Bimbo Banter


BIMBO Nominees for January and February 2022


  • Bimbo
  • January 31, 2022
  • by Spaeth Communications

Bimbo blog image d

This month we have BIMBO comments from Pentagon press secretary John Kirby, the UK’s Deputy Prime Minister, and two examples showing why it’s a mistake to ignore the questions. We also have an executive that fired 900 people via Zoom, and examples from Jesse Watters and Bette Midler – please dial it down! Golfer Jon Rahm gets caught on a fan’s cell phone. Silicon Valley rich guy and Golden State Warrior partial owner shocks even us. The word “transitory” goes down in flames, but we share a great example of an infographic describing the supply chain crisis. We also have a few of President Biden’s live-forever quotes.

THE WINNING BIMBO  

“It doesn’t mean you’re vain,” said Vanessa Coppola, owner of the Bare Aesthetic Spa, in a front-page Wall Street Journal article exploring why doctors recommend a two to three week wait after filler injections, Botox, and other similar muscle injections before getting a COVID-19 vaccine. The reason is to avoid swelling and other reactions such as bruising. Top reason people gave for wanting regular injections (Botox not vaccines): to look good on social media. Isn’t that the definition of vanity?  

The Wall Street Journal, “Botox Shot or Covid Boost? The Combo Causes Some Seasonal Wrinkles,” Dec. 27, 2021 

THE RUNNERS-UP 

“We don’t have a crisis of lawlessness, we don’t have a crisis of crime, we don’t have a crisis of violence,” said Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner. The headline in the Philadelphia Inquirer told the whole story. There’s no positive framing of this situation unless the DA, like other elected officials who refuse to prosecute crimes, decides to change their policies and procedures.

The Philadelphia Inquirer, “‘We don’t have a crisis of crime.’ DA Larry Krasner says Philly tourists should feel safe despite a record number of killings,” Dec. 6, 2021 

“His problem is I’m not vaccinated,” said Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers adding the insult that Hub Arkush, a Chicago sportswriter and MVP Voter, was “an absolute bum.” Arkush said that although Aaron Rodgers was the most valuable player on-the-field and had made his team the top seed, he couldn’t vote for him because of his behavior in terms of getting vaccinated. Arkush didn’t make it clear whether he was angry that Rodgers didn’t get vaccinated or that he was angry Rodgers lied and misled about it. That’s a shame. However – it’s another example of how negative words, in this case “absolute bum,” get repeated over and over. Note the denial phrase and the “bum” phrase made the headline. Note also that Rodgers dismisses the writer as unworthy of engagement because he’s not famous; “nobody knows who he is” – the ultimate dismissal. Rodgers said, “He doesn’t know me. I don’t know who he is, nobody knew who he was probably until yesterday’s comments.”

The Daily Wire, “‘His Problem Is I’m Not Vaccinated’: Aaron Rodgers Responds To ‘Absolute Bum’ MVP Voter,” Jan. 5, 2022 

Pentagon press secretary John Kirby asserted that the military's refusal to grant any COVID-19 vaccine religious exemptions to service members has "absolutely nothing to do" with trampling on their religious freedom. Here, Kirby should have said that the refusals were simply part of the overall process of review of requested exemptions. The problem? It doesn’t sound as if it’s true, and our rule – always tell the truth, in a pinch you can remember it. 

Fox News, “Pentagon: Denying vax exemptions has ‘nothing to do with trampling on the religious liberties’ of soldiers,” Dec. 8, 2021 

A Downing Street garden gathering was “palpably not a social gathering,” said UK Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab. His excuse was “because you had people in work suits.” The May 2020 outdoor gathering in a garden of No. 10, Downing Street, where U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson, his wife Carrie and government staff were served wine and cheese, may seem like a tempest in a British tea pot but it got PM Boris Johnson into a lot of trouble. Raab’s overlong explanation was that, “The civil servants, particularly people in Number 10 have been working under incredibly difficult conditions — and they were working really hard,” Raab told Times Radio when asked about the gathering, a photo of which was published by the Guardian. “And the idea that they can’t have a drink, I think is wrong. And I don’t think, particularly after the hours that they’re putting in, there isn’t anything there that contravenes the regulations.” The problem was that the government was prescribing and enforcing restrictions on everybody else. The “do as I say, not as I do” philosophy didn’t sit well. Notice also that what got them in trouble was that someone took and posted a picture. Another example that social media is everywhere, and everyone is a reporter. (Spanish golfer, Jon Rahm, the world’s #1 player, was caught in a similar place. See his entry under How Not to Do It below.) 

Politico, “Downing Street garden gathering ‘palpably not a social gathering,’ Dominic Raab says,” Dec. 20, 2021

The CNBC headline says it all. In only his second press conference, which lasted two hours, Biden had a number of bad quotes and unforced errors. One of the main quotes was “I didn’t overpromise,” a classic BIMBO comment since it came as a response to a question, “Did you overpromise?” Asked point blank whether Harris would be his running mate in 2024 if he seeks reelection, Biden didn’t hesitate: “Yes,” he said. Count on seeing this clip again (and again and again) as 2024 maneuvering gets closer.

CNBC, “Biden defends his first-year record as agenda stalls: ‘I didn’t overpromise,’” Jan. 19, 2022

DON’T IGNORE THE QUESTION

Sen. Ted Cruz grilled Jill Sanborn, executive assistant director of the FBI’s national security branch, with a series of yes/no framing questions. She ducked every one with a variation of “I can’t answer that,” creating the impression that the FBI had involvement in the January 6, 2021 Capitol Hill protest/riot. She didn’t need to be trapped by the framing of the questions and should have acknowledged that “it’s not appropriate for me to respond.” The answer may sound like “I can’t answer” but the listener hears the responses quite differently. 

Fox News, “Top FBI official dodges when Cruz asks if agents participated in Jan. 6 riot,” Jan. 11, 2022

HOW NOT TO DO IT

In December, Better.com CEO Vishal Garg fired 900 employees during a short Zoom call. Then it turned out that Garg tried to ensure the fired employees only received one week of severance pay following his sudden announcement. “If you’re on this call, you are part of the unlucky group that is being laid off,” Garg said during the meeting. “Your employment here is terminated effective immediately.” 

The Daily Wire, “Better.Com CEO Who Fired 900 Employees Just Before Christmas Only Wanted To Give Them One Week Severance Pay,” Dec. 21, 2021

No. 1 golfer Jon Rahm apparently didn’t like the conditions of his playing on the course, and he said so and was recorded on a fan’s cell phone. It’s his reaction that’s priceless. “I mean, if I knew somebody was recording, I wouldn't say it the way I did.” Oh Jon, you and a million other people.

ESPN, “Jon Rahm, world's No. 1 player, turns page to Torrey Pines after 'letting some frustration out,’” Jan. 25, 2022

President Biden made what might turn out to be a major foreign policy blunder but certainly illustrated the power of words. Biden said that if Russia only made a “minor incursion” into Ukraine, reaction might be different, in other words, muted. What is a “minor incursion”? What was the 2014 occupation of Crimea – a minor incursion? What was the invasion of Luhansk and Donetsk – a minor incursion? If Putin decides to escalate the war (incursion is an inaccurate characterization) and acquire another 10% of Ukraine’s territory instead of a full-scale invasion upfront to occupy 100%, then is the President OK with that?  He certainly suggested if there were a minor incursion, we would have to figure out what the Europeans would be willing to do.  Hello – this hasn’t been worked out?

USA Today, “’There are no minor incursions’: Ukrainian president rebukes Biden over remarks on Russian invasion,” Jan. 20, 2022

Fox TV personality Jesse Watters expanded his world by suggesting during a speech to high school students that Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases should be aggressively targeted by media with hard hitting questions. He phrased it by saying that this involves techniques that investigative journalists use all the time: “Now you go in for the kill shot with an ambush, deadly because he hasn’t seen it coming.” Fauci went nuts, demanding Watters be fired and characterizing Watters’ threat as a direct call for an actual killing. First of all, this is ridiculous. Fox Corporate quite rightly stood up for its anchor but Jesse, can’t we find another analogy which wouldn’t open you and your network up to controversy? Or is that the point? Eyeballs and clicks. 

7 News AU, “Fox host calls for 'kill shot' on Fauci,” Dec. 22, 2021 

“Let’s be honest, nobody cares about what’s happening to the Uyghurs, OK?” said Chamath Palihapitiya, a Silicon Valley multi-millionaire and part owner of the Golden State Warriors, astonishing listeners with his openness as much as his callousness. The Warriors issued a statement distancing the franchise, but it added to the growing debate over whether powerful interests and entities in the U.S. and elsewhere are unwilling to risk offending the Chinese. When Houston Rockets GM tweeted in support of democracy in Hong Kong, China retaliated and stopped showing some NBA games which cost the league millions. Do they care about that? You bet they do.  

USA Today, “Warriors distance themselves from partial team owner after his comments about Uyghurs in China,” Jan. 18, 2022

Sen. John Kennedy asked Anne Traum, a Biden nominee for United States District Judge for the District of Nevada, whether crimes should be forgiven if they are committed in the name of social justice and did not receive a yes or no answer despite asking nine times. “Do you think we should forgive criminal misbehavior in the name of social justice?" This is worth watching on video because all she had to do was use one of our Acknowledgment PhrasesTM like, “It depends,” “It’s not that simple,” or my favorite, “Let me put that in perspective.” Traum could have easily handled this with this technique.

Fox News, “Biden nominee dodges Sen. Kennedy 9 times when asked if social justice-inspired crimes should be forgiven,” Dec. 17, 2021 

CAN WE DIAL BACK THE OVER-THE-TOP TWEETS?

See the comment Bette Midler tweeted following the publication of the allegation that President Trump tested positive for COVID-19 before the first presidential debate. “#DonaldTrump should be arrested for attempted murder. He tried to infect & kill #JoeBiden at the debate; by turning up too late to be tested, knowing full well he was positive; then screeched, sputtered, spit, and foamed at the mouth, hoping to infect Joe. He IS the devil.” 

Twitter, Dec. 3, 2021 

GOODBYE TRANSITORY

In Congressional testimony, Federal Reserve Chairman Powell was asked a question from Sen. Pat Toomey about whether he’s concerned that this year’s price rises might be more durable (long lasting) than he has previously admitted with his repeated claim that inflation was “transitory.” His answer was a wicked combination of rambling and obfuscation. “Well, first of all, the test that we’ve articulated, I think clearly has been met now. You’re absolutely right, inflation has run well above 2% for long enough that if you look back a few years, inflation averages 2%. . .  It was not the case going into this episode—it had been many years since we had inflation at 2%. So, I think the word ‘transitory’ has different meanings to different people. To many, it carries a sense of ‘short-lived.’ We tend to use it to mean that it won’t leave a permanent mark in the form of higher inflation. I think it’s probably a good time to retire that word and try to explain more clearly what we mean.” He was joined by Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen who also took advantage of an event sponsored by Reuters to say, “I am ready to retire the word transitory.”

The Wall Street Journal, “What Jerome Powell Couldn’t Say in His Speech, and Doesn’t Know,” Dec. 2, 2021

GREAT QUOTE & GREAT WAY TO SAY IT 

“You need rituals to maintain a strong culture,” said Luiza Trajano, chair and former CEO of Brazilian-based Magazine Luiza, a chain selling a variety of products. This is an article worth reading for lots of reasons; it provides a hopeful picture of what’s possible in Latin America and it’s great advice. Additionally, in the profile, her son and current CEO notes that his mother counsels, “Play in the band, don’t just watch it march on,” which he interprets as “that meant learning to become the protagonist in my own story.”

The New York Times, “Billionaire’s Star Rises as She Takes Bold Stance on Racism in Brazil,” Jan. 7, 2021

LETTER TO THE EDITOR – EDITED OUT LINE

The DMN printed my letter on the article, “What happened to the Super Collider site near Waxahachie? Project’s failure a huge loss for science, workers,” Metro & Business, but they took out a phrase which makes it funnier – and sadder. The scientists actually told us to get lost because after eight years of the Bush presidency and eight years of the Quayle presidency, they’d be finished! The editors cut that line down to “after eight years of the Bush presidency...” which strikes us as equally ridiculous since Bush Sr. only made it four years. The point was that the scientists thought they had 16 years to build the multi-billion-dollar project and didn’t need any help from the non-scientific hoi polloi. The lesson? Build broad base support.

The Dallas Morning News, “Letters to the Editor—Super Collider, WRR-FM, gerrymandered maps, street racing, Clay Jenkins,” Dec. 12, 2021  

INFOGRAPHIC

This is a wonderful, “must see” depiction titled “How the Supply Chain Crisis Unfolded,” by Lazaro Gamio and Peter S. Goodman. It’s a superb use of the infographic format and enumeration – step 1, step 2, and so on. It’s a good exploration of the topic as well as an excellent example of how to tell a complex story with a combination of graphics and paragraphs. It’s also animated so as you scroll down, it unfolds.

The New York Times, “How the Supply Chain Crisis Unfolded,” Dec. 5, 2021 

 

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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