Bimbo Banter


BIMBO Nominees for September 2021


  • Bimbo
  • August 31, 2021
  • by Spaeth Communications

Bimbo blog image d

Lots of material this month. Click through for the astonishingly full list of comments about the evacuation in Afghanistan and the saga of resigned New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. See BIMBOs from Rudy Giuliani, a passenger on Frontier Airlines who had to be duct taped, and Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY). We also share a negative word crowding out a positive message and two examples of garbled statistics creating news. The co-founder of Snopes has the worst excuse for bad behavior, but we end on a high note with a great quote from New York’s incoming governor, Kathy Hochul. 

 

THE WINNING BIMBO 

“I’m not a hooker,” declared Rachel Uchitel, Tiger Woods’ former mistress. After signing a nondisclosure agreement (NDA), Uchitel settled with Woods in 2009 for $8 million after the high-profile implosion and revelations of his infidelity. Uchitel is now declaring bankruptcy, and talking, starting with publicizing what the NDA prohibited: “discussing ‘directly or indirectly, verbally or otherwise,’ Woods’ ‘lifestyle, proclivities, customs, private conduct, fitness, habits, sexual matters, familial matters’” and more. She was also forbidden to say she had signed an NDA. In her interview, she added, “I’m not a prostitute. I was and am a very smart girl, and that’s why I negotiated $8 million...” Not so smart that she figured out how to keep the money. A lawyer for Woods is suing her. What should she have said? Well, the truth would be far more interesting and that list of things not to talk about sure sounds like a book deal to us!

The Irish Times, “Tiger Woods’s lover: ‘I’m not a prostitute. I’m a very smart girl, and that’s why I negotiated $8m,’” Aug. 10, 2021

THE RUNNERS-UP

“People think I’m this talentless rich kid who’s had everything given to her but I’m not,” said Madonna’s daughter Lourdes Leon. Too much too soon. Leon may have lots of talent, but it’s got to be demonstrated and commented on by third parties, not announced by the individual – who only proves that she doesn’t have a clue about the advantages she has.

Page Six, “Madonna’s daughter Lourdes Leon says she’s not a ‘talentless rich kid,’” Aug. 6, 2021

The debacle in Afghanistan: where to start? On July 8 when asked if there was a comparison between the U.S. withdrawal from Kabul and the 1975 flight of Saigon, President Biden replied, in part, “The Taliban is not the South, the North Vietnamese army. They’re not—they’re not remotely comparable in terms of capability. There’s going to be no circumstance where you’re going to see people being lifted off the roof of a embassy.” The next sign that things were out of control was back in early August when the State Department spokesman Ned Price announced"This is not abandonment," adding, "This is not an evacuation. This is not a wholesale withdrawal." The disaster of the evacuation – because that’s what it is and was – was immortalized in this near-BIMBO comment when Biden said to George Stephanopoulos, “I don’t think it was a fa—look, it was a simple choice.” He began to say “failure” and then switched course. This was in response to the comprehensive question, “So when you look at what’s happened over the last week, was it a failure of intelligence, planning, execution or judgment?” We think history will record it as a failure of leadership and a colossal failure of compassion. When Stephanopoulos asked about people falling from planes, Biden snapped, “That was four days ago, five days ago.” The Administration’s verbiage has been a continuing stream of denials including the president’s claim, “No one’s being killed right now,” only to have reports of Taliban executing opponents and heart rending video of people who had tried to grab hold of taxiing aircraft only to fall from the sky.

ABC News, “Full transcript of ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos’ interview with President Joe Biden,” Aug. 19, 2021 

In an interview with NBC New York, Rudy Giuliani stated he has not “gone off the rails” and is “not an alcoholic.” The former “America’s Mayor” addressed a number of allegations and rumors. His defense, “I don’t think I’ve ever done an interview drunk,” doesn’t seem like a very high bar to us. This is probably an interview Giuliani shouldn’t have done. It’s a useful learning example, demonstrating that you should never do an interview without a clear idea of the audience you want to influence and the message you want to get across. Note that the comment made the headline. 

Daily Beast, “Rudy: I Haven’t Gone Off the Rails and I’m Not an Alcoholic,” Aug. 27, 2021

“To be clear, I DID NOT GROPE ANYBODY,” tweeted Max Berry, who was accused of grabbing the breasts of flight attendants and of touching other passengers on a Frontier flight to Miami. He was restrained by the crew with duct tape, the only restraining material they had on board. Berry asserted his innocence on social media, but the video – isn’t there always video these days? – reveals him drunkenly screaming that his family was worth millions of dollars. For what to say, see section on Andrew Cuomo below.

News 7, “Frontier Airlines passenger duct taped to chair on flight to MIA speaks out,” Aug. 4, 2021

“I want you to know directly from me that I never touched anyone inappropriately or made inappropriate sexual advances,” said now-resigned New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo in a straight-to-camera response to the state Attorney General’s release of a report finding that he had sexually harassed multiple women. A total of 179 witnesses were consulted and the Governor himself was “grilled for about 11 hours.” Cuomo made the classic mistakes of trying to explain and downplay the allegations, but he has been putting his foot in his mouth for some time, saying in May of this year“Harassment is not making someone feel uncomfortable—that is not harassment. That’s you feeling uncomfortable.” Good luck with that definition. In his August 3 address he added, “I have lived my entire life in public view. That’s just not who I am, and that’s not who I have ever been.” While undoubtedly heartfelt, it’s also inaccurate. There is a long public record and pictures of the Governor. If he truly thinks this, it’s another illustration of the need for leaders to have a system where – in the immortal words of FBI Director, Judge William Webster, you hear what you need to hear and not what other people think you want to hear. The quote made multiple media outlets and headlines. During his resignation, in a grudging admission of his behavior, he said, “In my mind, I’ve never crossed the line with anyone. But I didn’t realize the extent to which the line has been redrawn.” By now, readers of the Memo know that the NY AG’s report found multiple credible accounts of sexual harassment, and after a high-octane effort to defend the Governor’s behavior and demonize the accusers, his only option was to resign. This is another example where we have no recommendation for what to say except to reprise the wise expert who said, “You cannot communicate your way out of a situation you have behaved your way into.” 

USA Today, “Andrew Cuomo sexually harassed multiple women in violation of the law, AG report finds,” Aug. 3, 2021

"I’m not promoting vaccine hesitancy; I’m promoting vaccine-mandate hesitancy. I support your right to decide whether you and your kids should take the COVID vaccine or not,” tweeted Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY.) Sorry Rep. Massie, you’re trashing vaccines with your comment whether you know it or now. Should have stuck to the talking points about personal responsibility, personal choice within the framework of respecting and protecting other people.

POWER OF NEGATIVE WORDS

J.C. Penney is an iconic American department store. It fell on hard times for many reasons, and it was rescued from bankruptcy by Simon Property Group. We hope CEO David Simon invests in communication help because during a quarterly investor call, which should have been all about the future, private brands and opportunity, he referred to J.C. Penney as “road kill.” Even worse, he was also trying to talk about needed legislation and the article included but buried his comment, “I’m hopeful that the folks that do legislate this stuff will understand the benefit that we’ve provided to basically working families, because we’ve saved these retailers.” If anyone knows Simon, please tell him we thank him for stepping in; we think J.C. Penney can have a great future but remind him that investor calls are a very strategic communication channel. 

The Dallas Morning News, “J.C. Penney’s owner Simon wants credit for saving ‘road kill,’” Aug. 3, 2021

STATISTICS 

The Florida Department of Health called out the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for incorrectly combining several days of data into a single day. The result was that multiple news outlets ran with headlines blaring that the Sunshine State had a “record-breaking 28,317 new cases of Covid-19” on Sunday, but that number was inaccurate. With the spread of misinformation, it is more important than ever that these statistics are captured and reported accurately.

Townhall, “Florida Department of Health Calls Out CDC for Screwing Up State's Covid Count,” Aug. 10, 2021 

Other than that, the story was accurate? Again, these numbers must be double checked. An August 12 correction in the Texas Tribune notes: “An earlier version of this story overstated the number of children who have been hospitalized in Texas recently with COVID-19. The story said over 5,800 children had been hospitalized during a seven-day period in August, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That number correctly referred to children hospitalized with COVID-19 since the pandemic began. In actuality, 783 children were admitted to Texas hospitals with COVID-19 between July 1 and Aug. 9 of this year”

The Texas Tribune, “Texas children and children’s hospitals are under siege from two viruses: RSV and COVID-19,” Aug. 12, 2021

WORST EXCUSE

David Mikkelson, co-founder of Snopes, published dozens of plagiarized articles on his site and attributed his behavior to his “lack of formal journalism experience” during an interview with BuzzFeed News where he said, “I didn't come from a journalism background. I wasn't used to doing news aggregation. A number of times I crossed the line to where it was copyright infringement. I own that."

BuzzFeed News, “The Co-Founder Of Snopes Wrote Dozens of Plagiarized Articles For The Fact-Checking Site,” Aug. 13, 2021  

GOOD EXAMPLE

After Andrew Cuomo’s resignation, incoming New York Gov. Kathy Hochul addressed Cuomo's decision saying, "Regarding his decision to step down, I believe it is appropriate and in the best interests of the state of New York. While it was not expected, it is a day for which I am prepared." We wish her the best.

CNN, “Incoming New York governor says she is ‘prepared’ to take new role,” Aug. 11, 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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