Bimbo Banter


BIMBO Nominees for December 2015


  • Bimbo
  • December 4, 2015
  • by Spaeth Communications

Bimbo blog image christmas

It’s time to wrap up another year of BIMBO comments! We hope this month gives you some timely advice in advance of the holiday season. Getting excited for Christmas? Kentucky Speaker of the House Greg Stumbo thinks Jesus was a Democrat. We have misguided comments from the presidential campaigns, Secretary of State Kerry and a candidate for State House in Minnesota. A truly cringe-worthy "Wrong Thing to Say" from Tinder CEO Sean Rad, and ditto from Quentin Tarantino. New category "Whine of the Month" goes to Black Lives Matter and protestors at Mizzou due to tweets that the Paris attacks stole their publicity, and a caddie illustrates the power of negative words.

THE WINNING BIMBO

“Not just about the tax benefits,” said Pfizer CEO Ian Read about the company’s proposed merger with Allergan, which will dramatically reduce the company’s American taxes. (This is the winner because a global business should have gotten better advice. It’s also unfortunate because the U.S. urgently needs to level its global playing field in terms of corporate income taxes. Saving billions globally will actually allow Pfizer to invest more R&D in the U.S. But the so-called “inversion,” merging the company to move the headquarters to Ireland, is getting all the attention.)

USA Today, “World’s drug market shaken up by this man,” Nov. 24, 2015

THE RUNNERS-UP

“No one should be afraid of eating a bratwurst,” said Christian Schmidt, Germany’s Minister of Food and Agriculture about the report from the World Health Organization’s study that links eating processed meats to cancer. (The wildly overreaching study provided the opportunity for lots of puns, that the study was “hard to swallow,” “the wurst,” “gnaws at sausage fans,” and was “biting in Frankfurt.” Schmidt missed the opportunity to talk about sausage’s variety, taste and deliciousness.)

The Wall Street Journal, “In Frankfurt, Germany, Hot Dog Haters are the Wurst,” Nov. 4, 2015

“I’m not going down,” said Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff as she faces a growing movement to impeach her amid corruption charges involving Petrobras. (More than a quarter of the representatives in Brazil’s congress face criminal lawsuits. When politicians are described as “embattled,” it’s always trouble.)

Bloomberg Business, “Brazil's Ex-Guerrilla-in-Chief Isn't Going Down Without a Fight,” Oct. 21, 2015

“No, I’m not in no way trying to limit free speech,” said Colorado Governor Hickenlooper, linking criticism of Planned Parenthood generated by the now-famous undercover videos about not “crushing” fetal body parts and the deadly shooting at a Planned Parenthood clinic in his state. (The governor kept blaming the shooting by a clearly mentally ill individual on the discussion generated by the video. We understand Planned Parenthood’s grief and outrage, but elected officials are way ahead of the issue when, only hours later, they make charges like this. He should have contained himself to expressing condolences and a commitment to understanding how the shooter got ahold of weapons.)

Grabien, “Colo. Gov. Blames Shooting on ‘Inflammatory Rhetoric’ from Bloggers, Talk Radio,” Nov. 29, 2015

“It is not a decision to enter into Syria’s civil war,” said Secretary of State John Kerry about the administration’s decision to send 50 elite troops to Syria. (Secretary Kerry’s comment begs the question:  then why else are we sending them? The ridiculous nature of allotting only 50 troops was widely noted. Note it made it into the headline. We’re at a loss to suggest what he could have said.)

USA Today, “Kerry: Using special ops, ‘is not a decision to enter Syria’s civil war,’” Oct. 31, 2015

“ISIS isn’t necessarily evil. It is made up of people doing what they think is best for their community,” tweeted Dan Kimmel, now-former Democratic candidate for State Legislature in Minnesota. (Reaction to the tweet was immediate and overwhelming. Kimmel deleted the tweet and dropped out of the campaign. But the tweet will live forever. As the storm erupted, Kimmel had the good sense to say, “Most likely the best thing for me to do is shut up. The tweet was stupid. I’m sorry.” That fairly timely response may give him a future in politics.)

CBS Minnesota, “House Candidate Ends Campaign After Tweeting ‘ISIS Isn’t Necessarily Evil,’” Nov. 15, 2015

“This region is not a distraction from the world’s central challenges, like terrorism,” said President Obama countering criticism that his trip to Asia was an attempt to deflect attention from ISIS attacks in Europe and the Middle East. (President Obama had a slew of BIMBOs during the month. “We will not accept the idea that terrorist assaults on restaurants and theaters and hotels are the new normal—or that we are powerless to stop them,” and “Americans will not be terrorized.” The president continued to downplay the ideological underpinnings of ISIS and related groups, saying they are only “killers with good social media.” We hope someone gives him Rabbi Jonathan Sack’s new book, “Not in God’s Name,” which is an insightful examination of the millennia-long antipathies between the three Abrahamic faiths.)

Washington Examiner, “Obama rejects ‘Asian distraction’ claims,” Nov. 11, 2015
Townhall.com, “Obama Holds Joint Presser With Hollande: ‘Americans Will Not Be Terrorized,’” Nov. 24, 2015
Politico, “Obama: GOP attacks on refugees help ISIL,” Nov. 22, 2015

WRONG THING TO SAY

“There’s a term for someone who gets turned on by intellectual stuff. …What’s the word? I want to say ‘sodomy’?” said Sean Rad, Tinder’s CEO, claiming a supermodel was “begging” him for sex but he chooses smart women. This whole interview was a disaster, occurring just as parent company Match Group went public, violating SEC rules about a quiet period before a public offering. (Besides the dreadful quote, the interview calls Rad’s judgment into question. This also tells us he doesn’t have a group of experienced advisers who will tell him what he needs to hear instead of what he wants to hear.)

The Washington Post, “‘Sodomy’ and scandal: Tinder’s thoroughly embarrassing stock-market debut,” Nov. 19, 2015

Secretary of State John Kerry said the November attacks in Paris were different from the attack against the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, which he initially said had “legitimacy.” (What a disastrous comment! Kerry was speaking at the U.S. Embassy in Paris. He apparently thought better of the word as it came out of his mouth, adding it was “not a legitimacy, but a rationale that you could attach yourself to somehow and say, okay, they’re really angry because of this and that.” In our view, that made it worse. He’s basically saying that because radical Muslims are upset by the expression of free speech, they can murder innocent people. The words provide a window into how the administration thinks about the issue and the parties involved. Note the word became the headline.)

Mediaite.com, “John Kerry: Charlie Hebdo Attack Had ‘Legitimacy,’ ‘Rationale’ Behind It,” Nov. 17, 2015

Saying he’s not a “cop hater,” director Quentin Tarantino tried to deal with fallout from a passionate press conference where he called police “murderers.” (Tarantino became a classic example of how repeating the negative only prolongs the discussion. The Fraternal Order of Police did equally badly reacting to the provocation. Tarantino’s press conference with the Black Lives Matter group was sensational, but the FOP’s reaction was “The right time and place will come up and we’ll try to hurt him in the only way that seems to matter to him, and that’s economically.” What a missed opportunity! They should have said, “Policemen risk their lives daily to keep their citizens and communities safe. Tarantino should make a movie about that.”)

Gothamist, “Video: Quentin Tarantino Says He’s Not a Cop Hater, Criticizes, “Blue Wall” With Bill Maher,” Nov. 7, 2015

“We can’t let [Republicans]…make people believe we are not godly people.” Was Jesus a Republican or Democrat? “He was a carpenter and a teacher. And I bet every carpenter and teacher I know are good Democrats,” said Kentucky House Speaker Greg Stumbo. (Stumbo unaccountably described the Bible as a book of parables, which may or may not be accurate but that “Mary did not ride an elephant into Bethlehem that night.” I missed the elephant. Stumbo also compared Hillary Clinton to a jockey who would come to Kentucky to help rebuild the Democratic party.)

MRCTV.org, “Kentucky Dem. Preaches on Jesus’ Political Party, Compares Hillary to a Horse Jockey,” Nov. 4, 2015

“Inspired by Satan himself,” said Robert Jeffress, pastor of First Baptist Dallas, in a sermon about Islam as a religion. (This was an unnecessary provocation. Jeffress also said, “I believe it is time for us to lay aside political correctness and identify the belief system that is responsible for these horrific acts, and that is the evil, evil religion of radical Islam.” Here, he identified the strains of Islam that spawned ISIS and its counterparts, but the overall slam at the religion overshadowed what he said later.)

The Dallas Morning News, “First Baptist Dallas pastor says Islam, ‘inspired by Satan,’” Nov. 21, 2015

WHINE OF THE MONTH

Black Lives Matter and other protestors from the University of Missouri reacted to the terror attacks in Paris with tweets complaining that the coverage of the attacks had stolen their publicity. (Really? BLM claimed that the racial situation on college campuses was “terrorism.” This is a new category, but these groups won it – no contest.)

The Washington Times, “Mizzou protestors, Black Lives Mater complain Paris attacks stole their headlines,” Nov. 14, 2015    

POWER OF NEGATIVE WORDS

“Slave” was the word used by Tiger Woods’ former caddie, Steve Williams in his book “Out of the Rough,” to describe how he felt the golf great treated him. (Williams said he was astonished by the outrage over his use of the word. This is an example of how explaining only makes things worse. Williams went on and on about how “in this part of the world [New Zealand] where slavery has never existed, people use slave as a description of their service or work every day.” Really? A middle-aged man who’s traveled globally is totally unaware of the United States’ history of slavery? First, didn’t anyone read this book in galleys? Second, when the storm broke, he should have said, “Wrong choice of words; meant to convey that I felt trapped.”)

USA Today, “Caddie Steve Williams defends using ‘slave’ to describe working for Tiger,” Nov. 12, 2015

The power of negative words used as an instrument to attack and destroy was illustrated as media and the Republican establishment turned on candidate Donald Trump and labeled him a “fascist.” (The list includes conservative stalwarts like Max Boot – whom we admire – along with John Noonan and others. This is an example of how powerful, negative words spread from person-to-person. Articles and news reports quoting academic experts that explored the definition of “fascism” concluded that Trump was not a fascist, but – guess what? – that only intensified the discussion of “fascism.” Our guess is that people don’t know what ‘fascism’ means, only that it’s dangerous.)

CNN Politics, “Why some conservatives say Trump talk is fascist,” Nov. 25, 2015

CAMPAIGN COMMENTS

JEB BUSH: Former Gov. Bush had a number of misguided comments. He tried to criticize rival Sen. Marco Rubio’s absences in the senate by asking about whether this was the “French work week.” Predictably criticized, he caved, backtracked, apologized and wimped out. While the phrase was unfortunate and insulting, it was also true! He should have doubled down and hammered it home. The French work week and work rules have indeed made the country uncompetitive. We can love French people, French food and French history – and still recognize this. Bush also got trapped by the ridiculous debate about whether, if you could go back in time, would you assassinate “baby Hitler?” Bush declared, “Hell yeah.” Again, he should have looked at the reaction to some of the other candidates who have taken on the media and said, “What a ridiculous question! You should be asking what I would do to take on ISIS and what the impact on history will be if we don’t mount an effective strategy.” Bush had a great track record as governor but hasn’t absorbed how the political world has changed.)

MSN.com, “Jeb Bush apologizes for ‘French work week’ putdown,” Nov. 4, 2015
CNN.com, “Jeb Bush: ‘Hell yeah’ I’d kill baby Hitler,” Nov. 9, 2015

BEN CARSON: By contrast, Dr. Carson unloaded double barrels back when the media tried to criticize him for describing an offer from West Point as a “scholarship.” Politico tried to claim that the campaign admitted “fabricating” the story; other publications piled on to see whether other parts of his biography as a youngster could be verified. Since the stories were all personal, it wasn’t a surprise that eyewitnesses, preferably with videotape, couldn’t be found. Listen up Bush: Carson attacked back, and polls showed that an astonishing 80 percent of people believed him and not the media.

The Wall Street Journal, “Ben Carson’s Past Faces Deeper Questions,” Nov. 6, 2015
The Daily Caller, “Team Carson: ‘Politico Story Is An Outright Lie,’” Nov. 6, 2015

MARTIN O’MALLEY: Over on the Democratic side, Former Gov. O’Malley tried to attack Sen. Bernie Sanders by implying that he wasn’t sufficiently supportive of President Obama. Note O’Malley’s BIMBO comment, “I’m not a former independent,” and the headline writer expanded its impact.

TheHill.com, “O’Malley: Unlike Sanders, I’m not disloyal,” Nov. 6, 2015

OTHER EXAMPLES OF NOTE

The New York City media went after ultra-liberal mayor Bill de Blasio for trying to stage weekly press conferences and dictate the topics reporters could ask about. It’s worth a glance to demonstrate the media will go after its favorites when they become too controlling.

CBS New York, “CBS2’s Marcia Kramer Grills De Blasio Administration About Transparency,” Nov. 4, 2015

Note a low moment in media integrity when multiple media outlets reported that certain elected officials were “linked” to the Ku Klux Klan. The charge was made with no definition of what “linked” meant. Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero was included in the list, which predictably made headlines. Although the headline writer on this article articulated a BIMBO for her, the actual statement, posted on Facebook, is a good example of how to respond to sensational charges. Rogero’s statement read:

I’m not even sure this is worth responding to, but for the record: There is a list circulating online purporting to ‘out’ elected officials as members of the KKK. For reasons unfathomable to me or anyone who knows me, my name is on the list. Given my background, my interracial family, my public record and my personal beliefs, this would be hilarious except that it is probably being seen by a lot of people who have no idea who I am… I strongly request that anyone associated with the creation and dissemination of this false and defamatory accusation retract it immediately. It is irresponsible and slanderous. (Although, on a positive note, I do appreciate that they are using a picture of me from 12 years ago. Very flattering!)

(She conveyed strength and confidence, used humor, got in her personal message and avoided sounding defensive.)

WREG.com, “Knoxville mayor: I am not in the KKK,” Nov. 2, 2015
U.S. News and World Report, “Ku Klux Congress?” Nov. 3, 2015



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