Bimbo Banter


BIMBO Nominees for November 2010


  • Bimbo
  • November 1, 2010
  • by Spaeth Communications

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We have a variety of BIMBOs this month ranging from politicos Christine O’Donnell, Nancy Pelosi and David Axelrod to former Hearst columnist Helen Thomas and radio personality Lou Dobbs. True BIMBOs from the father of a grade school kid who turned him in, Entergy (a utility company), and “the wrong thing to say” from the New York Republican gubernatorial candidate. We also have NPR CEO Vivian Schiller, a “leading” Muslim cleric and David Arquette. Sports guys Brent Musberger, Rodney Harrison, Mike Singletary and Chuck Cecil can’t escape the BIMBO this month either. You can’t miss New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s latest line in the sand and the best YouTube video of the month.

THE WINNING BIMBO

“I am not a witch,” said Christine O’Donnell the Delaware Republican Senate nominee in an ad destined to rank with the infamous ‘I did not have sex with that woman,’ comment.  (This wins, not because it’s such a classic BIMBO but because it’s an example of how much you can pay for truly bad advice. The ad, which featured O’Donnell in a dark suit against a dark background, was trumpeted as the product of “ad wizard” Fred Davis. She won the nomination against 70-year-old Congressman Mike Castle because he projected an air of entitlement and arrogance and had a long track record of voting for tax hikes and big government spending. Having received the attention of the nation, O’Donnell should have listed the kinds of things she would vote against and she needed to commit to a reduction in spending, tax reform and other conservative issues. Primary voters are sending the Republican establishment a message: if you continue to give us candidates like Mike Castle, we will vote for anyone – and we mean anyone – else.)

ABC News, “Christine O’Donnell Ad: ‘I am Not A Witch,’” Oct. 4, 2010

THE RUNNERS-UP

“My manhood has never been in question,” said Sen. Harry Reid. (Reid was reacting to challenger Sharron Angle’s charge that he should “man up” in his role as the Senate majority leader. Note that the “man up” appeared in the headline.)

Thehill.com, “Reid hits back at ‘man up’ remark: ‘My manhood has never been in question.’” Oct. 24, 2010

“We’re not losing,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Cal., on a campaign swing. (The Speaker has actually done an excellent communication job staying on message, resisting requests to predict and attack Republicans. This comment was a rare slip. Note the negative made it into the paragraph distillation of the long article on politico.com.  Lesson: never repeat and deny a negative. It will crowd out other comments.)

The New York Times, “Vilified or Not, Pelosi Insists She’s Winning,” Oct. 9, 2010

“I was not talking about Auschwitz or anything else,” said former Hearst columnist, Helen Thomas, on a radio show where she defended her comments that Jews, or Israelis, “should go home…” and explained that means “Poland, Germany and America and everywhere else.” (Amazing. Thomas still doesn’t understand that her remarks were outrageous, not to mention historically inaccurate.)

AOLNews.com, “Helen Thomas on Being Anti-Semitic: ‘Baloney!’” Oct. 12, 2010

“The bottom line is, I have done nothing illegal,” said radio personality Lou Dobbs about published reports that people working on his landscaping and in his stables were illegal immigrants. (Dobbs was clearly set-up by a reporter for The Nation, but he compounded the problem by trying to explain, “The only person who would have been an illegal in any context would have been a landscaper who was working for the contractor on my house in Florida. That may have happened.”  Note the BIMBO denial was repeated throughout the print report of the television interview and in the headline.)

MSNBC, “Lou Dobbs: ‘I have done nothing illegal,’” Oct. 7, 2010

“No, President Obama is not a snob,” said Obama’s senior adviser David Axelrod in response to the accusation published in The Washington Post from former Bush speech writer Michael Gerson. (It’s not clear if Axelrod actually said “is not a snob” or if members of the press corps asked the question and Axelrod said he disagreed.)

USA Today, “Obama aide Axelrod: The president is not a snob,” Oct. 20, 2010

“No conclusion has been reached that the Entergy utility companies have done anything improper,” said Entergy, the parent company of several utilities in the South, about an investigation by the Department of Justice. (This is also an example of inverted speech because the statement went on to say they believed their “practices and policies have satisfied all applicable laws and regulations.”)

Electric Power Daily, “Justice Probe of Entergy Includes Procurement,” Oct. 13, 2010

“I don’t give drugs to my kids,” said a 40-year-old father who was turned in by his 11-year-old son. The child took his parents’ drugs to school and turned them into officials. (It’s hard to decide whether his stupidity or negligence is worse. The father, when asked how the child got the drugs said, “That’s no one’s business.” Actually it is. There are laws against child endangerment.)

WBTV, “Elementary student brings pot to school to turn in his parents,” Oct. 15, 2010

WRONG THING TO SAY

“Between him and ‘his psychiatrist or his publicist,’” said NPR CEO Vivian Schiller defending her decision to fire commentator Juan Williams over comments he made on Bill O’Reilly’s show on Fox News. (This was an outrageous comment and Ms. Schiller later apologized but the whole event couldn’t have been handled worse. She fired him by telephone after leaving him a voicemail message.)

MSNBC.com, “Fox, others defend Williams over Muslim remarks,” Oct. 22, 2010

“Brainwashed,” was a word chosen by Carl Paladino, Republican nominee for New York governor, in a speech to Orthodox Jewish leaders about homosexuality. The comment, and his subsequent attempts to explain, retract or defuse them, ignited a firestorm of criticism. (Again, this makes the BIMBO not just because it’s the wrong thing to say but because of the stupidity of raising this issue in the gubernatorial race. Voters are thoroughly fed up with the dysfunctional politics in Albany. They are aware that the state is effectively bankrupt and Lt. Gov. Richard Ravitch has been brutally honest about how New York is destroying its economic base. Paladino diagnosed what needed to be done. However, if he’s not smart enough to pick the right people to advise him, he’s not qualified to be governor. It’s particularly egregious because in a later interview, Paladino was asked if he believed homosexuality was a “lifestyle choice,” as some religious conservatives contend, and replied that he had a nephew who is gay and told him it was not.  So it’s not clear what the guy believes, but he managed to totally obliterate the economic and fiscal issues facing New York.)

Wall Street Journal, “Paladino Reels from Gay Gaffe,” Oct. 12, 2010

“Here’s the truth about steroids…They work,” said broadcaster Brent Musburger to journalism students at the University of Montana. (This falls into the ‘what was he thinking?’ category! He apparently went on to blame negative attitudes toward steroid use on uninformed journalists. As with others in the memo this month, his comments provoked a firestorm of criticism. We agree with blogger Adam Kramer who wrote, “The man is not a chemist…My advice to Brent is stick to what he does best - announcing games and sneaking in mentions of point spreads and totals to America without most even blinking an eye.”

Kegsneggsblog.com, “Brent Musburger’s Personal Steroid Truths,” Oct. 6, 2010

“Leading Muslim cleric” and president of the Islamic Sharia Council, Sheikh Maulana Abu Sayeed said, “Clearly there cannot be any rape within the marriage. Maybe aggression, maybe indecent activity…in Islamic sharia, rape is adultery by force. So long as the woman is his wife, it cannot be termed as rape.”(This is terrifying. The one piece of good news is that another Muslim, Inayat Bunglawala, chairman of Muslims4UK, countered the Sheikh’s comment, saying “Sheikh Sayeed’s comments are woefully misguided and entirely inappropriate. Rape - whether within marriage or outside it - is an abominable act and is clearly against the law.” Thankfully, reasonable Muslims did speak out to condemn the extremist comment and the statements were included in the media reports.)

MSNBC.com, “U.K. cleric: Rape is impossible within marriage,” Oct. 14, 2010

“I shared too much,” said David Arquette in a tweet following an interview with Howard Stern where he said he hadn’t had sex with former wife Courtney Cox for months. (My mother told me, if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything. This is a lesson Mr. Arquette and many celebrities should learn. In this day and age, these comments get magnified in a variety of media.)

People.com, “David Arquette Apologizes for Dishing on Courtney Cox,” Oct. 13, 2010

“You didn’t get my attention when you fined me $5,000, $10,000, $15,000,” said Rodney Harrison, a retired football player. His comments were about why fines don’t stop players from helmet-to-helmet collisions which can lead to concussions causing permanent damage. (At least he’s honest…)

Bloomberg, “NFL May Start Suspending Players for Dangerous Hits,” Oct. 18, 2010

“That was poor sportsmanship on my behalf…That’s all it was,” said San Francisco 49ers coach, Mike Singletary, when he declined to shake Atlanta Falcons’ coach Mike Smith’s hand after they won a game with two seconds left. (That’s “all?”  Isn’t that enough? Singletary was trying to say he wasn’t spaced out, but to say it was ‘only’ poor sportsmanship is one more example of – well, poor sportsmanship.)

Scout.com, “Singletary admits to poor sportsmanship,” Oct. 6, 2010

Not exactly words, but a clear gesture got Tennessee Titans’ Chuck Cecil fined $40,000 for an obscene gesture at game officials. (He should have been fined for stupidity, too, because professional football coaches should realize they are always, always on TV.)

Associated Press, “Titans coordinator nailed with $40K fine,” Oct. 4, 2010

JARGON

“There’s tremendous turbulence in the ecosystem, of course, in mobility. And that’s sort of an obvious thing, but also there’s tremendous architectural contention at play. And so I’m going to really frame our mobile architectural distinction. We’ve taken two fundamentally different approaches in their causalness,” said Jim Balsillie, co-CEO of Research In Motion (RIM), to Bloomberg Businessweek editors as he introduced the BlackBerry PlayBook – RIM’s answer to the iPad. (Bloomberg pointed out that when Steve Jobs unveiled the iPad he called it “a truly magical and revolutionary product.” Of the RIM executive’s words, Bloomberg said they were “brilliant, no doubt, if you could only figure out what they meant.”)

Bloomberg Businessweek, “Failure to Communicate,” Oct. 11-17, 2010

YOU GOTTA LOVE CHRIS CHRISTIE

“If there are ways other people are going to be responsible, I’m happy to look at it. If it ends up that New Jerseyans are the ones on the hook for $2 billion to $5 billion for a tunnel to the basement of Macy’s, I say, ‘No, thank you,’” said Chris Christie about the decision to walk away from the nation’s largest public works project, a tunnel connecting New Jersey with Manhattan, if New Jersey is required to pay for it.  (His comments triggered widespread attacks from liberal groups and unions that were quoted saying they “did not have a way to pay for the tunnel.”)

Associated Press, “N.J. Governor: New Funding Source could Save Rail Tunnel,” Oct. 18, 2010

YOUTUBE WINNER

Flight attendants for a low-cost Philippine airline took a page from Southwest Airlines’ playbook of the rapping flight attendant and choreographed their own dance to a Lady Gaga song for the in-flight safety announcement. (A group of flight attendants from the official Philippine Airlines called it “demeaning and undignified.” The CebuPacific folks are right – get people laughing and they’ll pay attention. A “dignified” announcement is guaranteed to be ignored. See the video here.)

MSN.com, “Filipino flight safety demo is YouTube hit,” Oct. 5, 2010


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