Bimbo Banter


BIMBO Nominees for March 2023


  • Bimbo
  • February 28, 2023
  • by Spaeth Communications

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In addition to the winning extraterrestrial-themed BIMBOs, this month features sensational What Not to Say examples from CNN’s Don Lemon, Dilbert creator Scott Adams, and Shark Tank’s Mr. Wonderful. Items of interest include an interesting visual example of statistics, what it takes to get back thousands of employee hours, and a question—can you pay to get negative information scrubbed from the internet?

THE WINNING BIMBO

“It’s not from outer space,” said national security spokesperson John Kirby at a White House briefing. He added, “I don’t think the American people need to worry about aliens.”  All the talk about what things weren’t only fueled speculation. This was, of course about the UAPs (formerly UFOs now “unidentified aerial phenomena”) or several items high in the sky that were shot down. He backed up his contention with, “There’s no surveillance over Chinese air space.” And officials just kept talking about what the objects weren’t. “There is no indication of aliens or extraterrestrial activity with these recent takedowns,” said White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre. When asked whether he had ruled out an extraterrestrial origin for three floating objects shot down by warplanes in as many days, Gen. Glen VanHerck said, “I’ll let the intel community and the counterintelligence community figure that out.” He added, “I haven’t ruled out anything.” Since VanHerck is head of North American Airspace Defense Command (NORAD) and U.S. Northern Command that wasn’t reassuring. What else had he not ruled out?

Yahoo News, “Americans Don’t ‘Need to Worry about Aliens,’ White House Says After Shooting Down Three Unidentified Objects,” Feb. 13, 2023

The Guardian, “‘Significant’ debris from China spy balloon retrieved, says US military,” Feb. 14, 2023

THE RUNNERS-UP 

“A national divorce is not a civil war,” said Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) pushing her newest verbal explosive, a recommendation to separate red and blue states. Finding an audience for anything outrageous, she claimed it will make “state rights and state power a lot stronger than it is right now.” We’re guessing Greene managed to skip history lessons about 1860 to 1865.

MSN, “MTG Proposes Banning Blue State Americans From Voting for 5 Years After Moving to a Red State,” Feb. 21, 2023

“They insult me, call me human trash, Neo-fascist or a rotten Latino,” protested urban design expert Carlos Moreno. This is an example of why you shouldn’t repeat your critics’ insults. The designer of the idea that we should all be able to bike or walk to everything we need for work or recreation within 15 minutes has a thriving consulting business and loads of international awards. Not surprisingly, not everyone agrees with him, and his critics have promulgated conspiracy theories about whether this is a plot by climate change advocates. In a very long story, Moreno – who has a wonderful personal back story – has some excellent quotes, such as “I remain in high spirits; I am very proud to see the ideas of a researcher from the Sorbonne going around the world.” But he undercuts himself by repeating the bashing which of course makes perfect sound bites for social media. Stop when you’re ahead!

Forbes, “15-Minute-City Conspiracy Theories Insane Says 15-Minute-City Creator,” Feb. 8, 2023

"I'm not a saint,” said Federico Machado. “I made mistakes, but I'm not a narcotrafficker.” This story is very long and complicated and involves fake airplane sales, planeloads of drugs, hidden ownership and more. The point here is that Machado uses his very limited quotes to repeat and deny the prosecution’s allegations. We know what he says he’s not, but what is he?

WFAA, “WFAA Investigates: A fugitive, a $350M fraud case, a lot of airplanes and one tiny Texas town,” Feb. 24, 2023 

WHAT NOT TO SAY

“Women are in their prime in their 20s, 30s, and 40s,” said CNN Anchor Don Lemon. When his co-host protested, he doubled down on the claim, “Don’t shoot the messenger, I’m just saying what the facts are. Google it!” The comment referred to former South Carolina governor and UN Ambassador Nikki Haley’s presidential campaign announcement and her position of calling for politicians over 75 to take cognitive mental tests, as well as the overall need for a new generation of leaders. Soon, headlines read, “Don Lemon disappears after making sexist remarks on the air.” What should he have said? Obviously, nothing, but after the gaffe, he should have used the great George H.W. Bush line when reporters asked him about his accusation that candidate Ronald Reagan was proposing “voodoo economics.” Bush buried his face in his hands and said, “I wish I hadn’t said that.”

The Cut, “Don Lemon Disappears After Making Sexist Comments On-Air,” Feb. 22, 2023

“Based on the current way things are going, the best advice I would give to white people is to get the hell away from Black people,” said Dilbert creator Scott Adams. What could he have been thinking? The iconic cartoon creator read a Rasmussen Reports survey purporting to find that a sizeable number of Black people feel negatively about white people. It didn’t seem to us that this is an accurate portrayal of the poll finding but whatever he thought it said, what on earth possessed him to sound off on his YouTube show, adding that this is the definition of a hate group. Predictably reaction was swift, and a number of papers announced they would no longer carry the strip.

AP News, “Media drop Dilbert after creator's Black 'hate group' remark,” Feb. 26, 2023

“You may lose your wife, you may lose your dog, your mother may hate you. None of those things matter. What matters is that you achieve success and become free. Then you can do whatever you like,” said Shark Tank host Kevin O’Leary, self-styled “Mr. Wonderful.” Amazingly, this advice is cited approvingly by Robin Pou who submitted the Op-ed. Pou is described as the founder of a leadership development firm who says you can “dislike the man but embrace his method,” which is apparently to focus on something and get it done. Sorry Mr. Wonderful and apologist, but we disagree. The writer, after enthusiastically endorsing this idea does try to weasel out by noting that after wife, dog and mother are gone, “Who’s left at the finish line to celebrate?” O'Leary tries to say that this is really about ranking your priorities. However, we think words matter, so dumping wife, dog and mother isn’t focus. It’s a recipe for a very unsatisfying outcome.

The Dallas Morning News, “Kevin O’Leary has a definition of success you may not like, but his priorities are clear,” Feb. 23, 2023

INTERESTING EXAMPLES 

Can you pay to have negative news scrubbed from the internet? We’re asked this all the time. The answer is both yes and no. The Washington Post tackled the topic based on the leaked release of documents from Eliminalia, a company based in Europe. It’s worth reading, but the bottom line is the information always comes out. As the headline eludes, it’s much better to generate real information because the fake news, which supposedly competes with the damaging news will be exposed no matter how much you pay and that will only bring more attention to it and make your company look worse.

The Washington Post, “Leaked files reveal reputation-management firm’s deceptive tactics,” Feb. 17, 2023

Our readers know that we recommend making numbers “verbally visual” when you have a statistic that’s part of the narrative. One technique is to find a comparison. We thought this example might be useful. This comet is the size of one of the Queen’s corgis but weighs as much as four baby elephants.

The Jerusalem Post, “Corgi-sized meteor as heavy as 4 baby elephants hit Texas – NASA,” Feb. 21, 2023 

An interesting example, both of stats and a sign of the future. Shopify replaced 12,000 meetings and estimated they freed up 95,000 employee hours. Reynolds American scrapped a 90-minute planned townhall with a 10-minute video. The suggestion came directly from the employees.

The Wall Street Journal, “One Company’s Trick to Getting 95,000 Hours Back?” Feb. 1, 2023

 

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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