Bimbo Banter


BIMBO Nominees For September 2019


  • Bimbo
  • September 3, 2019
  • by Spaeth Communications

Bimbo blog image b

What a month! BIMBOs from the IRS’s National Taxpayer Advocate, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the owner of a company that tracks its workers’ every move (scary), a world-famous canoe athlete and a lawyer for a plaintiff suing CNN’s Don Lemon. You’ll also read campaign-related BIMBO comments and gaffes from Former Vice President Joe Biden. This month, the category “Wrong Thing to Say” has been updated to “Really, Really Wrong Thing to Say.”

THE WINNING BIMBO

“I am not an extremist,” said Jim Watkins, owner and publisher of online forum 8chan, which has made international news as the site where mass shooters from El Paso, Texas, and Christchurch, New Zealand published hate-filled manifestos promoting white supremacy. (Watkins apparently missed how damaging the word “extremist” is, dating back to Barry Goldwater’s 1964 presidential campaign, in which he tanked on the quote, “Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice.” No matter. By providing a forum for shooters, Watkins promotes extremism.)

The Wall Street Journal, “8chan Owner: ‘I Am Not an Extremist,’” Aug. 9, 2019

THE RUNNERS-UP

“These aren’t raids,” claimed Mark Morgan, acting customs and border protection commissioner, after the mass immigration actions in Mississippi. (We feel for Morgan; we know he’s enforcing the law. Missing from most coverage were the lengths his officers went to ensure children wouldn’t be without both parents, allowing people arrested time to make phone calls and arrange childcare. We agree with Morgan’s statement, “I think words matter.” They do, but no matter how you slice it, these were raids. From a communication strategy perspective, Morgan would have been better off not protesting the word “raid” and, instead, using his quotes to bring attention to the actions that show humane treatment and common sense. As so often happens, the denial became the headline.)

The Washington Post, “Acting Border Patrol chief on Mississippi ICE raids: ‘These aren’t raids,’” Aug. 11, 2019

“Donald Trump Is Not a Sinister Genius,” was the headline of Ross Douthat’s column in the New York Times. (Technically, it’s a headline not a comment or quote, but it’s too good to pass up. The title speaks for itself.)

The New York Times, “Donald Trump Is Not a Sinister Genius,” Aug. 3, 2019

“We are not the enemy of the people,” said Susan Goldberg, editor in chief of National Geographic, during an interview on “The Aaron Harber Show” about the future of journalism. (The amazing thing is this unfortunate quote was included in a press release the show distributed. Surely the venerable National Geographic can find competent PR help. The intent of the interview, announced in its title, was for Goldberg to share her concerns about the lack of public confidence in the media. We think she missed the point that the public has lost confidence because too much of the media seems motivated by political ideology. The rest of her language was spot on, and we wish her well: “If people can’t trust what they read, I don’t know how people are going to make informed decisions.”)

The Aaron Harber Show “NatGeo's Susan Goldberg: Steering a Legacy Journalism Brand to Serve a Mistrusting & Confused Public,” Aug. 9, 2019

“My role is not to be a shill for the IRS,” wrote National Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olson. (This is a must-read piece for anyone with an ingrained hatred for the IRS. We had never heard of the position of National Taxpayer Advocate, and we’d like to see many more!)

The Wall Street Journal, “'My Role is Not to Be a Shill for the IRS,'” Aug. 7, 2019

“I don’t think there ever was any hatchet (to bury),” said Speaker Nancy Pelosi about the feud with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Pelosi added, “I don’t think we have that many differences,” which is undoubtedly music to the ears of the Republicans. (We would not dare to give the speaker advice. She knows just what she’s doing, and her success speaks for itself. Note the “hatchet” line made the headline. Speaker Pelosi also had an interesting denial when asked about the growing number of Democrats now calling for impeachment, an action with which she has strongly disagreed. However, she said, “Their advocacy for impeachment only gives me leverage. I have no complaint with what they are doing.”)

Politico, “Pelosi: There was never ‘any hatchet’ to bury with Ocasio-Cortez,” July 26, 2019

“We’re not the Big Brother type,” claimed Brian Dauer when describing how his company, Ship Sticks, installed software totrack the websites its workers visit on a minute-by-minute basis and take remote screen shots of workers’ computers. (The goal is to measure workers’ productivity, but this is exactly what “Big Brother” refers to—the capacity to watch you without you knowing.)

The Wall Street Journal, “Three hours of work a day? You’re not fooling anyone,” July 20, 2019

“I have done absolutely nothing wrong and I have nothing to hide,” said an emotional Laurence Vincent-Lapointe, one of Canada’s and the world’s top canoe athletes. Vincent-Lapointe was provisionally suspended for a doping violation, just as women’s sprint canoe is set to make its debut in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. (This is a classic denial, and she followed it with a lengthy and emotional statement professing her commitment to integrity. She should have stuck with, “I am an honest and clean athlete.”)

The Globe and Mail, “Top Canadian canoeist Laurence Vincent-Lapointe suspended for doping violation,” Aug. 19, 2019

“The assertion that Mr. Hice would put himself through the painful process of filing a sexual assault lawsuit against his attacker all because he doesn’t like a cable TV station is ludicrous,” said an attorney for Dustin Hice, a bartender in the Hamptons. Hice filed suit against CNN host Don Lemon, accusing him of assault and making lewd remarks to him at a bar. (Whereas CNN has made it a practice of automatically believing women when they allege sexual harassment or abuse, apparently the same standard does not apply equally to men. CNN attacked Hice as a critic of the network and suggested that Hice had demanded money from Lemon. Hice’s lawyer’s response was too long and too convoluted. The lawyer should have noted that CNN previously said it always believes the accuser. What’s happened to the commitment of gender equity?)

The Hill, “CNN’s Don Lemon sued by Hamptons bartender over alleged assault,” Aug. 13, 2019

CAMPAIGN BIMBOS AND OTHER GAFFES

“Williamson is not a dingbat interloper in the 2020 Democratic debates,” wrote Kirsten Powers, USA Today opinion columnist, defending Marianne Williamson, a presidential candidate she described as a friend. (Powers could use some advice about not repeating negatives. In her column, she also noted that the Daily Beast called Williamson a “dangerous wacko” and a well-known Democratic strategist said Williamson provides “woo-woo talk.” Plus, she listed a few more highly quotable and unflattering descriptions.)

USA Today, “Don’t mock Marianne Williamson, Democrats need her spiritual politics in dark Trump Era,” July 31, 2019

“Poor kids are just as bright and talented, as white kids,” said presidential candidate Joe Biden at an appearance in Idaho. (He caught himself immediately and corrected himself adding, “Wealthy kids, black kids, Asian kids, no I really mean it, think about how we think about it.” We accept the campaign’s explanation that Biden “misspoke,” but it was guaranteed to make headlines because the former vice president has made so many slips. In another instance, Biden said, “… what’s not to like about Vermont in terms of the beauty of it?” The problem? He was speaking in Keene, New Hampshire. To make matters worse, during the same trip, Biden emphasized, “I want to be clear, I’m not going nuts,” while struggling to remember where he had given another speech just hours before at Dartmouth College.

Bloomberg, “Biden in Iowa Says ‘Poor Kids’ Are Just as Smart as ‘White Kids,’” Aug. 8, 2019

Meanwhile, brain surgeon Dr. Neal Kassell, who previously treated Former Vice President Joe Biden for brain aneurysms and has monitored him since said Biden had, “No brain damage…There was no damage whatsoever.” (This guy was no help whatsoever. He raised an issue that no one had mentioned. He should have stuck to “He is every bit as sharp as he was 31 years ago.”)

Fox News, “Joe Biden’s neurosurgeon defends former VP’s brain amid concerns about mental acuity,” Aug. 21, 2019

A major BIMBO comment from Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-Texas, brother of presidential candidate Julián Castro, who published the names and business interests of his own constituents who had contributed to President Trump’s campaign, accusing them of “fueling a campaign of hate” and of provoking the mass shooter in El Paso, Texas. Castro insisted he wasn’t intending to provoke harassment or protests of the individuals and their companies. (This was pathetically disingenuous. Castro and his defenders pointed out the information is public, but he clearly intended to make the donors targets. Some of the donors reported receiving threatening calls and messages; others reported receiving positive reinforcement and supportive messages from local community members. We think it’s a dangerous trend.)

The Hill, “Castro takes heat as outed Trump donors swing back,” Aug. 10, 2019

REALLY, REALLY WRONG THING TO SAY

“(Jeffrey Epstein) had the misfortune to be a wealthy man in the #metoo era,” said one of Epstein’s lawyers, Marc Fernich, criticizing “overzealous prosecutors” and “pandering politicians” for Epstein’s legal troubles. (Wow! Talk about being off base.)

NBC, “Jeffrey Epstein Not on Suicide Watch When He Died: Sources,” Aug. 10, 2019

“What if we went back through all the family trees and just pulled out anyone who was a product of rape or incest? Would there be any population of the world left if we did that?” said veteran Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, defending legislation prohibiting abortion with no exception for rape or incest. (He doesn’t just have a tin ear, he has no ears at all. This is a top-ten dumb thing to say. Defending rape and incest reveals no understanding at all of the trauma those acts cause for women.)

The Hill, “King incites furor with abortion, rape and incest remarks,” Aug. 14, 2019

“(Sen. Mike Johnston) does not plan to take away private insurance,” said Spokeswoman Rachel Petri. She added that Johnston supports “Medicare for all who want it.” (“Medicare for all” exemplifies the debate over what “Medicare for all” actually means and what it would do to the 170 million Americans who currently have health insurance through their employer or other plans. We think the headline on the article sums up the issue.)

The Hill, “‘Medicare for All’ complicates Democrats’ pitch to retake Senate,” Aug. 8, 2019

“I’m glad he’s dead,” said HBO host Bill Maher about the death of 79-year-old conservative billionaire David Koch. Maher added, “I hope the end was painful.” These have to be the most despicable comments of the month, if not the year. On an episode of his show, “Real Time with Bill Maher,” he blasted the deceased Koch brother with a series of off-color jokes. “Yesterday, David Koch, of the zillionaire Koch brothers, died of prostate cancer. I guess I'm going to have to reevaluate my low opinion of prostate cancer." (Maher’s venom was directed at David Koch’s long-time support of libertarian and conservative causes. While he’s entitled to his opinion, Maher missed entirely the principled reasons people might support limited government, respect for the constitution and free enterprise. In addition, David Koch gave hundreds of millions of dollars to charitable institutions, including major museums and health care organizations. What could be worse than Maher’s cruelty? That his audience laughed. Shame on them.)

Newsweek, “Bill Maher on David Koch’s Death: ‘I hope the end was painful,’” Aug. 24, 2019

AT LEAST HE WAS HONEST...

“I know many of them are cheating, and that’s just kind of the way life is,” said David Roth who tutors students and operates Tutor-Homework.com. Though his website contains a disclaimer that his work shouldn’t be used for a grade, he’s aware that students turn his work in as their own. (We have no recommendations for what he could have said except “No” to his customers. But at least he gets points for honesty.)

The Wall Street Journal, “Schools Fight Websites That Sell Homework Help,” Aug. 12, 2019

FAINT PRAISE

“She was calling Trump a racist long before it was popular,” wrote reporter Jason Johnson about Sen. Kamala Harris in his story ranking Democratic presidential candidates based on their campaigns’ “Black Power.” (This fits into the “faint praise” category. Johnson’s review also looked positively on Harris for keeping “… an avowed neo-Nazi in prison for a crime he didn’t commit because she’s not about second chances for bigots...” Apparently, she also isn’t in favor of due process.)

The Root, “Beto Goes Blue, Warren Wilts and Harris Goes O.G. AG: 2020 Presidential Black Power Rankings, Week 6,” Aug. 9, 2019

A PICTURE WORTH 1,000 WORDS

French politician Eric Woerth tweeted a picture of himself apparently climbing a wall of sheer ice, a notable feat. After, people noticed in the background of the photo two hikers walking peacefully along at a 90-degree angle, perpendicular to the face of the flat rock. That prompted real ice climbers to note that in the picture Woerth only has one ice pick and one of the straps of his backpack hangs horizontal, both of which are impossible had he truly been climbing. The conclusion? He posed on a floor of ice trying to make himself look heroic. (Another note: Worth was trying for a political comeback, but the French media immediately criticized his authenticity. Worth left office in 2010 because of an investigation over alleged conflict of interest.)

Twitter, Aug. 12, 2019

A CATEGORY OF ITS OWN

“The bedbugs are a metaphor. The bedbugs are Bret Stephens,” tweeted David Karpf, professor of Strategic Political Communication at George Washington University in reference to New York Times Columnist Bret Stephens. (After Karpf referred to Stephens as a “bedbug,” Stephens emailed Karpf a protest cloaked in civil language but likely designed to get Karpf in trouble. How? He copied the provost of George Washington University. This email was designed to raise the issue and darkly hint that the New York Times would be watching.)

Fast Forward, “Here’s Why The Professor Who Called Bret Stephens A Bed Bug Would Do It Again,” Aug. 27, 2019

 

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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