Bimbo Banter

BIMBO Nominees for August 2009

  • Bimbo
  • August 1, 2009
  • by Spaeth Communications

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“Ben has never sexually assaulted anyone, especially Andrea McNulty,” said Ben Roethlisberger’s lawyer after a resort hotel employee accused Roethlisberger of sexually assaulting her in his hotel room. (His lawyer should have said that Ben has always treated women with respect while adding that the allegation is false and that anyone who knows Ben would attest to that.)

The Kansas City Star, “Roethlisberger’s accuser: See who she is,” July 21, 2009


“There is no bombshell. There is no shoe to drop. There are no investigations or any type that I’m aware of – no IRS audit, no federal investigation, no state investigation,” said Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin’s attorney, Thomas Van Flein, while explaining her unexpected resignation. In her remarks Palin said, “I am not a quitter.” (Note that the words “quitter” and “bombshell” became the headline, demonstrating the power of words to jump out at the listener. The attorney should have said why she was resigning.), “Palin: ‘I am not a quitter; I am a fighter,’” July 6, 2009, “No ‘bombshell’ drove Palin resignation, lawyer says,” July 6, 2009

“Let me be clear, he was not calling the officer stupid,” said White House press secretary Robert Gibbs backtracking hastily from President Obama’s comment that the Cambridge, Mass., police had “acted stupidly” when arresting well known scholar Louis Gates Jr. after a neighbor had called in a report about a possible burglary of his house. (Of course that’s what the president was saying. What was ‘stupid’ was the president inserting himself into the debate, something he clearly regretted within 24 hours.), “White House qualified Obama remark about arrest,” July 23, 2009

“I was not one of the doctors who participated in giving him overdoses of drugs,” said Dr. Arnold Klein, Michael Jackson’s dermatologist. (This implies that there are other doctors who are giving the star overdoses.), “Jackson’s Doctor Denies Giving Dangerous Drugs,” July 8, 2009

“Michael was never beaten by me, I’ve never beaten at all,” Michael Jackson’s father, Joe Jackson, told Larry King in a rambling, incoherent interview. (Classic BIMBO. We believe the exact opposite of what he says.)

Larry King Live, July 7, 2009

Analyst Alan Carlin was told by the EPA to stop working on climate change research after he wrote a paper questioning whether regulating carbon dioxide would help reduce global warming.  In response, the EPA released a statement saying that Carlin “has not been muzzled,” and that he was told to stop working on the issue because his paper was “unsolicited.” (Another classic BIMBO. Of course Mr. Carlin was ‘muzzled.’ The fact that the report may or may not have been unsolicited is irrelevant. Researchers research stuff all the time. That’s why it’s called research.), “Sen. Inhofe Calls for Inquiries into ‘Suppressed’ Climate Change Report,” June 29, 2009

“I’m not saying there is some evil plot here,” wrote Ann Howard, chief scientist at Development Dimension International, in a paper which outlined data that showed that discrimination against women starts very early in a career. (She goes on to say, “it’s just that managers might think about future executives as men because that is the traditional norm at the company.” This is an example of inverted speech; she could have stuck with the second part of the statement.)

Workforce Management, “Gender Bias Found to Start Early in Career,” June 22, 2009

“There is no incentive for abuse,” said Mexican Interior Minister Fernando Gomez Mont, insisting the Mexican military does not torture, kidnap or otherwise detain innocent people. Mont acknowledged past allegations but said, “I know the armed forces are not acting inappropriately.” (He missed the opportunity to say that the military has made a lot of progress in the past few years. Let this serve as a reminder that you get one chance to say it right.)

The Washington Post, “Mexico Accused of Torture in Drug War,” July 9, 2009

“We reject the assertion that we are inflators of bubbles and profiteers in busts,” said Goldman Sachs spokesperson, Lucas Van Praag, during a spat with Rolling Stone reporter Matt Taibbi who wrote a long piece titled, “How Goldman Sachs took over Washington by engineering every major market manipulation since the Great Depression.” The New York Post wrote about Goldman’s infuriated response to the story, which prompted another attack from Mr. Taibbi and delighted bloggers. (While we understand Goldman’s annoyance, this exchange shows the danger of trying to use ridicule or humor. Praag told the Post that Taibbi’s story is a “Hysterical compilation of conspiracy theories. Notable ones missing are Goldman Sachs as the third shooter [in JFK’s assassination] and faking the first lunar landing.”)

The New York Times, “Goldman and Rolling Stone Writer Trade Barbs,” July 1, 2009


After booting out 60 minority kids from their swimming pool in Northeast Philadelphia, the private swim club noted in a statement that “there was concern that a lot of kids would change the complexion” of the club. (This is an example of really bad internal communication. The day camp for minority youth had paid the swim club $1900 for swimming privileges. The swim club advertised open membership, but when 60 unfamiliar kids showed up at once, parents whose kids were regulars panicked. The swim club made unwanted national news, and the word “complexion” made it into the headlines.)

Philadelphia Inquirer, “Pool Boots Kids Who Might ‘Change the Complexion’,” July 9, 2009

“We completely understand the public’s concern about futuristic robots feeding on the human population,” said the CEO of Cyclone Power Technologies. In a partnership with Robotic Technology Inc., Cyclone designed a robotic system to ingest biomass and extract energy from it. The machine eats twigs and grass clippings, but rumors circulated that it would also absorb “flesh.” (This story certainly produced the best headline of the month. See below.), “Company Denies its Robots Feed on the Dead,” July 17, 2009

“We’re a sue first, ask questions later kind of organization,” said Jeffrey Michael of Horizon Realty after deciding to sue a tenant for tweeting, “Who said sleeping in a moldy apartment was bad for you? Horizon realty thinks it's okay." (Mr. Michael also said, "The statements are obviously false, and it's our intention to prove that." He noted that the company managed 1500 apartments and had a good reputation that it wanted to preserve. So he competed with himself with the inflammatory “sue first” comment.)

The Chicago Sun Times, “Tweet about apartment mold draws lawsuit,” July 28, 2009

After making headlines last month because of lies concerning an affair and his whereabouts, Gov. Mark Sanford compounded the problem with a press interview where he said his mistress was his "soul mate” but that he was “trying to fall back in love with his wife.” (Clearly this is 2009’s example of “too much information.” Can’t they sew his lips shut?)

USAToday, “Sanford speaks of ‘forbidden’ love,” July 1, 2009

“The first couple of days are a blur. Not because they go so fast but because you drink so much,” said former Dallas Stars player Bill Guerin, now a Pittsburgh Penguin, on winning another Stanley Cup. (This is what media training is supposed to prevent, the wrong comment from someone who’s supposed to be a role model.)

The Dallas Morning News, June 21, 2009

TWITTER NEWS carried an article, “Communicators think Twitter is a fad, poll shows.” The marketing communications manager for Sherman Health, Josh McColough, who recently tweeted a surgery in real time and gained thousands of Twitter followers, defended the microblog. We’re with Bob Hirschfeld, senior public information officer for Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory who said, “Ashton Kutcher and CNN have a steady supply of fans who want to know what they do. People like us, people with a job to do, every so often we do something of interest to the general public, [but] we don’t have that steady supply of stuff the public is interested in.”, “Communicators think Twitter is a fad, poll says,” July 6, 2009

National Football League player Chad Ochocinco wants to tweet during games; the NFL has turned thumbs down on that idea., “Tweet nothings: NFL says no to Ochocinco,” July 9, 2009


Song writer David Carroll of the band Sons of Maxwell, was on tour in 2008 when United Airlines banged up his $3500 guitar. After eight months of calls, faxes and letters to United, he took revenge by writing a song about the incident. The music video, which acts out the incident, was posted on YouTube where it has experienced over 108,000 views.  The YouTube video, United-breaks-guitars, is another example of how consumers are using new channels to complain. This is a teaching lesson in customer service.


Chicago, as well as the rest of the country, was roiled by revelations that gravediggers at a historic black graveyard outside Chicago were digging up bodies and piling them up to make room for more. While the disrespectful treatment and fraud got attention, the way the story was revealed is also worth noting. One of the grave diggers, Willie Esper, thought it was wrong, but he was too afraid to go to management or law enforcement. So he told another employee who was known to talk a lot. That co-worker told others and word reached the local Sheriff., “Cemetery whistle-blower: I’m no hero,” July 21, 2009 

Embarrassed is the way to characterize the new head of United Kingdom’s secret service, M16. He discovered that his wife had put pictures, personal information and the location of their residence on Facebook.

BBC, “M16 boss in Facebook entry row,” July 5, 2009

Six Flags Over Texas turned a “problem” into a crisis after taking one of their rides, The Texas Giant, out of service for repairs. First the park declined to explain what the problem was and how it was fixed. Then a spokesperson claimed that hot weather had caused the tracks to go out of alignment but explained that the ride had been inspected by the state Department of Insurance and cleared. That prompted the Department of Insurance to issue a statement saying “We do not do any inspections. We do not have inspectors.”

The Dallas Morning News, “Inspector says Texas Giant car lost position on track.” July 6, 2009 

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