Bimbo Banter


BIMBO Nominees for December 2013


  • Bimbo
  • December 1, 2013
  • by Spaeth Communications

Bimbo blog image a

“We are not blind, and I don’t think we’re stupid,” said Secretary of State John Kerry facing skepticism and criticism regarding negotiations with Iran to mitigate sanctions in return for dismantling its nuclear enrichment program. (A number of commentators replayed this quote, noting that when you claim you’re “not stupid,” it’s likely you are. Note that “blind” and “stupid” make it into the headline. The Obama Administration made quite a few other appearances last month. The president stated, “I am not a particularly ideological person” at a Los Angeles fundraiser— obviously a patent untruth. Note the quote made it into the headline as well.  Attorney General Eric Holder said he “didn’t mean to be egocentric,” while stating that accused Sept. 11 terrorist Khalid Sheikh Mohammed would have been tried and convicted already if he had been on trial in New York City civilian courts – an effort which New York estimated would have cost $200 million and caused massive security problems. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius backed away from the Administration’s deadline of Dec. 1 to have the Healthcare.gov website up and running, and stated “The 30th of November is not a magic go, no-go date.”

Yahoo News, “Kerry: United States not ‘blind’ or ‘stupid’ in Iran talks,” Nov. 10, 2013

The Blaze, “‘I’m not a particularly ideological person:’ Obama chats about himself at a fund raiser, calls GOP house an ‘impediment’ to governing,” Nov. 25, 2013

US News/NBC, “Holder: Sept. 11 plotters could have been on death row by now, if not for politics,” Nov. 4, 2013

Yahoo! Finance: “Health website to remain a work in progress,” Nov. 19, 2013

“I don’t feel like we’re in an arms race,” said University of Colorado Athletics Director Rick George about the $2.4 million salary he is receiving at a time when the athletic department owes the school $30 million in loans. (This is a classic BIMBO. A university physics professor on the steering committee of the Coalition on Intercollegiate Athletics was quoted saying that athletic department salaries were excessive and “It’s an arms race.” The reporter proceeded to quote George who fell right into the trap of repeating and denying the statement.)

USA Today, “Colorado’s MacIntyre part of college football salary explosion,” Nov. 6, 2013

“I am not a racist,” said Miami Dolphins guard Richie Incognito, trying to defuse a national controversy caused by teammate Jonathan Martin leaving the team charging bullying and racial insults. (This is proof that the power of negative words, particularly racially-charged ones, can be damaging. The media had a field day playing voice messages and texts from Incognito and Martin. In an interview with FOX Sports senior writer Jay Glazer, Incognito argued that he and Martin were friends and the profane talk was just how locker room buddies interact with each other. He was correct when he said “it sounds terrible, it sounds, when it’s on the screen, it sounds like I’m a racist pig, it sounds like I’m a meathead.” The contretemps is confusing because Martin sent friendly messages to Incognito several days after he left the team. Note that the comment made it into the headline.)

FOX Sports, “Richie Incognito: ‘I am not a racist,’” Nov. 11, 2013

“SAC has never encouraged, promoted or tolerated insider trading,” read the original press release from SAC Capital Advisors LP (SAC) about pleading guilty and paying $1.8 billion as a fine. (The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) apparently threatened to back out of the plea deal unless SAC deleted the offending line and changed the quote to an admission that the individuals involved were guilty. Ouch, sounds like that one is going to hurt.)

Bloomberg, “SAC Changes Statement after Violation Said to be Found,” Nov. 4, 2013

“I am not a thief,” said Philippine President Aquino responding to criticism that the country’s stimulus program was a presidential slush fund. (The quote sounds remarkably like Nixon’s famous quote, “I am not a crook.” Aquino proceeded to make more BIMBO comments, adding, “I have never stolen” and that the stimulus program “is not pork barrel.” As with other BIMBOs, the repeated denials only convince the listener of the opposite. Notice the “thief” comment made it into the headline.)

 Inquirer News, “Aquino insists: I am not a thief” Oct. 31, 2013

THE WRONG THING TO SAY

“I’m Not a Spinster Aunt, I’m a PANK,” read the headline of Allison Davis’ essay on buying gifts for her nieces and nephews. The term “PANK” if you were wondering, stands for “Professional Aunt, No Kids.” (Am I the only one who finds PANK less than appealing? Then there’s its companion term, Professional Uncle, No Kids or PUNK.)

The Cut, “I’m Not a Spinster Aunt, I’m a PANK,” Nov. 11, 2013

“I’m sure they’re going to say I’m a new age nutcase, dragon lady, lightweight thinker,” said Marianne Williamson, best-selling author of new age spiritual guide “A Return to Love” and Congressional candidate running against Henry Waxman (D-CA).  (Perhaps if Williamson ran on term limits, she would get further since she agrees with Waxman on virtually every issue. She was also speaking in a predictable venue— the Mysterious Galaxy bookstore.)

The New York Times, “Marianne Williamson, New-Age Guru, Seeks Congressional Seat,” Nov. 13, 2013

“Some women’s bodies just don’t actually work [for Lululemon Athletica’s yoga pants],” said CEO Chip Wilson, explaining last spring’s problem with pants that were a bit on the sheer side. “It’s really about rubbing through the thighs, how much pressure is there over a period of time and how much they use it.” (The comment ignited a storm of criticism. Soon after the incident, Wilson posted a video on YouTube and Lululemon’s Facebook page stating “I’m sad for the people at Lululemon who I care so much about that really had to face the brunt of my actions. I take responsibility for all that has occurred and the impact it has had on you. I’m sorry to have put you all through this.” Wilson’s visible discomfort is apparent throughout the video.  It serves as an example of the importance of mastering the skill of connecting with your audience through the camera as if the speaker is talking to each person individually.)

NBC News (Today News), “Lululemon co-founder apologizes for comment about women’s thighs,” Nov. 13, 2013

“Our free stuff today is being paid for today by taking money from our children and borrowing from China. When that note comes due, and this isn’t racist, so try it anyway, this isn’t racist, but it’s going to be like slavery when that note is due, right?” said former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin at a GOP function in Iowa. (We understand what Gov. Palin is trying to say about out-of-control federal spending, but using the word “slavery” in comparison was bound to deflect attention away from the burgeoning national debt, thus generating controversy over the word. MSNBC and Salon.com writers went ballistic, accusing the governor of being part of the “white grievance industry.”)

Salon.com, “Sarah Palin, Richard Cohen and today’s sad, sad GOP,” Nov. 12, 2013

“It perpetuates the myth that feminists are a bunch of bra-burning man-haters, and that’s just not true,” wrote Rebecca Sarles in the Huffington Post. (Sarles’ “simple flowchart” illustrates her point but she forgot to add “without any sense of humor.” Sarles was driven by annoyance of celebrities like Kelly Clarkson and Katy Perry who claim they are not “feminists”).

Huff Post, “How to Tell if You’re A Feminist in Two Easy Steps,” Nov. 1, 2013

TWITTER EXAMPLES

“Heading out of town on a weekend getaway via #LAX? Avoid the chaos and make it a beach vacation here in #Newport Beach,” tweeted Jeff Soto, public relations director for Newport Beach’s official marketing firm, Visit Newport Beach, Inc., after the deadly shooting at Los Angeles International Airport. (Elizabeth Taylor may have been wrong, at least this time, with her famous notion that there is no such thing as bad publicity.  The PR director was fired and the organization’s CEO apologized. This is yet another example of Twitter’s immediacy to trip up the user. As Jack Carley, general counsel of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) used to say, “Imagine how it would look on the front page of the Washington Post.” This is still a good test.)

Newport Beach-Corona del Mar Patch website, “Newport Marketing Firm’s PR Director Fired over LAX Shooting Tweet,” Nov. 4, 2013

“Why does a Tesla fire w no injury get more media headlines than 100,000 gas car fires that kill 100s of people per year?” Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk tweeted. (The issue has to do with the car’s lithium ion battery mounted on the underside of the vehicle. Musk made the most common mistake involving statistics. The media focuses on the “rare” accident as a proxy anecdote for what could happen to everyone. If he was going to tweet on the subject, which is debatable as a good idea, he should have stressed the company’s commitment to safety.)

Metal Miner, “Tesla Model S Lithium-Ion Battery: Victim of metal-on-metal violence,” Nov. 22, 2013



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