Bimbo Banter

BIMBO Nominees for May 2009

  • Bimbo
  • May 1, 2009
  • by Spaeth Communications

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“We’re not running away,” said Cerberus founder Stephen Feinberg about the negotiations to keep Chrysler out of bankruptcy. “We could act as extortionists, but that’s not us.”(Chrysler slid into bankruptcy anyway.)

The Washington Post, “At Chrysler, From Hero to Zero,” May 1, 2009


“Let me tell you what she’s not,” said Farrah Fawcett’s producer, Craig Nevius, “As previously reported by everybody, she’s not unconscious. She’s not on death’s door. The family has not gathered to say goodbye,” about the recurrence of her cancer. (How about telling us what she is? Hopeful? Thankful for the blessings she has? Looking for a new producer?)

The Associated Press, “Fawcett treated for cancer’s spread to liver,” April 6, 2009

“As God is my witness, there is no Ponzi scheme,” financier R. Allen Stanford said as news broke that he, like Bernie Madoff, had a fund which was paying dividends from money raised from new investors. Stanford added, “There was no intentional fraud.” (Stanford’s uber-lawyer, Houston-based Dick DeGuerin, wants $10 million of his assets unfrozen and allocated to his lawyers.)

The Commercial Appeal, “R. Allen Stanford: ‘As God is my witness, there is no Ponzi scheme,”April 20, 2009

“It’s not like I’m making out like a fat rat here,” said Detroit City Council Member and Mayoral candidate Kwame Kenyatta about walking away from their house and mortgage. (Kenyatta is running for the seat vacated by Mayor Kilpatrick who was found to be having an affair with his chief of staff, lying about it under oath and paying off a police officer who had stopped the chief of staff for speeding to try to keep emails and texts between the two from being made public. The saying is “Houston, we have a problem,” but we think it should be “Detroit…”)

MSNBC, “Detroit councilman walks away from mortgage,” April 20, 2009

“I don’t believe this is any sinister power grab by the governor,” Alabama Attorney General Troy King said of Governor Bob Riley’s effort to fight gambling by raiding a bingo hall and carting off their gambling machines. (The spat is actually a debate over powers, but it makes delicious reading.)

The Birmingham News, “Our View: Alabama governor and attorney general at odds over gambling,” April 23, 2009

The United States “is not and will never be at war with Islam,” President Barack Obama said during a visit to Turkey, his first visit to a Muslim nation. (Note: the “at war” words made it into hundreds of headlines. We wish the president had said that the U.S. can co-exist with Islam as it’s practiced in the U.S. and countries like Indonesia.)

MSNBC, “Obama tells Turkey: U.S. ‘not at war with Islam,’” April 6, 2009

“I was instructed that ‘We do not want a public disclosure,’” Bank of America CEO Ken Lewis testified about government pressure for the bank to complete a merger with troubled Merrill Lynch last fall. Lewis said that Merrill’s financial state was much worse than he was originally led to believe, but that the Treasury department and Federal Reserve threatened to remove him and the board of directors. A Fed spokesperson countered, “No one at the Federal Reserve advised Ken Lewis or Bank of America on any questions of disclosure.” (No offense to the government, but given what they did to Rick Waggoner at General Motors, we’re going with Mr. Lewis’ version of the story which was given under oath.)

USAToday, “Lewis: B of A pushed to Merrill deal,” April 24, 2009

“We’re not talking about a carbon tax. President Obama and I are not talking about a carbon tax,” said Energy Secretary Steven Chu. (A rose by any other name… they’re talking about a carbon tax.)

The New York Times, “The Science Guy,” April 19, 2009

“I have not been involved in any illegal activity to defraud taxpayers,” said Hidalgo County Precinct One Commissioner Sylvia Handy, as she was taken into custody following an investigation by federal authorities. She added, “My home has not been raided…I have not done anything wrong…I have nothing to hide.” (This is a classic example of inverted speech. If you read the whole article and the quotes in their entirety, each one is coupled with something like, “I strive to live my life, personally and publicly, by high moral standards,” but the positive phrases are undercut by the denials of the negatives.)

The Guardian, “Hidalgo County Commissioner Sylvia Handy is arrested,” April 2, 2009

“We’re not trying to cash in on their name,” said Levi Johnson, father of Bristol Palin’s son Tripp, the daughter of Alaska governor and former vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin, after Bristol broke off her engagement with Johnson. (Johnson’s protestations that he was only interested in more time with his son were somewhat weakened by the fact that his declaration of “not cashing in” was made on the Tyra Banks Show, the CBS Early Show and other TV appearances where he spoke at length about how difficult the Palin family was to deal with. Book deal next?)

People, “Levi Johnson Addresses Tensions with the Palin Camp,” April 8, 2009

“If I have anything to say against Obama, it’s not because I’m a racist but because I don’t like what he’s doing as President, and anybody should be able to feel that way, but what I find now is if you say anything against him, you’re called a racist,” Angie Harmon told a group at an event launching the new eyelash growing formula, Latisse. (She’s right, but in this politically correct age, she better be ready to be criticized. But what is she doing talking about how President Obama is doing and racism at the launch of a new product which grows eyelashes? Seems like the really wrong venue to us.)

Fox, “Angie Harmon: I’m Not Racist Because I Disagree with Obama,” March 31, 2009

“It’s not our school that’s a party school,” said Lolisa Wallace, a sophomore at the University of Miami after Playboy Magazine ranked them as the country’s top “Party School.” (Just what every parent wants to read in the recruiting brochure…)

The Miami Herald, “Playboy magazine ranks the University of Miami tops for parties.” April 21, 2009


The President said there was reason for concern but not yet “a cause for alarm,” while Dr. Keiji Fukada, assistant director for health security and environment at The World Health Organization, helpfully added, “We don’t really have evidence of community spread.” The worst comment came from Dr. Margaret Chan, WHO’s director general, “It really is all of humanity that is under threat during a pandemic.” Meanwhile local health departments added to the misstatements—such as the defense of actions taken by Dallas’ director of Health and Human Services, “It would definitely not appear to be overkill.”  (It’s no wonder schools are closing and people are walking around with face masks. See also Vice President Biden’s comments in the “Wrong Thing to Say” category. What about words like ‘calm,’ ‘prepared,’ ‘precautions’ and ‘common sense?’ Also, note the word “overkill” made it into headlines.)

MSNBC, “WHO raises pandemic alert to phase 4,” April 27, 2009

CNN, “Confirmed swine flu cases leap,” April 30, 2009

WFAA, “Dallas County: ‘This is not overkill,’” April 29, 2009


 “I would tell members of my family -- and I have -- I wouldn’t go anywhere in confined places now. It’s not that it’s going to Mexico. It’s you’re in a confined aircraft. When one person sneezes, it goes all the way through the aircraft,” said Vice President Joe Biden on The Today Show, adding that people shouldn’t ride subways either. (Of course, his ‘advice’ would have the result of bringing the entire nation to a complete halt. The Department of Homeland Security and the White House almost immediately jumped in to explain what the vice president meant to say. The travel industry was not amused, and used words like “fear mongering”. There were TONS of separate news stories on the VP’s comments.)

The Today Show, April 30, 2009

AP, “Oh, Joe: VP’s off-base flu advice needs do-over,” May 1, 2009

“A very harmful product” is how Louis Camilleri, the CEO of Philip Morris International, the brand new company extruded from Altria, described cigarettes. (How can someone live with themselves if they think they sell ‘a very harmful product’?  It’s one thing to argue that it’s legal so adults should be able to use it, but another to head the company that makes and sells it.)

Business Week, “Philip Morris Unbound,” May 4, 2009

Jamie Foxx went after 16-year-old Miley Cyrus saying she should, “Make a sex tape and grow up. Get like Britney Spears and do some heroin. Do like Lindsay Lohan and get some crack in your pipe.” (What could he have been thinking? To attack a 16 year old? Foxx was on his weekly Sirius radio show, The Foxxhole. He later apologized on The Tonight Show saying, "Miley, I apologize, so I'll call you. I got a daughter too, so I completely understand.")

People, “Jamie Foxx Disses Miley Cyrus,” April 14, 2009

Calling returning veterans a “security risk” who could be upset over possible new restrictions on fire arms, a report from Homeland Security warned of “the potential emergence of terrorist groups or lone wolf extremists capable of carrying out violent attacks.” (The report mentioned Timothy McVeigh who carried out the Oklahoma City bombing as an example. Reaction from veterans groups was swift and furious. The department tried to say it did not intend to monitor political beliefs, but given the bureaucracy and clearances required before such a point is released, the language certainly seemed to have been approved at the highest level.), “US govt. faces veteran anger for extremism report,” April 15, 2009


Domino’s Pizza is the latest example of the “need for speed” in reacting to adverse publicity. Two Domino’s employees at a franchise in North Carolina made a video of themselves sticking cheese up their noses, sneezing onto pizza and other revolting practices. Apparently it was a prank and the pizzas were never served, but the pair posted the videos on YouTube where they promptly garnered a million views and spread to other social media sites. It took Domino’s a full day to get a statement posted on its own website and two days to post a video of its own from its CEO on YouTube. (We hate to be critical, but in the YouTube video the CEO is looking off-camera and reading from a TelePrompTer or cue cards. We feel for the guy, but it’s clearly staged and not authentic.)

Business Week, “An unwelcome delivery,” May 4, 2009


Hewlett Packard’s CEO, Mark Hurd, gets it. To ward off layoffs, HP asked employees to take pay cuts ranging from 2.5 percent to 20 percent. He cut his own salary by 20 percent. (Hurd joins a deplorably small number of CEOs who understand that when they ask their troops to sacrifice, they’d better be leading the way. Congratulations, Mr. Hurd.)

Business Week, “Pay cuts made palatable,” May 4, 2009

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