Bimbo Banter


BIMBO Nominees for June 2015


  • Bimbo
  • June 9, 2015
  • by Spaeth Communications

06 09 15 june bimbo nominees

Wow, what a bumper crop of BIMBO comments we have to kick off the summer! BIMBOs this month range from a feminist columnist to a bank executive, President Obama, a California lawyer speaking for farmers, Elon Musk, Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht and an Airbnb host who found his house trashed. Examples of the wrong thing to say come from a breastaurant’s HR department, elected officials and more. There’s an illustration of the power of a single word from Texas Governor Greg Abbott and suspicious emails from the Patriots. Finally, we have Twitter examples from a model, a U.S. ambassador and a spacecraft; yes, you read that right.

THE WINNING BIMBO

“We have no doubt whatsoever about America’s commitment to the security of Saudi Arabia,” said Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir. (This comment won because it was uttered in the midst of the escalating chaos in the Middle East. The Saudis responded to President Obama’s Persian Gulf Summit by cancelling their new king’s participation. The summit was being held to air concerns about the proposed nuclear deal with Iraq. The snub and the denial clearly sent the message that the kingdom was losing faith in its traditional ally.)

USA Today, “Saudi foreign minister: King will miss summit, but it’s not a snub,” May 11, 2015

THE RUNNERS-UP

“I will not be eating goat testicles again and it has nothing to do with being sick,” said an unnamed construction worker after a dinner at Congregation Shearith Israel for “the hungry and adventurous.” The meal included butter-poached brains, veal intestines, goat testicles and Mexican chipotle chocolate-covered locusts. (Numerous participants became violently ill with Campylobacter, a bacteria spread by undercooked poultry. No word about undercooked goat testicles. We give this guy a pass though. Given the subject matter and menu, it was nearly impossible not to repeat the negative words.)

Forward, “Exotic Kosher Feast Sickens Some at Manhattan Synagogue,” May 21, 2015

“There are no thugs in Baltimore,” said Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Black, who had previously called the rioters who destroyed hundreds of businesses “thugs.” (After several critics denounced her use of the word “thugs” as racially insulting, the mayor tried to backtrack with a denial. Our opinion is that the mayor needs much better strategic communication advice. Her earlier comments that the city was trying to protect the First Amendment rights of protestors by “[giving] those who wished to destroy space to do that” sent an alarming message.)

The New York Times, “Baltimore Mayor Treads Fine Line in Divided City,” April 29, 2015

“I’m not a self-centered sociopathic person,” said Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht on receiving his sentence of life in prison. (This is a heartbreaking quote and story. Ulbricht, hailed by some as a pioneer on the Internet pushing for greater freedoms, was viewed by the FBI and the judge as a drug trafficker. His statement to the court said, “I know you must take away my middle years, but please leave me my old age…I do love freedom. It’s been devastating to lose it.” Significant questions remain about how the FBI was able to hack into his servers in Iceland. A clear lesson remains: if you want to change the law, you have to change it lawfully.)

BBC News, “Silk Road drug website founder Ross Ulbricht jailed,” May 30, 2015

“There’s a misconception that delta farmers are a bunch of arrogant snobs who say, ‘It’s our water and don’t you dare touch it,’” said George Hartmann, an attorney representing California farmers. (The discussion was part of the debate over the water restrictions imposed by Governor Brown, which restricted residential water use but did not impose pricing restrictions. We would have liked to know what the delta farmers actually do say, but Hartmann has left us thinking they’re arrogant snobs.)

The New York Times, “California Farmers Offer Concession in Drought,” May 21, 2015

“There is no grand feminist overlord policing women’s personal choices,” wrote Jessica Valenti. (We can only believe that we have missed an entire universe. This comment was part of a column entitled, “Feminists don’t care if you like hot pink, eat salads or shave your crotch.” This apparently is part of a debate among the wings of the self-described feminist population. Writer Polly Vernon agonized, “What kind of feminist am I now? The shavy-leggy, fashion-fixated, wrinkle-averse, weight-conscious kind of feminist. The kind who, at 43, likes hot pink and men.”)

The Guardian, “Feminists don’t care if you like hot pink, eat salads or shave your crotch,” May 20, 2015

“That weak productivity growth is not the result of laziness on anyone’s part,” said Mark Carney, governor of the Bank of England. (The context of the quote is not clear but Governor Carney should have used the opportunity to identify what caused the lack of growth.)

BloombergBusiness, “Why David Cameron Might Lose Next Week’s Election,” April 30, 2015

“I don’t think we’re losing,” said President Obama after the fall of the critical city of Ramadi to Islamic State militants. (This was a truly scary BIMBO comment. Note the BIMBO comment made the headline.)

Reuters, “Obama: ‘I don’t think we’re losing’ fight with Islamic State: Atlantic,” May 21, 2015

“I never called myself a samurai,” said entrepreneur Elon Musk in a new book. (We’re not sure what Musk actually meant, but it’s an example of how a word gets repeated. “Elon Musk: Tesla, Space and the Quest for a Fantastic Future” by Ashlee Vance is full of stories and quotable lines, but the “samurai” quote became one of the most tweeted and repeated comments.)

The Washington Post, “The 22 most memorable quotes from the new Elon Musk book, ranked,” May 11, 2015

“This isn’t something that should turn people away from the whole idea [of Airbnb],” said Mark King after coming home to find his Calgary home destroyed by four people who had rented it through the online site. Damage, apparently caused by a “drug-induced orgy,” included trash, empty vodka bottles, broken glass and furniture. Damage was so extensive that hazmat crews had to decontaminate it. (Airbnb did pay for the cleanup. Note that the phrase, “drug-induced orgy,” made the headline.)

Gawker, “AirBnb Guests Completely Destroy Rented House in ‘Drug-Induced Orgy,’” May 7, 2015

WRONG THING TO SAY

Illustrating the power of a single word, Texas Governor Greg Abbott responded to rumors that the U.S. Army was planning to invade and take over by ordering the Texas National Guard to “monitor” an established practice exercise. (This was so embarrassing. The exercise, Jade Helm 15, ignited Internet-powered paranoia when the map for the plans leaked out and showed Texas as “hostile” territory. Gov. Abbott’s letter to the head of the Guard made national news. What should the governor have done? Probably just said that he appreciated the opportunity to support the armed forces and contribute to the nation’s preparedness.)

CNN, “Pentagon: No Texas takeover plot,” May 5, 2015

“I just work here,” said former President Bill Clinton, in response to an uproar triggered by a new book, “Clinton Cash.” The book reveals the extent of donations to the Clinton Foundation from foreign governments with less-than-admirable human rights records, Russian efforts to gain control of U.S. uranium assets and eye-popping speaking fees the Clintons earned. (It was also revealed that the Clinton Foundation did not make public its donors when Mrs. Clinton was Secretary of State, violating an agreement with the Obama administration. Maura Pally, acting CEO of the Foundation, responded with the BIMBO comment, “This is hardly an effort on our part to avoid transparency,” The brouhaha also included President Clinton whining, “I’m not in politics, all I’m saying is the idea that there’s one set of rules and another for everybody else is true.” Get ready, folks. A second Clinton presidency would bring a lot more of these revelations.)

The Washington Post, “Bill Clinton (still) doesn’t get it,” May 4, 2015

Women “don’t process things in the same way” men do, advised Lauderdale Lakes, Florida, City Manager Jonathan Allen during a seminar for the Austin, Texas, city staff about how to deal with female council members. (It’s not clear how much Austin paid for this seminar, which also included nuggets about how women don’t want to hear about math, they’d rather talk about feelings. Naturally, information about the seminar and a recording leaked out, embarrassing the capital city and Texas. What were they thinking?)

TexasMonthly, “A Training Session at Austin City Hall Taught Staffers How to Work With Women,” May 13, 2015

“Gender-Diversity Could be Holding IT Industry Back in Innovation,” screamed the headline of a press release. (We think they meant “Lack of Gender Diversity.” This came from a report by the National Center for Women & Information Technology, which found that only 15 percent of technical roles are held by women. The study tied preparedness for security breaches to hiring more women because they bring a different perspective. Interesting.)

PR Newswire, “Gender-Diversity Could be Holding IT Industry Back in Innovation,” May 13, 2015

“Keep Blanco Blanco” was the unfortunate campaign slogan choice for a candidate for the Mayor of Blanco, a small Texas town. Since the Hispanic population rose 23 percent between 2000 and 2010, the translation, “Keep Blanco White” was not a hit. (The candidate, Bruce Peele, insisted he meant to emphasize preserving the rural character of Blanco. Unfortunately for Blanco, he won.)

TexasMonthly, “Blanco Mayoral Campaign is Campaigning on a ‘Keep Blanco Blanco’ Platform,” May 1, 2015

“I went and played golf. You want another answer?” said Van, Texas, Mayor Dean Stone, photographed out on the golf course the day after his town made national news because of devastating tornadoes and torrential rains. (Wrong optics and the wrong thing to say. Even if he thought he couldn’t contribute much to the clean-up, elected officials are also supposed to assess damage from natural disasters, comfort residents and lead the effort to apply for state or federal aid. One of Van’s city council members, Amanda Davis, was out volunteering as a nurse. Davis tried to stick up for the mayor, saying, “I believe…he wants the best for this town.” When asked about the mayor’s golfing gig, she could only muster, “I really don’t know what to say, I really don’t.” We do: time for a new mayor.)

KLTV, “Van Mayor spends morning playing golf, angers citizens, city officials,” May 14, 2015

Twin Peaks, the “breastaurant” chain doing Hooters one better, was recently in the news for hosting a biker night, where a fight broke out that resulted in nine bikers shot dead. The chain got more bad publicity when a memo to employees was leaked describing their ideal customer. They target guys “who love to have their ego stroked by beautiful girls,” and provide an environment that “feeds their ego with the attention they crave.” The memo also described their customers as guys who want their friends to think they’re important and don’t want to be asked what they’re thinking. (In an Olympic feat of BIMBO comments, Twin Peaks’ corporate spokesperson, Rick Van Warner, said “I’m not saying it’s a fraudulent memo,” adding, “It was not, to my knowledge, part of a staff training… it’s not a policy document, it’s not a memo.” Unfortunately, press reports contained a picture of the “fraudulent memo,” which looked like a memo to us. What should he have said? If he hadn’t seen it before, he could have truthfully said that. If he had, Twin Peaks should own it and stick up for their concept. It certainly is differentiated, and apparently they do understand their target audience.)

ThinkProgress, “Leaked Memo Reveals what ‘Breastaurants’ Actually Think Of Their Customers,” May 19, 2015

“Everything that starts with ‘Al’ in the Middle East is bad news,” said South Carolina Senator, and now presidential contender, Lindsey Graham at a conference hosted by AIPAC, the American Israel Public Affairs Council. (The comment is apparently a laugh line that the senator has used for years, but it drew a swift and angry response from attendees who pointed out that “Al” only means “the” in Arabic. When an Israeli with an Arabic surname tried to educate and correct the senator, Graham blew him off saying, “I guess there’s one exception.” He should have immediately and profusely apologized, thanking the member of the audience for the much-needed education. It’s also worrisome that a presidential candidate doesn’t have staff members who would catch that the oft-repeated line had a downside.)

Vox, “Lindsey Graham sounds the alarm about the word ‘the,’’ May 5, 2015

Former Florida governor and presumed presidential candidate Jeb Bush flubbed a question from Fox News’ Megan Kelly about whether he would have invaded Iraq if he had known then – at the time of the invasion – what we know now. However, Bush heard the question as asking would he have invaded Iraq given what the administration knew then, and he answered that he would have, adding that then-Sen. Clinton and virtually all the other presidential candidates would have. For the several days that followed, Gov. Bush waffled back and forth about what to say, and pundits speculated about whether he was afraid to appear to disagree with his brother, former President George W. Bush. (The best example of how to handle speculative questions came years ago from then-Baseball Commissioner, Bartlett Giamatti, at a press conference after he had expelled Pete Rose from baseball. He was asked over and over, “If Pete had done X, would you have done something different?” with different variations, and he finally said in exasperation, “If things had been different, would things have been different? Yes, but I don’t amuse myself with how things would have been different.” All the Republican candidates might take note.)

The Washington Post, “In hindsight, Jeb Bush says, he wouldn’t have invaded Iraq,” May 14, 2015

“At times we’ve been portrayed as if we have acted like Keystone Cops,” said a spokesperson for Scotland Yard after finally nabbing a group of jewel thieves who had successfully carried off a high-profile diamond heist. (They should have said, “We are pleased to justify the public’s confidence in us.”)

The Associated Press, “Scotland Yard arrests 9 in London Jewel heist,” May 20, 2015

Deflategate, the incident involving the mysteriously under-inflated footballs used by the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship game, was investigated by the NFL. The final report included emails from locker room attendant Jim McNally and equipment assistant John Jastremski. Quarterback Tom Brady declined to cooperate with the League’s investigation. Emails from October through January between the staff members contemplated how highly-inflated balls were a problem and exchanged what seemed to be an urging to keep balls underinflated. (We’re not commenting on the emails except to note that they exist, and our advice to Tom Brady is to come clean now. Your emails and texts will come out. And it’s believable that he didn’t know the staff was discussing the inflation level of the balls and what would benefit him most. Like most crises, it’s not the actual deed that causes the ultimate problem; it’s the stonewalling or cover-up.)

247 Sports, “Text exchanges from Patriots employees, shed light on Deflategate,” May 6, 2015

Thumbs up and thumbs down to real estate investor Ian Reisner. The openly gay businessman held a small, private dinner party for Sen. Ted Cruz who is, of course, a presidential candidate. Reisner and friends discussed Israel and other issues, including gay marriage. Reisner pressed the senator to respond to the gotcha question about what his reaction would be if he discovered his daughter was gay, and the senator apparently responded that he would love her. Reisner posted pictures and comments about the exchange on his Facebook page. The exchange is included in this month’s memo because the LGBT caucus of New York landed on Reisner like a ton of bricks with vicious personal criticism and calls to boycott his investment properties. Reisner caved and produced gushing apologies, calling the meeting with the senator “a terrible mistake.” We strenuously disagree. Talking to people with whom you disagree is a critical part of civil society. It’s a shame that Reisner was bullied into toeing the line. Sen. Cruz is going to be a force to be reckoned with for years to come. It might be nice to count him as a friend.

New York Magazine, “The Owners of the Out Hotel on Why They Hosted Ted Cruz and the Backlash From the Gay Community,” May 9, 2015

TWITTER

“Everyone is saying I am some sort of monster for not stopping and giving her CPR or something,” tweeted celebrity Chrissy Teigen in response to criticism that she should have stopped after a guest at the Billboard Music Award tripped over her dress. (This was sort of a tempest in a teapot, fueled by the video showing Teigen, co-host of the event, ascending to the stage and ignoring the woman’s unfortunate predicament. We actually think this was an acceptable reaction, but she should have said, “I appreciate the audience member who was trying to help me get to the stage, and I thank her for that. Note the word “monster” became the headline.)

Gossip Cop, “Chrissy Teigen: I Am Not a ‘Monster’ For Tripping Woman At Billboard Music Awards,” May 19, 2015

Cheers for the U.S. Ambassador to Turkey responding to the Mayor of Ankara, who attacked the State Department’s spokesperson by calling her a “stupid blonde.” She had criticized the use of force by police in 2013 protests, and Mayor Melih Gökçek posted a picture of Baltimore police subduing looters. Gökçek posted a second comment, “Come on blonde, answer now.” Ambassador John Bass posted a picture of himself, altering his picture to give himself blondish hair, and the text, “American diplomats: we’re all blonde.” Way to go Bass! Ridicule can be an effective weapon.

The New York Times, “U.S. Ambassador to Turkey Says ‘We’re All Blonde,’” May 2, 2015

The quotable and emotional tweet from Spacecraft Messenger just before running out of fuel and crashing into the planet Mercury: “Well I guess it is time to say goodbye to all my friends, family, support team. I will be making my final impact very soon.” Congratulations to Messenger’s entire team who have had the craft circling Mercury since 2011. What a great way to engage the public.

Time, “This Was Messenger’s Goodbye Tweet Before It Crashed Into Mercury,” April 30, 2015



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