Bimbo Banter


BIMBO Nominees for September 2017


  • Bimbo
  • September 8, 2017
  • by Spaeth Communications

Bimbo blog image a

Another month of rich examples! We have BIMBOs from the self-described co-founder of the Satanic Temple, a Berkley administrator, Houston pastor Joel Osteen, a creepy London businessman and a county official from the Rio Grande Valley with an example of when an official pronouncement intended to encourage calm created a panic. More mind-boggling examples of the Wrong Thing to Say from the wife of the Treasury Secretary and from the organizer of the Charlottesville “Unite the Right” rally. Many stupid and dangerous comments emerged from the firing of Google engineer James Damore. We have a great example from Outback Steakhouse on how to utilize humor. Finally, if a picture is worth a thousand words, check out what some Norwegians mistook a series of bus seats for. 

THE WINNING BIMBO

We thought we would choose a lighthearted winner this month. In this cartoon, which we first spotted in the Dallas Morning News, the mom comes up to the front porch, as one of her young children rushes to meet her, saying, “Before you come in, Billy told me to tell you there’s no reason to panic.” (Conclusion? Time to panic!) 

Bill Keane, “Family Circus,” Aug. 19, 2017

THE RUNNERS-UP

“This wasn’t about offending anyone… No politically correct efforts,” said ESPN in a long statement, trying to defend one of the most hilarious politically-correct stumbles of the year. In the wake of the violent protests in Charlottesville and the controversy at the University of Virginia with the decision to remove the statue of confederate general Robert E. Lee, ESPN pulled announcer Robert Lee, who is Asian-American, from covering the UVA game against William and Mary. ESPN president, John Skipper, then tried to defend the decision and attacked the Fox Sports announcer who reported the story, charging he had “hijacked” ESPN’s “good intentions.” (What to do when you mess up like this? First, try not to mess up. PR 101 would have told ESPN no one would have noticed that “Robert Lee” was calling a college game. Second, once foot is in mouth, do not swallow ankle up to knee. Fess up. “We overreacted, and Robert will be right where he belongs.”)

Townhall, “ESPN’s Robert Lee Belly-Flop,” Aug. 25, 2017

“I hope people acknowledge that being a party to the alternative right does not make me an evil Nazi,” said student Peter Cvjetanovic, who participated in the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville that was met by a large counter protest. (Cvjetanovic admitted to marching with Neo-Nazis and Klansmen and was photographed with them in a picture that has become synonymous with the protest, his face contorted with rage. Cvjetanovic strikes us as more clueless than dangerous, but my mother used to say you’re known by the company you keep. He compounded the situation by insisting “Being pro-white doesn’t mean I’m anti-anyone else.” Well, yes, it does. Assignment: go read Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s speech about judging people not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. However, a good example came from Cvjetanovic’s school, the University of Nevada, Reno. The school’s president, Marc Johnson, issued a statement that they were not expelling the student; while they did not agree with him, he had a First Amendment rights.)

KNTV, “UNR Student Talks After Marching in Charlottesville White National Rally,” Aug. 14, 2017

“I’m a founder of the Satanic Temple. Don’t blame Satan for white supremacy,” stated the headline of a piece written by Lucien Greaves. (His gripe is that a number of politicians and evangelicals responded to the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville by identifying it as evil and attributing the cause to Satan. “As the co-founder of and spokesman for the Satanic Temple, I am naturally irritated by such comments.” Greaves said he believes in the kind of Satan the poet Milton wrote about. The scary thing is that the guy makes sense, but I still don’t think this is going to be a big seller.)

The Washington Post, “I’m a founder of the Satanic Temple. Don’t blame Satan for white supremacy,” Aug. 23, 2017

“We’re not looking for excuses to block anyone,” said Dan Mogulof, assistant vice chancellor for public affairs at Berkley after riots broke out to protest a planned speech by ultra-conservative writer, Milo Yiannopoulos (who is frequently described as a “provocateur”). Berkley’s idea of a welcome is to require eight weeks’ notice before a speaker appears. While it’s true that many lectures book months in advance, this rule is patently designed to discourage speakers who focus on the news of the day. Mogulof went on to say, “The exact opposite is true. We want to make sure that we have at our disposal every opportunity to ensure these events are safely and successfully held.” He should have stuck to that and skipped the BIMBO.)

The New York Times, “After Charlottesville Violence, Colleges Brace for More Clashes,” Aug. 16, 2017

As controversy continues with commentators calling President Trump a racist, Michael Cohen, Trump’s lawyer, tweeted, “As the son of a holocaust survivor, I have no tolerance for #racism. Just because I support @POTUS @realdonaldtrump doesn’t make me a racist.” (In a bizarre attempt to bolster his point, he included several pictures of himself with African-Americans in his tweet. Face, meet palm. The word “racist” is being thrown around too much and it has lessened its definition and impact). 

Twitter, Aug. 16, 2017

“We have never closed our doors,” said Houston pastor, Joel Osteen. (Another example of overreaction: as Hurricane Harvey roared into Houston, Osteen’s Lakewood megachurch was collecting donations, but announced it was “inaccessible due to severe flooding.” While I’ve never been a fan of his “prosperity gospel,” we’re disappointed that people immediately started piling on charges that the church was shirking its duty because it wasn’t acting as a shelter. A critic took pictures allegedly showing the church was dry, but another blogger confirmed that part of the complex had taken on water. What should the pastor have said? “Our outreach and service efforts have always been open and they are the door to our Christian mission.” Notice the denial becomes the headline.)

PR Daily, “Houston pastor responds to Harvey criticism: ‘We have never closed our doors,’” Aug. 31, 2017

“I haven’t committed a crime here,” wrote a London businessman who had been approached though a Facebook page for London startups and entrepreneurs by an 18-year-old entrepreneur looking for recommendations for a mentor. (He responded by asking how old she was, if she was single and if she was open about her sexuality. A sign of how times have changed, she let him have it. She posted all his messages, which, naturally, generated a raft of criticism. Lesson? Nothing is private and anything you write can and most-likely will be posted on a public site.)

Shareably, “Woman Shares Creepy Screenshots of Businessman Hitting on Her When She Came To Him For Advice,” Aug. 17, 2017

“There is no gas shortage in the RGV,” tweeted Hidalgo County. Wrong thing to announce. Thousands of people rushed to gas stations to fill up, causing very long lines and – you guessed it – a gas shortage. Hundreds of stations ran out of gas. (What should they have announced? “The gas supply is sufficient. We call on Texans to think that it’s “business as usual.” If we all behave like this, we’ll be fine.” By claiming “no gas shortage,” it made everyone think of a gas shortage. To be fair, a QuikTrip spokesperson didn’t fare much better, calling into NBC DFW with the reassuring message of “Don’t panic.”)

Valleycentral.com, “No, the Rio Grande Valley is not running out of gasoline,” Aug. 28, 2017      

WRONG THING TO SAY

“We strongly support the right of Googlers to express themselves,” wrote CEO Sundar Pichal. By now, Memo readers know about the Google engineer who attended a diversity training class and was so disillusioned that he wrote a 9000-word memo expressing his concern that Google was approaching the goal of diversity in a self-defeating way. The internal memo was naturally immediately leaked and generated howls from the left, women’s groups and from the company’s diversity officer. The engineer, James Damore, was fired. We’re writing about this, not to point out Damore’s comments, “I am not a sexist,” but to encourage readers to read The New York Times column by David Brooks on the subject. Brooks quotes The Atlantic writer, Conor Friedersdorf, “I cannot remember the last time so many outlets and observers mischaracterized so many aspects of a text everyone possessed.” Pronouncing judgment, Brooks says, “Various reporters and critics apparently decided that Damore opposes all things Enlightened People believe and therefore they don’t have to afford him the basic standards of intellectual fairness.” Back to CEO Pichal: Googlers can express themselves – IF they agree with the prevailing dogma. Otherwise, pack your bags. Brooks got it right.)

The Wall Street Journal, “Google Cancels Meeting on Diversity, Citing Safety Concerns for Employees,” Aug. 10, 2017

During the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville to protest the decision to remove a statue of Robert E. Lee, a chaotic melee ensued where one of the alt-right attendees drove a car into a group of people, killing a young woman, Heather Heyer. Jason Kessler, the organizer of the rally, who is currently in hiding due to death threats, tweeted, “Heather Heyer was a fat, disgusting Communist. Communists have killed 94 million. Looks like it was payback time.” Before officially dropping off the map, Kessler seemed to reference that he did not send the tweet saying, “I repudiate the heinous tweet that was sent from my account last night.” In another twist, an anonymous hacker claimed to have sent the tweet, although it has not been verified. Regardless, it was truly terrible. (Not surprisingly, it generated a storm of outrage not just from the counter protestors but from the leaders of the self-styled alt-right groups. Our opinion is that if the media would stop paying attention to the few hundred people across the country, a far different picture would emerge. The American public is disgusted by the hateful and rejected speech of the Nazi and Klansmen movement.)

The Washington Post, “The man who organized the Charlottesville rally is in hiding—and too toxic for the alt-right,” Aug. 22, 2017

“Have you given more to the economy than me and my husband? Either as an individual earner in taxes OR in self-sacrifice to your country?... Pretty sure that the amount we sacrifice per year is a lot more than you’d be willing to sacrifice if the choice was yours,” wrote Louise Linton, wife of Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin, in response to a comment on her Instagram. (Linton was lashing out at criticism of a photo of herself that she had posted where she noted the designer of every expensive part of her outfit. Linton was accompanying her husband at an event where he was promoting tax reform, one plank of which is lower tax rates for high earners. Okay. What should she have said? First, it was total tone deafness to behave as if she were Princess Di; next, given the criticism of the Administration for having too many rich people, the wife’s role is to humanize her husband, not behave in a braggadocious manner.)

The Washington Post, “Louise Linton just spelled out her value system for you common folk,” Aug. 22, 2017

GOOD EXAMPLES

A Twitter user got creative and drew a series of pentagrams connecting Outback Steakhouses located around various cities with the caption “Wtf is Outback Steakhouse planning.” Naturally, the pictures went viral and other users joined in. Outback tweeted a picture of one of its signature Bloomin’ Onions on a map, adding “plot twist.” Another user joined in, tweeting “We’re on to you devil restaurant.” Outback replied, “If the Bloomin’ Onion is evil, then we don’t want to be nice.” The supportive user asked for $25 gift card and Outback obliged. Lesson: humor is an important business tool.

Inc., “Outback Steakhouse Kills Satanism Meme With a Single – and Hilarious – Tweet,” July 31, 2017   

“I’m not going to answer questions about a vacancy in the United States Senate, which presumes the finding of guilt by a jury, before anyone has heard one stitch of evidence. It’s not appropriate. I won’t engage in it,” said New Jersey Governor Chris Christie being asked about the upcoming trial of Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., for alleged federal corruption charges. (Christie, frequently not known for reticence, was being pressed to express an opinion after Dr. Salomon Melgen, Menendez’s friend and political patron, was found guilty on 67 counts of bribery and corruption. A very good example of how to say “no comment” with a comment.)

The New York Times, “At Senator Menendez’s Trial, Stakes Are High for Democrats,” Aug. 17, 2017

Hilarious is all we can say about a Norwegian right wing newsletter, “Fatherland First,” bemoaning what it supposed was a group of burka-wearing women. It was actually a row of empty bus seats. Rune Berglund Steen, from Norwegian Centre Against Racism, sagely observed, “People see what they want to see and what they want to see are dangerous Muslims. In a way it’s an interesting test of how quickly people can find confirmation of their own delusions.”

Middle East Eye, “‘Muslim terrorists’: Far right Norwegians mistake bus seats for burkas,” Aug. 2, 2017 



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