Bimbo Banter

BIMBO Nominees for July 2016

  • Bimbo
  • July 8, 2016
  • by Spaeth Communications

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Another month, another set of BIMBO comments. We have comments regarding an expansion to the Panama Canal and quips from President Obama and football player Dion Jordan. Examples of Wrong Thing to Say from the always inappropriate Martin Shkreli, @TheDailyShow, Rep Renee Ellmers and the father of convicted rapist Brock Allen Turner. The Brexit campaign illustrates the power of memorable statistics – truth irrelevant. And in an election year, the BIMBO wouldn’t be complete without our campaign section. We end this month on a positive note: NASCAR driver Spencer Gallagher offering a gracious apology.


“We have not seen any (flesh eating bacteria) in Okaloosa County this year,” said Dr. Karen Chapman, director of the Florida Department of Health for Okaloosa County. (An Atlanta news station misread an advisory from the National Weather Service that found fecal bacteria as flesh-eating bacteria). This caused a flood of calls about whether the local beaches would be closed during high tourist season. It’s a learning example of what not to say. Dr. Chapman should have talked about how frequently the health department tests to maintain safety. Another problem? Ed Schroeder, director of the County Tourist Development Council, said, “It could be poor today but wonderful tonight.” He also should have stressed safety.)

Northwest Florida Daily News, “TV report about bacteria in local water was false, local officials say,” June 29, 2016


“This is not a conflict of interest for me or for the department or anyone,” said Attorney General Loretta Lynch after meeting with former President Bill Clinton, whose wife is the presumptive Democratic candidate for president. (Of course it’s a conflict of interest, and Lynch later said she wished she hadn’t met with Clinton. It’s also a classic BIMBO comment because the reporter, Chris Wallace, asked, “Isn’t this a conflict of interest?” and she fell right into the trap. In this case, since it is a very dicey situation – President Obama has publicly endorsed Clinton and said that there is nothing there – but she should have simply said, “No,” and then talked about the standards the Department of Justice observes. Note that the phrase became the headline.)

The Washington Free Beacon, “Lynch: No Conflict of Interest in Clinton Email investigation, Despite Obama’s Endorsement,” June 19, 2016

“We were not isolated in the past, we are not isolated now and we will not be isolated in the future,” claimed Sun Jianguo, deputy chief of the Joint Staff Department of China’s Central Military Commission. (Sun is complaining about – what else? – the possibility that China is at risk of isolation by building up its presence in the South China Sea and intimidating its neighbors. We realize that military strategy is beyond our competence, but as a pure communication issue, notice the headline on the topic Sun should have stressed.)

The Wall Street Journal, “China, Shrugs Off U.S., Confident in Its Magnetic Allure,” June 7, 2016

“We don’t have a problem with foreign investment in Israel,” said Yoel Naveh, chief economist in Israel’s Ministry of Finance. (The story is about the growing movement pushed by the Left to boycott investment in Israel and for sources of capital to divest their holdings in Israel. Write-ups did note that investment money continued to flow into Israel particularly for tech startups. Naveh’s quote focused on the wrong topic. He actually said, “on the contrary,” but then didn’t continue to reinforce Israel’s attractiveness to venture capital supporting innovation.)

Bloomberg Businessweek, “The Boycott Israel Movement May be Failing,” June 1, 2016

“It’s not that we weren’t going to make it public,” said those involved in the canal construction when asked by legislators about a major problem with the expansion of the Panama Canal. The concrete was proving defective and newspapers carried pictures of water gushing from cracks in one of the most important new locks. Also relevant is that the pictures of the disaster were posted online by a worker on the canal. The incident reinforced the importance of transparency. It was entirely predictable that a problem of this magnitude would become public. By trying to keep the matter a secret, the Panamanian government only made it worse.)

The New York Times, “The New Panama Canal: A Risky Bet,” June 22, 2016

“It’s not Washington not working,” said President Obama about reports that the emotions that drove Brexit were also driving Donald Trump’s popularity in the U.S.  (The president again criticized Republicans for blocking his agenda and the media for reporting the sentiment that people felt Washington wasn’t working. Classic example: we hear “Washington not working.” That’s true.)

Breitbart, “Obama Mocks Donald Trump for Golf Course Trip,” June 25, 2016

“I’m not about to waste it,” said football player Dion Jordan about the opportunity to turn his life around after the Dolphins drafted him in the 2013 NFL draft. A series of failed drug tests and other decisions resulted in his banishment a year ago after he was picked third overall in 2013, but he has applied for reinstatement and worked hard to rehabilitate himself. (Jordan seems to be positioned for a second chance. His quote should have been affirmative, “I am committed to being a good example.”)

USA Today, “Dion Jordan breaks silence, says he ‘can’t waste’ chance when reinstated to NFL,” May 31, 2016


“The judge b---slapped the government again,” said the always inappropriate Martin Shkreli, former Turing Pharmaceuticals CEO and our 2015 BIMBO of the Year. (Shkreli was in court on charges unrelated to the astonishing increase in prices that brought unfavorable publicity and earned him the BIMBO title originally. Shkreli stayed silent in court but stopped at Dunkin’ Donuts afterward and boasted that he had skated away from danger. He also live-streamed his comments via Periscope. Shkreli needs to follow his lawyer’s advice and let him do the arguing. We can bet the judge also saw the headline.)

 USA Today, “Shkreli taunts feds, pleads not guilty to new charge,” June 6, 2016

“Celebrate the #SCOTUS ruling! Go knock someone up in Texas!” tweeted The Daily Show, following the Supreme Court’s ruling striking down Texas’ law on abortion clinics’ regulations. (The tweet predictably drew outrage. The account followed up with a lukewarm comment, “We are certainly not promoting abortions.”)

Mic, “‘The Daily Show’ Is Being Torn Apart for This Tweet on the SCOTUS Abortion Ruling,” June 27, 2016

“You’re eating a little bit too much pork barbecue. Whoo!” said Rep. Renee Ellmers about the appearance of a party worker she encountered at a voting booth. (What an obnoxious, stupid thing to say! And predictable that it generated bad publicity for Ellmers and the Republican Party. The headline said it all.)

WNCN, “Ellmers called ‘mean girl on steroids’ after NC Congresswoman remarks on women’s weight,” June 7, 2016

“That is a steep price to pay for 20 minutes of action out of his 20 plus years of life,” wrote the father of Brock Allen Turner, who was convicted of sexually assaulting an unconscious woman. (The case drew national attention and outrage for the light sentence. Turner’s father Dan made his comments in a letter posted via Twitter by a Stanford law professor. The insensitivity toward the woman his son assaulted astounds us.)

WFAA, “Father of student convicted of rape: Steep price for ‘20 minutes of action,’” June 6, 2016



“I am not a racist, in fact, I am the least racist person,” said Donald Trump. (Another example of Trump tackling any topic and repeating any word. It’s an interesting example because the reporter was recounting his discussion with a taxi driver who said he thought Trump was “a racist,” and the reporter asked him about it. Trump should have said, “On the contrary, I treat every one as an individual.” And the comment became the headline.)

The Washington Post, “Donald Trump: ‘I am the least racist person,’” June 10, 2016


“I’m not hiding something,” said Hillary Clinton, adding, “A lot of people tell pollsters they don’t trust me.” (We’re obviously on the other side of the political aisle. This is an example of the wrong message. We understand her frustration, but focusing on the trust issue only reinforces the negative.)

Politico, “Clinton: I don’t like hearing people don’t trust me,” June 27, 2016

When giving a speech on income inequality, Hillary Clinton wore an Armani jacket costing about $12,000. Predictably, commentators noticed and pointed it out. (An interesting example of the media trying to rationalize the story. The reporter noted that Donald Trump wears Brioni suits that cost $7,000. The difference, of course, is that Clinton was talking about a topic that she made ridiculous by her outfit.)

CNBC, “Hillary Clinton wore a $12,495 Armani jacket during a speech about inequality,” June 6, 2016

“I never said Hillary Clinton was beholden to special interests,” tweeted Rep. Alan Grayson. (This was in response to an account, @Fla_Pol, that tweeted:“@AlanGrayson says @HillaryClinton ‘beholden to special interests.’” By protesting, he kept the issue alive.)

Twitter, @AlanGrayson, June 8, 2016


“There’s nothing I’ve done with Mr. Trump that has anything to do with political posturing,” said Sen. Ben Sasse, one of the leaders of the “Never Trump” movement. (The newly elected senator has discovered that firing off flamboyant comments brings media attention.)

Politico, “Sasse making GOP enemies with anti-Trump crusade,” June 7, 2016          

“We either get smarter or die,” said Sen. Lindsay Graham, who formerly threw his hat into the 2016 Republican nominee race, about the need to reach out to populations offended by comments by presumptive nominee Donald Trump. (We agree with Sen. Graham. Now, can they do it? And again, the comment becomes the headline.)

Business Insider, “Lindsey Graham on the Republican Party after Trump: ‘We either get smarter or die,’” May 27, 2016


An interesting example of the power of a statistic emerges from the Brexit campaign and vote. The Leave campaign had as a major talking point that leaving the EU would free up €350 million, about $465 million. It resonated with the electorate, which sensed that Britain was remitting significant funds to Brussels. No sooner had the vote been counted, the Leave contingent started to back away from the promise. It’s not clear what, if anything, Britain will save, but it’s an example of how numbers are memorable. Our favorite quote from the backpedal camp? Nigel Farage, leader of the UK Independent Party, said on Good Morning Britain, “No I can’t [guarantee it], and I would never have made that claim. That was one of the mistakes that I think the Leave campaign made.”

The New York Times, “Having Won, Some ‘Brexit’ Campaigners Begin Backpedaling,” June 26, 2016


After a fight on the track between NASCAR drivers Spencer Gallagher and John Wes Townley, Gallagher came forward with a public apology: “I would like to extend a sincere apology to the NASCAR community—representatives and fans. I love this sport just as much as all of you and I am ashamed that I was part of an incident that has allowed so many to view what we do in a negative light.” (Gallagher didn’t make the mistake of using weasel words like “if anyone was offended.” It was straightforward and heartfelt.)

Business Insider, “Spencer Gallagher apologizes for fight with John Wes Townley,” June 27, 2016

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