Bimbo Banter


BIMBO Nominees for February 2018


  • Bimbo
  • February 1, 2018
  • by Spaeth Communications

Bimbo blog image d

I love this job. This month we have a newly dubbed “stealth” BIMBO from California’s Gov. Jerry Brown, plus additional BIMBOs from the Homeland Security Secretary, provocateur author Michael Wolff, the former athletic director at Michigan State University as well as BIMBOs from a maintenance man and park operator for a nudist park. You’ll also see a cringe worthy example of the wrong thing to say from a Republican candidate for Senate and great examples of how to make statistics verbally visual thanks to TXU and a reporter writing about Bitcoin. Finally, an example of when not to signal support for your university. 

THE WINNING BIMBO

"There was no blackmail, there was no violence, there was no threat of violence, there was no threat of blackmail [and] there was no threat of using a photograph for blackmail,” said Gov. Eric Greitens, R-Mo., about a report that he had an extramarital affair and, well, all you need to see is this denial to know what the report alleges. (This sordid tale was promoted by the ex-husband of the woman in question; she has declined to be identified or interviewed and her ex now says he secretly recorded her description of the affair. The problem is that Greitens, a former Navy SEAL, ran on a platform of pro-family values. He and his wife issued a joint statement when the story broke saying, “This was a deeply personal mistake. Eric took responsibility, and we dealt with this together honestly and privately.” It’s a serviceable statement and they should have stuck to it. One more thing: Greitens’ lawyer issued a separate statement saying, “There was no blackmail and that claim is false.” Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. This implies the other claims were true. Note that the sensational words became the headline.)

Los Angeles Times, “Missouri governor: ‘No blackmail,’ ‘no violence’ in affair,” Jan. 20, 2018

THE RUNNERS-UP

“I am not a trainwreck,” wrote activist Elizabeth Beck in a blizzard of tweets following the decision by CNN to cut her out of a panel interview about the latest issues surrounding Special Counsel Robert Mueller. (Ah Twitter, it makes it so easy to say whatever comes into your head. Beck, a Yale-educated lawyer, apparently thought she was muted and tried to talk over another guest’s comments. CNN abruptly bumped her off the show. One user tweeted, “HOW have I not heard of you before?! You’re my new favorite trainwreck.” That was the last straw for Beck who, going by the handle “The Cranky Lawyer,” replied, “I am not a trainwreck. I am actually very organized. CNN is a trainwreck. I was ON a trainwreck.” Of course, it became the headline. You can read the string of tweets in the article linked below.)

Raw Story, “’I am not a trainwreck’: CNN guest defends herself in Twitter rampage after bizarre on-air outburst,” Jan. 26, 2018

“I wouldn’t say the party was out of control but I would definitely say there was a lot of debauchery,” said a spokesperson for Bucketlust, a British-based company that rents luxury yachts. (We saw this story while in London for a week of training for a wonderful client. The story really needs the accompanying pictures. Here, at least, is the explanation: supermodel Kate Moss’ younger sister, Lottie, was at a New Year’s Eve party in the Bahamas and the group on the yacht apparently moved the days-long party to the beach, leaving huge piles of trash left over from a “lottie” drinking and sex. With a name like “Bucketlust,” the company probably wants to be characterized as noted above, but we would have recommended a more conservative statement like, “We respect the privacy of our guests.” Boring, but probably safer in the long run. Lawsuit anyone?)

The Daily Mail, “Lottie like her sister: Kate Moss’ model sibling part of a group who sparked outrage in the Bahamas with their wild New Year partying,” Jan. 13, 2018

“I am not running away from any anything,” said Michigan State University’s then- Athletic Director Mark Hollis in response to the growing controversy over former Michigan State University and national women’s gymnastics team doctor, Larry Nassar. Nassar was convicted of sexually abusing a number of Olympic gymnasts and MSU athletes while the university ignored warnings and allegations. (While this was probably a reaction to a question, it’s still a classic denial. He should have said, “I’m trying to do the right thing for my beloved university and for athletics.”)

The New York Times, “Nassar Case Topples U.S.A. Gymnastics Board and M.S.U. Athletic Director,” Jan. 26, 2018

When Gov. Jerry Brown, D-Calif., (who is about to retire from a long life in politics) was asked if he is confident that he is leaving the state in good hands, he replied, “Well, that’s a loaded question. What if I say I am not confident? That’s one damn headline. So I have to say I’m confident.” This comment was dubbed a “stealth” Bimbo by one of our most enthusiastic collectors of blooper comments (and also a nationally known editor) because it looks as if the governor wanted to have it both ways – convey his disapproval of the next generation, while also avoiding being quoted as actually disparaging it.)

The New York Times, “For Jerry Brown, the Face of California’s Old Order, the Ranch Is Calling,” Jan. 24, 2018

“I did not and will not lie under oath,” snapped Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen. (Nielsen was testifying before a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing when she was asked repeatedly about the cabinet meeting where the President allegedly referred to several “s---hole countries.” After she said she did not hear the inflammatory comment, several Democratic senators accused her of “amnesia” and “complicity,” triggering her emphatic response. We tackle this with regret because it’s so clear she should have said, “I have always told the truth and take seriously that I was testifying under oath about serious topics facing our department and our country.” Note that the quote becomes the headline.)

CNN, “Homeland Security Secretary Nielsen: ‘I did not and will not lie under oath,’” Jan. 17, 2018

“I am not a hit man,” said Michael Wolff, author of the bestselling and highly sensational book, “Fire and Fury: Inside The Trump White House.” (One of the mainstream media reviews noted that Wolff is skilled at taking semi-true factoids and spinning a narrative from them. Wolff also said, “people regret what they said to me.” We bet they do.)

NPR, “’People Regret What They Said To Me,’ Michael Wolff Tells NPR About Trump Book,” Jan. 5, 2018     

“We may be nudists, but we ain’t stupid,” said the maintenance man at the Indian Hills Nudist Park west of Slidell, Louisiana. (We never saw a connection between taking off all your clothes and stupidity—maybe just eccentricity. Park participants [MK3] wore clothes when a rare cold snap complete with snow occurred; however, the park nevertheless remains open in the winter and even hosts parties every Friday and Saturday. With a surge in business in recent times, the park is trying to tap into a younger crowd. So far so good, that is, until the park operator said they’re trying to show young people, “It’s not just about old, fat, ugly people.” Of course, they want people to see that beauty is not just skin—or skin deep.)  

The New Orleans Advocate, “’We may be nudists, but we ain’t stupid’: Indian Hills Nudist Park deals with cold snap,” Jan. 2, 2018

WRONG THING TO SAY

“She devils” was how Courtland Sykes, a candidate for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate in Missouri described feminists. Hoping to unseat Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., Sykes went on to describe feminism as “radical” in remarks posted on his Facebook page this week. He also appeared to attack working women, saying he expects his fiancée to have dinner on the table for him at 6 p.m. every evening and also that he expects his daughters to be “traditional homemakers.” He also alleged that women who don’t agree with him have “nasty, snake-filled heads.”  When his Facebook comments attracted attention from the mainstream media (what a surprise), he protested that he didn’t believe his statement was demeaning to women. (Sykes’ campaign ad is worth watching. If you remember the speech by the man hoping to be nominated for the position of Stark County Treasurer in 2010, Sykes looks like he took lessons from the same speech coach. We have no advice for Sykes except to say – please get off the ticket. And, get your money back from whoever counseled you and created that ad.)

The Washington Post, “GOP candidate says feminists have ‘snake-filled heads,’ hopes daughters don’t become ‘she devils,’” Jan. 26, 2018

STATISTICS

TXU sent an email to customers who responded to the energy company’s request for conservation, noting, “Customers like you helped save 761,286 kWh on the Texas power grid in response to Wednesday’s call for conservation.” Recognizing that no one has a clue what that means, they explained, “That’s like taking 121 cars off the road for a year.”  We call this making a statistic “verbally visual.” Congrats to TXU.

An article about the crypto currency Bitcoin explains that it took a lot of computer power to create the currency, a process called “mining.” The reporter described an analysis courtesy of Morgan Stanley and economist Alex de Vries: “The computer power needed to create each digital token consumes at least as much electricity as the average American household burns through in two years.” The reporter then made an additional comparison saying, “The total network of computers plugged into the Bitcoin network consumes as much energy each day as some medium-size countries.” Another good verbal visualization!

The New York Times, “There Is Nothing Virtual About Bitcoin’s Energy Appetite,” Jan. 21, 2018

ADDITIONAL EXAMPLES

We’re always saying that it’s important to identify your audience. For you non-Texans, Texas Tech, home of the Red Raiders, has a greeting, “guns up,” that is accompanied with a hand symbol in the shape of a gun. And members of the Tech community are exceptionally enthusiastic. Wearing a Texas Tech t-shirt at a hotel workout room in NYC, I received a “guns up” from another guest. But, there’s a time and place for everything, and the security queue at the airport is not the place, as 19-year-old Diana Durkin found out at Houston’s William P. Hobby airport. Durkin saw a fellow traveler wearing a Texas Tech sweatshirt and threw him the “guns up” sign. Predictably, TSA pounced on her. She sent out a panicked tweet that went viral. TSA let her off with a warning.

BuzzFeed News, “This Sorority Girl Tried To Show Some School Spirit And Accidently Pissed Off The TSA,” Jan. 11, 2018

 

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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