Bimbo Banter


BIMBO Nominees for February 2010


  • Bimbo
  • February 1, 2010
  • by Spaeth Communications

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In this month’s full memo, we have bimbos from a spokesman for the Financial Services Roundtable, Rep. Barney Frank, Mark McGwire, “monster” mom and a spokesperson for the RNC. We have several “Wrong Thing To Say” examples from Rev. Pat Robertson, the University of Tennessee basketball coach, former Governor Rod Blagojevich (yawn) and Harry Reid (we’ll stick up for him – it’s not what you think).  We recognize N.Y. Governor David Patterson, a newsletter from an architecture firm, a UK disc jockey, a Republican candidate for county judge and retailer H&M. The (bad) e-mail example of the month comes from Goldman Sachs.

THE WINNING BIMBO

“Don’t panic,” said Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin following Scott Brown’s win over Martha Coakley in Massachusetts. (Despite being described by David Gergen as “the Kennedy seat,” Brown ran promising to be the vote that stopped health care “reform,” while Coakley promised to vote for it. Maybe they shouldn’t “panic,” but they should listen!)

USA Today, “What now for the Democrats?” January 21, 2010

THE RUNNERS-UP

Richard Heene, known as the “balloon boy’s” father, told Larry King “It wasn’t a hoax,” after pleading guilty to a felony that will send him to jail for 90 days. (The word, hoax, defined this controversy. The county district attorney told reporters, “It doesn’t matter whether he says it’s a hoax or not.” And Sheriff Jim Alderden weighed in, “There’s no doubt in my mind that this was a hoax.” The story was picked up with the headline, “It was not a hoax,” on the Associated Press, MSNBC and numerous other media outlets. Keene claimed he pleaded guilty because law enforcement officials were threatening to deport his Japanese wife, a charge they denied. If true, he should have raised the issue with a judge before pleading guilty. He comes off again as sorry they were exposed rather than sorry for the “hoax.”)

CNN, Larry King Live, January 7, 2010  

“This isn’t about a money grab,” said Scott Talbott of the Financial Services Roundtable, an industry group defending the new round of fees charged by banks. (This is an example of competing with yourself. Talbott made the case that in order to comply with extensive new regulations, banks would be corresponding more with customers. We’re only marginally sympathetic. Banks were only too happy to hit customers with fees and charges and point to the minute font disclosures on the back of bills. But Talbott does have a point, and we’re generally opposed to regulation. Classic bimbo.)

The Los Angeles Times, “Happy New Year. Now Pay Up,” January 6, 2010

“I’m not addicted. If I were addicted, I would have had ten plastic surgeries,” said the 23-year-old reality show star Heidi Montag on the revelation that she had ten procedures on a single day. (Incomprehensible as well as disturbing. She did have 10 surgeries. Montag was asked if she was “addicted.”  Note the headline repeated the denial. We’re not sure what she possibly could have said, except “this was a mistake.”)

People.com, “Heidi Montag: My Surgeries Aren’t an Addiction,” January 19, 2010

“Obama is not Martha Coakley in drag,” said Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., about the President’s appearance in Boston to try to boost Martha Coakley’s campaign to replace the late Senator Kennedy. (We’re puzzled by this comment, too. Rep. Frank was asked about whether the President would be affected if his appearance did not boost Ms. Coakley’s chances, given that the President’s appearances in New Jersey and Virginia didn’t help the democratic gubernatorial candidates there. Frank characterized the Massachusetts race as “a personality contest,” which we think seriously misreads the message from the voters. Note that the “drag” comment was plucked out to become the headline.)

The Washington Times Watercooler blog, “Barney Frank: Martha Coakley is not Barack Obama in drag,” January 17, 2010

“I did this for health purposes. There’s no way I did this for any type of strength purposes,” wailed Mark McGwire, finally telling us what we knew all along – that he used steroids when he broke home run records in the late ‘90s. (McGwire sounds whiney, defensive and just as insincere as his testimony in 2005 before a Congressional committee when he refused to answer questions, saying he was “not here to talk about the past.” He further damaged his story by claiming steroids had nothing to do with his 12 appearances as an All-Star. He said, “There’s no way a pill or injection will give you hand-eye coordination or the ability or the great mind that I’ve had as a baseball player.” Great mind? Great Liar! The even bigger loser is MLB, which has allowed him to take a coaching role.)

The Associated Press, “Mark McGwire finally admits using steroids,” January 12, 2010

“I am not a monster,” said a woman who pleaded guilty to killing her adopted quadriplegic daughter and stashing her body in a storage unit.  (Monster? What else could possibly describe such a person?)

The Associated Press, “Michigan Mom Sentenced in Death of Quadriplegic Daughter,” January 11, 2010

“Michael Steele is not in violation of the rules of the Republican National Committee,” said Reince Priebus, the organization’s general counsel. (Chairman Steele has taken the unprecedented position of writing a book and of charging significant fees for giving speeches. He may not be in violation of rules, but he’s certainly violating the spirit of the job. That’s what Party Chairmen do – they give speeches and write!! And it certainly doesn’t make the Republican Party look good.)

The Washington Times, “Ex-RNC chiefs rip Steele speaking fees,” December 28, 2009

WRONG THING TO SAY

“They got together and swore a pact with the devil… ever since they have been cursed by one thing after the other,” said televangelist Pat Robertson about the earthquake in Haiti. (This is an example of forgetting that one audience can overhear comments made to another. What is familiar to those speaking the language of sin and damnation seems over-the-top and outrageous to those who don’t. Rev. Robertson went on to talk about how the Dominican Republic is prosperous and thriving, but Haiti is desperate. His main pitch was to “help the suffering people and the suffering is unimaginable.”)

Huffington Post, “Pat Robertson: Haiti ‘Cursed’ by ‘Pact To The Devil’” January 12, 2010

“The task at hand is formidable… but we’ve got weapons, we’ve still got weapons,” said University of Tennessee basketball coach, Bruce Pearl.  (Unfortunately, Coach Pearl’s challenges stem from having four players suspended for drug and gun charges. To be fair, the coach quickly caught himself, saying “that’s terrible, I apologize, we still have players that have abilities.”  Moral is to think before speaking. Even better, rehearse.)

Back Porch Fan House, “Bruce Pearl Says Vols Have Weapons, Promptly Apologizes,” January 5, 2010

“I’m blacker than Barack Obama,” said former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich in a long, self-pitying interview. (This comment has received widespread publicity and been justifiably ridiculed. Perhaps Blagojevich grew up in the lower-middle class, but the comment was ludicrous.)

Esquire, “The Notorious Blago,” February 2010

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev, described President Obama as a “A light skinned” African-American “with no Negro dialect unless he wanted to have it.” (The largely unremarked facets of this eruption are that Senator Reid was excited about then-Senator Obama’s Presidential bid and that the comment was made in a private setting and reported anonymously. While much comparison has been made to former Majority Leader Trent Lott’s toast to then-Senator Strom Thurmond, that comment was made at a public forum. This shows that no off-the-cuff or private comment is safe from being selectively reported and blown-up into a huge controversy.)

HuffPost SocialNews, “Harry Reid ‘Negro’ Comment: Reid Apologizes for ‘No Negro Dialect’” January 9, 2010

 “I think it was some poor teenage judgment, and no wrongdoing,” said New York Gov. David Patterson after his son was found playing dice with friends and having a woman’s debit card. (Wrong. Having someone else’s debit card is not acceptable. Their story that they found it on the subway may be true, but the correct action would have been to turn it in. Plus, the young man refused to provide name and ID to the police while his friends did. He clearly thought he was untouchable. Gov. Patterson looks weak and out-of-touch.)

The New York Post, “Gov: Son acted like dumb teen,” January 14, 2010

An architect firm that makes high-end entryways for estates began its newsletter with a paragraph titled “The 5:37 Hotty Jogger,” which described driving along and seeing a “hotty jogger” and fixating on her “tight glistening skin” and other attributes. The paragraph was followed by pictures and descriptions of their stunning work product. About an hour later, a halfhearted apology followed, saying, “Our intent was to take a common occurrence to illustrate how designers would like their work to be appreciated.” (“Common occurrence?” What planet are the writers living on? Are all drivers seeing “hotties” as they drive home and ogling them?)

Rustic Elegance Iron Doors Newsletter, January 13, 2010

A British disc jockey played Van Halen’s “Jump” as police tried to talk a woman out of committing suicide by jumping off a bridge. The DJ, Steve Penk, refused to apologize because he was responding to the frustration of other drivers who called into the radio station to complain about the traffic tie-up.

MSNBC, “DJ plays ‘Jump’ as woman mulls suicide,” January 18, 2010

“Keith has done a minimal amount of anything except keeping taxes low,” said John Muns, a Republican challenging incumbent Collin County Judge Keith Self. (This is a criticism? Republican primary voters want taxes low! Talk about misreading your audience!)

The Lone Star Reporter, “Collin County Judge attacked in GOP primary for CUTTING taxes,” January 8, 2010

A New York Times reporter found homeless men and women pawing through bags of clothing in the alley behind an H&M clothing store. All the clothing had been slashed and destroyed, so it was unusable. The store manager referred questions to their United States headquarters where 10 phone calls and e-mails were not returned. The New York Times noted that H&M had a commitment to corporate responsibility on its website, and that to save paper it had shrunk shipping labels. A spokesperson for non-profit New York Cares offered to take unworn or unsold garments, but noted that they had received no response either.

The New York Times, “Clothing Clearance Where More than Just the Prices Have Been Slashed,” January 6, 2010

E-MAIL EXAMPLE OF THE MONTH

The New York Times revealed that Goldman Sachs was placing trading bets against investments it had recommended to clients. Goldman executive, Thomas Mazarakis, sent an email to clients saying, “We may trade, and may have existing positions based on trading ideas before we have discussed those trading ideas with you.” (What on earth does this mean? It means, “We may be on both sides of a deal; we’ll tell you to buy while we’re betting against it.” First of all, this e-mail was destined to become public, and Goldman knew it, also adding that “there is nothing new in this disclosure.” Wrong. As the Times wrote, “Mr. Mazarakis makes clear that when it comes to his unit’s advice, the firm comes first.” We hope customers are listening. So much for putting the customer first.)

The New York Times, “At Goldman, E-Mail Message Lays Bare Conflicts in Trading,” January 13, 2010


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