Bimbo Banter


BIMBO Nominees for August 2022


  • Bimbo
  • July 29, 2022
  • by Spaeth Communications

Bimbo blog image c

One of our most informative and funny memos. This month we have BIMBO comments from a White House economic advisor, a senior legal and policy advisor at Ipas (a global organization) and three international BIMBO comments! One of our readers submitted an article showing how bad words jump out. We also share a very bad apology from a Pompano Beach official but a good article on how to apologize effectively. Shame on NPR for tweeting (and deleting!) and then going radio silent. Spot the missing letter in the picture of the month. A great example of an infographic and finally, a wonderful example from Toronto-based Rogers Communications showing how the CEO should communicate when things have gone wrong.

The WINNING BIMBO 

“I am not completely crazy,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, discussing the rumors that, at age 81, he might be considering retirement. The rest of the sentence continued, “…to think that I’m going to be doing this when I’m 92,” and the headline noted that he said he would “almost certainly” retire…by 2025. He made additional news by saying that he expects COVID-19 to be around for years. How many, and would that influence his decision to stay? It doesn’t appear so, as Fauci added that it would mean, “I will be 105."

The New York Times, “Fauci Says He Will ‘Almost Certainly’ Retire by January 2025,” July 18, 2022

THE RUNNERS-UP 

“We are not tacos,” wrote the National Association of Hispanic Journalists after Dr. Jill Biden addressed UnidosUS, a Latino civil rights and advocacy group and compared the diversity of attendees to breakfast tacos in San Antonio. We’re sympathetic. She was trying to be descriptive and to insert a little affectionate levity, but the descriptors used in the speech backfired.

USA Today, “First lady Jill Biden apologizes after comparing Texas Latinos to ‘breakfast tacos,’” July 12, 2022

“I’m not a crazy Republican,” said state senator Brian Dahle and Republican candidate for California governor. He knows incumbent Gavin Newsom is a heavy favorite, so Dahle’s slogan, “I’m a reasonable person,” may be true but it’s sure not catchy. Note the headline is “something different.” Republicans haven’t won a statewide race in California since 2006. 

The Associated Press, “‘Something different’: California GOP’s bid for governor,” July 5, 2022 

“The president is not shockingly naïve,” said Heather Boushey, a White House economic advisor who was being grilled on Bloomberg TV by hosts Jonathan Ferro and Tom Keene. Ferro was asking about Biden’s tweet lecturing oil companies and telling them to lower gasoline prices “to reflect the cost you’re paying for the product.” This was so economically off base that Jeff Bezos, owner of the Washington Post and a democrat called out Biden on Twitter. Ferro’s question was about who was advising the President to say things like this. When Boushey ducked the question Keene pressed her to answer Ferro’s question, asking “who is advising the president on shockingly naïve price theory over a gallon of gas?” This triggered the “not shockingly naïve” response. A classic and documented true BIMBO comment where one speaker’s words are repeated back with a denial.

Bloomberg Surveillance, “Biden Is Using All Tools to Lower Oil Prices: Boushey,” July 7, 2022 

“I think we are starting to see some more concrete steps and we definitely need more of that,” said Bethany Van Kampen Saravia, a senior legal and policy adviser at Ipas, a global reproductive justice organization. “I definitely wouldn’t necessarily say they are flat footed,” she added, referencing the Biden administration. She was almost certainly responding to the allegation that the administration was, in fact, caught flat footed.

The Hill, “Biden moves on abortion haven’t quieted progressive anger,” July 3, 2022 

INTERNATIONAL COMMENTS

Giorgia Meloni, leader of the conservative Brothers of Italy Party, insisted there was “nothing to fear” if her party took the reins of government. Italian politics, always volatile, have been especially so with Prime Minister Draghi’s resignation. Of course, Meloni should have said that her party had solutions and saw opportunities instead of reacting to the charge apparently voiced by another political entity, left wing think tanks. Note that the “nothing to fear” comment made the headline.

Politico, “Italy’s Meloni: Right-wing government is ‘nothing to fear,’” July 23, 2022 

“The government has at no time tried to hide or cover up this mistake,” said Denmark’s Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen defending her decision in 2020 to order 17 million minks killed (culled) over a scare that a mink version of COVID-19 could jump back to humans. 5000 jobs were lost, and 1100 farmers lost their businesses. The decision has been hotly debated ever since with a sizeable body of expertise debating whether it was actually necessary or effective. 

The New York Times, “Denmark’s Leader Apologizes for Botched Mink Cull During Pandemic,” July 1, 2022 

“I am the only politician in the E.U. who stands for an openly anti-immigration policy,” said Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban during a joint news briefing in Vienna with Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer. He went on to say, “this is not a race issue for us, this is a cultural issue.” This is on the heels of his previous, and widely condemned remarks, that Hungarians did not want to become “peoples of mixed race.” Yikes. 

NBC News, “Hungary’s Orban says comments opposing ‘mixed race’ society not rooted in racism after backlash,” July 29, 2022 

WHAT NOT TO SAY 

I got an email from a friend who wrote: “While I hate to report this because the author of this piece is a respected colleague, I just thought I’d pass this along. Merrie, you were right. Once you have an awareness of negative words, they sure do stand out!” The article is about how the Biden Administration’s words and hostility are having a real impact on willingness to invest. My friend added, “…the gist here is that the author wants to get across the idea that the oil and gas industry is not a criminal. Unfortunately, (the words) ‘criminal,’ ‘bad guy’, ‘profiteer’ and ‘punching bag’ may be what the reader is left with.”  

The actual quote: “Bottom line, stop treating us like the bad guy, stop using us as a political punching bag, stop calling us ‘criminals who are killing people,’ stop calling us war profiteers, and stop threatening us with new taxes. This only discourages much-needed investment. The real criminals are the ones who demonstrate through words and policies that they don’t care about the economic outlook of families the world over.”

We agree. Anyone know folks at The Federalist to pass this along?  

The Federalist, “Yes, Biden’s War On The Oil And Gas Industry Is Driving Shortages And High Prices,” July 7, 2022 

“I smell a rat,” is our favorite headline of the month. The Secret Service was ordered to turn over all emails on or about January 6 to the Congressional Investigating Committee. First, the Secret Service claimed they had all been erased as part of a planned migration. Then they came up with – just one message! Secret Service spokesperson Anthony Guglielmi claimed there were no “hidden messages” and denied the Service was “holding out” anything. The rat comment came from committee member Rep. Jamie Raskin and we must say, the odor does carry down here to Dallas. 

The Hill, “Secret Service turns over single message to Jan. 6 panel: ‘I smell a rat,’” July 20, 2022 

APOLOGIES 

Florida democrat and vice mayor of Pompano Beach, Beverly Perkins, was stopped for speeding. The officer decided to cut her some slack and issued just a warning. Instead of being polite and grateful, she swore at officer, told him who she was and sped off. Had she been more attentive, she would have seen he was wearing a body camera. The video was released, and the criticism descended. Only then did Perkins issue a very ungracious semi-apology saying, “If any exchange on my part (in), the conversation with the police officer is perceived as being disrespectful, then I do apologize.”  This adds insult to injury, this is not an “if / then” situation. There’s no question of whether she was disrespectful. What a terrible role model of an elected official! She should have apologized profusely, immediately and without the condition of “if.” Note, this has a terrific link, sure to catch the attention of Florida readers – we hope!

The Daily Wire, “WATCH: Florida Dem Curses Cop, Takes Off After Being Pulled Over For Speeding,” July 13, 2022 

A good article on apologizing with this message: “Make sure not to make it about you.”

USA Today, “You've hurt someone you love. How to say sorry in a way that makes a difference,” July 14, 2022 

MEDIA MOMENT

NPR initially tweeted about the assassination of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. It was followed by avalanche of criticism, and NPR deleted it. The deletion made headlines. Original tweet: “Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, a divisive arch-conservative and one of his nation’s most powerful and influential figures, has died after being shot during a campaign speech Friday in western Japan, hospital officials said.” What’s missing from this story is any explanation from the network about how such an inflammatory (and wrong!) post came to be. Looks like the editing and review function has totally disappeared.

Daily Caller, “NPR Deletes Tweet Calling Assassinated Prime Minister ‘A Divisive Arch-Conservative,’” July 8, 2022 

OPTICS OF THE MONTH

See the picture in the article linked below. Can you spot what’s missing? (Hint: spellcheck was clearly not used) 

Townhall, “Viewers Noticed Something Off About Kamala Harris' Interview in Louisiana,” July 4, 2022 

Infographic of the month. Very interesting visual representation of the Supreme Court. 

The New York Times, “The Major Supreme Court Decisions in 2022,” June 30, 2022 

GOOD EXAMPLE

Rogers Communications, a Canadian communications and media company didn’t have a good week. The company operates in wireless, cable TV, telephony, internet and more. The Toronto-based company suffered a major outage which generated media headlines, “Rogers to Spend $150M on customer credits after July 8 outage,” (CTV) “How a coding error caused Rogers outage that left millions without service,” (The Globe & Mail). Gulp! We’re always interested in how a company, and particularly the CEO responds and explains a major mishap. One of Rogers’ customers, and one of our most visionary clients, passed along three communiques from CEO Tony Staffieri. As a customer, he was impressed – and so were we! They are worth reading in their entirety (reproduced below), but especially note that the CEO expresses his disappointment and outrage calling the situation “unacceptable;” he makes a personal commitment to come to the bottom of the cause(s) and report – and he does. However, the best part of the emails is that he used the opportunity of a massive failure to repeat the company’s mission and message – “to be Canada’s most reliable network.” He also used the opportunity to commit to more than fixing the technical problem but to “earn back your full trust.”

Full Email Text Below

**********************************

Sunday July 10, 2022

A Message from Rogers President and CEO 

Deal Valued Customer, 

As you know, we experienced a network outage across both wireless and wireline service on Friday. 

I am reaching out to share that our services have been restored, and our networks and systems are close to fully operational. Our technical teams are continuing to monitor for any remaining intermittent issues. I also want to outline an action plan we are putting in place to address what happened. 

I want to share what we know about what happened on Friday. We know believe we’ve narrowed the cause to a network system failure following a maintenance update in our core network, which caused some of our routers to malfunction. We disconnected the specific equipment and redirected traffic, which allowed our network and services to come back online over time as we managed traffic volumes returning to normal levels. 

We know how much you rely on our networks and I sincerely apologize. We’re particularly troubled that some customers could not reach emergency services and we are addressing the issue as an urgent priority.  

We will proactively credit your account for Friday’s outage. This credit will be automatically applied and no action is required from you. 

As CEO, I take full responsibility for ensuring we at Rogers earn back your full trust, and am focused on the following action plan to further strengthen the resiliency of our network: 

  • Fully restore all services: While this has been nearly done, we are continuing to monitor closely to ensure stability across our network as traffic returns to normal. 
  • Complete root cause analysis and testing: Our leading technical experts and global vendors are continuing to dig deep into the root cause and identify potential steps to increase redundancy in our networks and systems. 
  • Make any necessary changes: We will take every step necessary, and continue to make significant investments in out networks to strengthen our technology stems, increase network stability for our customers, and enhance our testing. 

We let you down on Friday. You have my personal commitment that we will do better. 

Tony Staffieri

President and CEO, Rogers Communications 

 

Wednesday July 13, 2022 

A Message from Rogers President and CEO

Dear Valued Customers, 

Our network outage last Friday was unacceptable. Simply put, we failed on our promise to be Canada’s most reliable network. 

This outage caused real pain and significant frustration for everyone. Canadians were not able to reach their families. Businesses were unable to complete transactions. And critically, emergency and essential calls could not be completed.

No one—not our customers, our governments, and not us—is anywhere close to finding what happened acceptable.  

Now we have to make things right. 

Our network is fully operational to the standards you have come to expect. Our customer service representatives are working around the clock and have caught up on the backlog of issues. We have also increased the credit on all customers’ bills, as some of you experienced longer delays in resuming services. 

In speaking to many of you, it is clear that what matters most is that we ensure this doesn’t happen again. 

You have my personal commitment that Rogers will make every change and investment needed to help ensure that it will not happen again. 

As well, working with governments and our industry, we will implement what is needed to ensure that 911 and essential services can continue, no matter what outage may occur.

I understand that this is only through our actions, and with time, that we can restore your confidence in us. WE can and will do better. 

Sincerely,

Tony Staffieri

President and CEO, Rogers Communications 

 

Monday July 25, 2022 

A Message from Rogers President and CEO 

To Our Valued Customers, 

Since our network outage on July 8, I have had an opportunity to speak with many of you directly, about the impact of that day and the real frustration it caused. 

In my last message, I made a personal commitment to you that Rogers will make every change and investment needed to help ensure it doesn’t happen again. 

Today, I would like to share the steps we are taking to learn from the outage and deliver the reliable network you should expect from Rogers. 

Our Enhanced Reliability Plan

First, emergency calls to 911 simply have to work. Every time. We have made meaningful progress on a formal agreement between carriers to switch 911 calls to each other’s networks automatically—even in the event of an outage on any carrier’s network. I believe this is the only responsible way forward and I am personally committed to making it possible for all Canadians. 

Second, Rogers will set a higher standard for reliability by physically separating our wireless and internet services to create an ‘always on’ network—to help make sure our customers don’t experience an outage with both cellular and internet services again. 

Third, we will continue to focus on reliability, investing $10 billion over the next three years. This includes more oversight, more testing and greater use of Artificial Intelligence to ensure we’re able to deliver the reliable service you deserve. 

Finally, we are partnering with leading technology firms to do a full review of our network to help us learn from the outage. We will share lessons with our industry for the benefit of every Canadian. 

I know that it is only through these actions that we can begin to restore your confidence in Rogers and earn back your trust. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to do so. 

Sincerely,

Tony Staffieri

President and CEO, Rogers Communications 

 

The BIMBO Memo is a reminder not to repeat and deny a negative word because of how the listener hears words. When you repeat and deny a negative word, the listener is likely to overlook the denial and hear the opposite of what the speaker is trying to say. It’s named for the young woman who was caught with a high profile, but alas married man. She held a press conference and announced, “I am not a BIMBO,” thus causing everyone to think she was. 



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