashamed or humiliated,” said Prime Minister Brian Cowen as the country edged toward accepting a hefty aid package from the European Union, adding “There is no loss of sovereignty for Ireland.” (Maybe the second comment is correct, but given how the country got into trouble – allowing, even encouraging its banks to lend to wild projects with unrealistic assumptions, throwing all the rules about lending out the window – they should at least be embarrassed.  Notice that the headline got it right.)

Bloomberg, “Cowen Scorned as Ireland Mourns Loss of Independence,” Nov. 19, 2010

In a “60 Minutes” interview, President Obama felt the Democrats’ loss in the November election was because voters incorrectly perceived him as dramatically expanding government, and voters did not want “a classic, traditional, big-government liberal.” (All we can charitably say is that perhaps the President missed the stimulus, GM bailout and the lengthy health care reform bill. Even the interviewer, CBS reporter Steve Kroft, noticed this and blurted out, “It was a huge expansion of government.”)

CBS, “60 Minutes,” Nov. 7, 2010

Wall Street Journal, “Obama: Americans Don’t Want “A Classic, Traditional, Big Government Liberal,” Nov. 10, 2010 

“It is premature to say that the Fed has failed or that this has backfired,” said David Ader, chief government bond strategist at CRT Capital. (This is a classic BIMBO. It may be premature to say, but it is what many people are saying.)

Wall Street Journal, “‘QE2’ in the Dock: Some Yields Going Up,” Nov. 11, 2010

“Not as smart as she seems to think she is,” was how departing Justice Department counselor and Harvard constitutional law professor Laurence Tribe described Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor. His comment was found in a leaked memo to President Obama that supported Elena Kagan for a nomination to the Supreme Court. (Tribe says he is leaving the Justice Department because of medical reasons and not because of his embarrassment over the memo.)

ABAJournal.com, “Laurence Tribe Leaves DOJ Job, Cites Symptoms of Brain Tumor,” Nov. 19, 2010

“I’m eating my cookie,” said Dr. Stephen Duckett, CEO of Alberta Health Services, when reporters tried to get information about the province’s emergency room crisis. (Dr. Duckett has since been fired, despite a desperate blog post that apologized for his ‘cookie’ outburst. The snide comment and his timely demise prompted a number of columns, blog posts, and YouTube videos that referenced Sesame Street’s Cookie Monster.)

Edmonton Journal, “Dr. Stephen Duckett: lending new meaning to the term Cookie Monster,” Nov. 20, 2010  

NEW TECHNOLOGY

The article “More Professors Give Out Hand-Held Devices to Monitor Students and Engage Them,” featured how Professor Bill White at Northwestern takes attendance and quizzes the students in his “Organizational Behavior” class. Jasmine Morris, a student, said that the “clicker” she uses in some of her classes “reinforces what you’re supposed to be doing as a student.” (Spaeth is very excited and supportive of this. Our own teaching method also involves querying and engaging participants in our classes rather than lecturing. The more interaction, the greater the learning impact for the majority of people.)

The New York Times, “More Professors Give Out Hand-Held Devices to Monitor Students and Engage Them,” Nov. 15, 2010

GOOD EXAMPLE

Although Carnival Cruise’s Splendor was without power for four days following a fire in the engine room, the company gets an A+ for how it handled the crisis. They fully refunded the cost for each passenger, gave them a free cruise, paid for transportation home, and the company’s CEO met the boat at the dock. The results were apparent in press reports covering the passengers’ arrival. While passengers voiced a desire for hot showers and hot food, virtually all the quotes supported the company and said they were satisfied. Reporters apparently tried to find people who planned to sue the company, but either they found the wrong people or Carnival’s prompt and transparent response found favor with passengers. “They gave us our money back. They gave us free beer. The crew was in good spirits and helped us with whatever we needed…They’re giving us a free cruise at a later date. I’m grateful for that. I’m not the kind of person who’s going to sue, sue, sue. Not me or my wife,” said Brian van Leeuwen who was on his honeymoon. Gerry Cahill, President and CEO of Carnival, had great quotes, first admitting, "We know we ruined their vacations." This then gave him the opportunity to achieve message alignment, “They signed up for a great cruise vacation and that’s not what they got.” Notice that “great cruise vacation” is exactly Carnival’s message.

LA Times, “Carnival tries to make amends as cruise ship is towed back to shore,” Nov. 11, 2010

MSNBC, “Free cruise should be enough for Splendor passengers,” Nov. 11, 2010

USA Today, “Towed cruise ship expected to reach San Diego today,” Nov. 11, 2010


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