I was about to write a post on this, but as usual, the faster and smarter front pagers beat me to it. My take is this–in the HuffPo column by Laura Bassett, both the Susan G. Komen For the Lure foundation, and the article’s writer Bassett, blame Planned Parenthood for SGKFTL’s own goal, with absolutely no evidence to back that up:
The author states, without attribution: <blockquote>The charity struggled to deal with the pressure, especially in a face-off against Planned Parenthood, an organization whose fine-tuned political team has experience in these high-pitched, high-stakes debates.</blockquote>
and then later in the column: <blockquote>”Komen’s not equipped to spend its days fighting political battles,” the source said. “Abortion is not our issue, and I think [leadership] tried to finesse a way out of it, and this investigation criteria was the solution. And it blew up in their faces. They were just naive in the face of [the] incredibly sophisticated Planned Parenthood operation.”</blockquote>
The columnist does say that the insider who gave her the information “was furious about the cave[in to PP]” but gives no context to the assertions that Planned Parenthood put a shiv into SGK.
As long as SGK can delude itself into thinking that they were mau-mau’ed by a very effective Planned Parenthood, they will continue this behavior, as will any other organization that learns that particular “lesson.” They are, along with their partners and friends in the conservative blogosphere, and apparently at the Huffington Post, working very hard to change the narrative of the story to one of bravely standing up to a shake down by a bunch of baby killers, only to have the rug pulled out from under them by those same baby killers rallying their baby-killing-loving supporters. Now perhaps, being a bear of very little brain, and liking honey too much, I didn’t notice the huge PR push by Planned Parenthood. I thought it looked like a huge number of women reacting to the betrayal by a charity that claimed to be all about women’s health, taking a huge shit all over another organization that is primarily about women’s health. But that is because I don’t suffer from the siege mentality that conservatives live under.
According to the Chunky Doughboy, SGK’s cutting of the funding for PP was ok because they don’t conduct mammography. I wonder when was the last time Chunky went in for a breast exam for his man boobs? Love how wingers conflate breast exams with mammograms. Idiots.
To those out to kill PP, the org itself is inherently evil. Thus whatever it does is by definition corrupt. It fought back, ipso facto, it conspired against those attacking it.
Komen is a non-profit. They can shut down and let their work be done by the American Cancer Society.
Or they can STFU and fund Planned Parenthood.
Women’s bodies and health are not divisible.
@schrodinger’s cat: Douthat’s position is, I presume, that those poor folks can simply visit their physicians and obtain the necessary reference. They can even do it while eating cake, if they like.
@Bullsmith: But did PP actually fight back? All I saw was them going “huh, what?!” and women across the country going all “Patrick Swayze in Road House” on SGK.
@Soonergrunt: No silly, it was the ebil MSM, that went against widdle pro-lifers. According to the god botherers, they are invisible to the media and the political establishment. If only..
@Soonergrunt: You’re right that we ladies in the field certainly made our shrill nagging voices heard, but PP did handle it very effectively from its end. They’re the ones who put out the press release alerting America to the defunding, and Cecile Richards was immediately and continuously on TV and radio explaining why this decision would hurt (and kill) women. PP didn’t miss a chance to get its message out consistently and convincingly.
In contrast, Komen did nothing for many, many hours before finally putting up a disastrous and non-credible defense on FB and its own site. Brinker didn’t even hit TV until well into the day after the story broke, and we all know how effective she was when she got there.
We should give PP credit for handling this perfectly, but you’re absolutely right that this wouldn’t have worked unless 80 percent of people who heard about the defunding reacted negatively.
If you want heads to role at SGK, make sure their corporate sponsors realize this is the tip of the anger from those angry at defunding PP.
80:1 negative comments on Yoplait’s FB page is a start and not the end of the kind of fear we need to strike into the hearts of corporations for crossing us.
The hard part is doing this without coming off like some shrill nut-job, which some protesters, such as Code Pink or PETA or whatever can come off as with attention grabbing stunts.
The protest has to be outreach to like minded folks, who aren’t aware how extreme right-wingers are, but don’t much go for publicity stunts.
There is no right-wing equivalent to copy this sort of left-wing action. The Right-wingers enjoy screaming and hollering and the people they are trying to reach respond effectively to that sort of posturing.
If one were cynical, one might hypothesize that for our current crop of reactionaries, an organization trying to pull off a politically driven grant funding decision run by reactionary incompetents, while lying about it, and then furiously back peddling after the truth gushes out for all to see, is entrapment by liberals.
BTW, whs that reactionary truth squad goofball been indicted yet for voter fraud?
That’s like saying you can’t see Tunch.
As long as SGK can delude itself into thinking that they were mau-mau’ed by a very effective Planned Parenthood
If that is part of what happened, good on PP, I say. Why should the right wing do all the mau-mauing, by God!
Culture of Truth
Poor, sad, naïve, unsophisticated, apolitical SKG… [ sobs ]
@gene108: Edit button gone again? Sigh.
I was going to add that what Komen calls “an incredibly sophisticated operation” consists mostly of PP people 1) telling a story engagingly without defensiveness or goalpost moving, and 2) making themselves fully available to media. Neither of these things should be rocket science to a gigantic, well-funded organization like Komen.
@Maude: Here is Rod Dreher lamenting about it.
I think it’s safe to say that Planned Parenthood has saved the lives of far more women over the years than the Susan G. Komen Foundation has. I’m not really sure why anyone at this point would continue to support an organization that is nothing more than a PAC for right-wing socialites and their husbands.
Personally, I don’t really mind if people come away with the impression that fucking with Planned Parenthood results in the deployment of a “fine-tuned political team” that “has experience in these high-pitched, high-stakes debates.”
That is awesome.
By the time they’re done pivoting, the SGK grants to PP will have been Capone/Chicago-style payoffs to feed PP’s protection racket. (“Nice pink nonprofit you’ve got there, we’d hate to see anything happen to it.”)
They’ll take a page from the GCC denialists and assert PP’s supporters are all in the pockets of “Big Abortion,” harvesting vast sums of money and power. It’s a neat trick if you can keep your BP below imminent explosion levels while watching it unfold.
Shorter SGK: Waaahhh! No fair! The liberals hit back!
I’d add NPR.
Heard an NPR piece about SGK that basically ignored the amount of money that went to “education” by stating they give millions to research and started the piece with an interview of a Komen breast screening center in Texas, which is solely funded by SGK, to highlight that without SGK that center would go belly up, so therefore liberals need to STFU already.
They did have a blurb from a scientist, who said SGK should give more money to preventive research rather than research into better treatments, but that really doesn’t address the issue about how much money goes for pink ribbons versus actual research.
Culture of Truth
Mitt Romney has called for a right-wing cancer fund so powerful no one will even think of challenging it.
Komen hired Ari Fleischer a few months back. The only reason to have an Ari Fleischer on your payroll is because you are a conservative organization that is drooling at the prospect of fighting some political battles.
The only people they are fooling in this talk about their naivete are themselves.
@Culture of Truth: Yes, all those mean, tough-talking sluts from Planned Parenhood are so horrible to be ganging up on those poor, sweet Susan G. Komen prom queens.
@gene108: Ok we should be polite while protesting, should we also bring totebags to the gunfight?
@shortstop: Thanks for the correction. But whatever PP did, it was very low key, or at least it seemed that way. I NEVER heard anything about a reaction from them in all the mess, and I do try to be involved and educated. Of course, being the slow brother on Balloon-Juice, I miss things. At least I got my shirt buttoned properly today.
The clearest sign that a person is probably right is their willingness to admit the possibility that they may be wrong.
@schrodinger’s cat: “Hey, we’re not playing tote bags here” – Mitt Romney.
One of my heroes. Very Zen.
Culture of Truth
“Sophisticated” = “can operate a computing device”
Karen in GA
Right-wingers don’t realize that it’s possible to get angry and speak up all by yourself, without someone else telling you what to think and how to react. So to them, the huge outcry must have been coordinated by Planned Parenthood; it couldn’t have been people learning about it, deciding all by themselves that it sucked, and taking it upon themselves to complain.
And of course, there’s their belief in their own bullshit. In their world, the majority of Americans think the same way they do; the only problem is those leftist fringe extremist freaks that run everything and keep getting in the way. (Seriously, in what other world would Ari Fleischer make any kind of living as a PR consultant?)
So there’s no way there could be any legitimate outcry against what they do.
In addition to the usual crap, there’s a relatively new tactic here, “we just want to avoid politics, so we’re doing what conservatives want.” There was another instance of this a month or so ago, but I can’t quite remember who it was (corporation, I think?)
This is important to watch for. I think we have an opportunity to keep another wingnut victim meme from gaining enough traction to become effective. The lesson should be learned in no uncertain terms: if you want to claim to be avoiding politics, don’t decide either way based on some customers/supporters/donors’ political views. Trying to “avoid” a political issue in a way that punishes the side conservatives want punished is actually jumping into politics with both feet, and should be loudly and repeatedly called out as a laughable lie.
In future cases, it should help to be able to point to Komen, where it was a really obvious lie.
Culture of Truth
@beltane: Those Saul Alinskly sluts! Just like those wily Acorn thugs and those dirty brainy Mexicans!
@Soonergrunt: I’m with you on missing the push from PP. From what I read PP started with some interviews and then went largely silent in public. Whatever they did behind the scenes didn’t leave any obvious finger prints for my aging eyes to see.
ETA I have assumed that the strong arm accusation was just an attempt to vilify PP without much basis in fact.
Privatize the Profits! Socialize the Costs!
Well, like most people, when I give money to a charity, I’m really hoping to find one whose CEO makes half a million dollars a year—!!!
One staffed by Republicans, which pays huge consulting fees to former Bush administration members—!!!!
Seriously, after all this publicity, can anyone actually believe that this @#$% grifters foundation hasn’t scored a spectacular goal into their own net?
Especially once people have a chance to watch and talk about the new Canadian film “Pink Ribbon Inc.”
But, hey if the rightwingers really want to keep making a big fuss about this, when plain common sense might lead ‘em to STFU— then all I can say is, God bless 'em—- long may they keep flogging this dead, smelly horse!
@Soonergrunt: No, actually they didn’t exactly “fight back” or attack. I’m on PP’s mailing list and the first thing I got from them was a “Thanks to all our supporters who are speaking up for us” email.
Komen’s position sounds familiar: We are stunningly incompetent even though we’re paid hefty professional salaries and therefore everything bad that happens to us is someone else’s fault. Because competence is too much to demand of us.
This Wapo article has the reporter bending herself into a pretzel trying to justify the rightwing claim that the press wasn’t fair to Komen. One simple difference she saw: In a huge public controversy and PR nightmare, Komen didn’t return calls from the press and PP did. That’s amazingly incompetent.
Also incompetent is Komen’s multiple contradictory claims for the reason they defunded the PP grants. That’s about all they did say for several days and the contradictions made it obvious they were lying.
Komen doesn’t do any research or health care directly. All they do is collect money and spend less than half of it funding the people who actually do research and health care. Their management’s only responsibility is marketing and PR and they are so bad at it.
Are you maybe thinking about the companies that pulled their ad funding for the _American Muslims_ TV series?
People lining up outside a Planned Parenthood office or some other OB/GYN’s office screaming their heads off about abortions to try and intimidate potential customers floats the Right’s boat.
It doesn’t turn off people, who are inclined to be against abortion anyway.
The same with the shouting and screaming from the Tea Party in August 2009.
If you’re going to make this fight a broader fight about reproductive rights, such as birth control, and women’s health in general, I don’t think those tactics are going win people over.
Bombing an abortion clinic and/or murdering doctors doesn’t reduce support from the anti-abortion side.
Bombing SGK’s office would probably be a turn-off to potential supporters, same with people bullying people outside SGK offices, the way the anti-abortion folks have done for decades outside PP and OB/GYN offices.
I honestly have no idea how to build on this and really beat back the right-wingers, who want to make sex only about popping out babies (for women, at least), but I don’t think we’re going to succeed by matching the nastiness on the Right.
The people we want to get interested wouldn’t respond to it.
@Humanities Grad: Yeah, that was it! Thanks.
Going by the photograph accompanying the HuffPo story on Komen, that Karen Handel will be played in the movie version by Rosie O’Donnell.
Well, I found out about this, and followed the breaking story, and sent money to PP in Karen Handel’s name, through TBogg over at FDL. So obviously, this was a DFH plot cooked up by PP and Jane Hamsher, with help from George Soros and Saul Alinsky’s reanimated corpse. Also, ACORN.
PP did fight back resourcefully, as noted above, but it was not hard for them to do so on simple clean terms. The story is about a cancer charity deciding to put anti-abortion ahead of its cancer fighting mission. The big mistake right out of the box by Komen was its phony “investigations” criteria for defunding, rather than admitting to an anti-abortion agenda. It is hard to defend yourself when you are obviously lying right out of the box.
The other point is that despite the right wing crap to the contrary, a majority in this country support choice, and clearly do not support destroying PP because of abortion. Komen put itself in the awkward position of having to defend that position, and having to do so by sacrificing its core cancer fighting mission in order to support anti-abortion forces re PP.
I would posit the following. Handel was able to sell the right wing agenda re abortion to Komen by selling it internally as simply a change in grant criteria based on “investigations”. That did not fool some Komen people, who complained and one of whom promptly resigned. The others stupidly did not anticipate the backlash, or wrongly believed that the fig leaf would work.
And ironically, Handel was probably successful internally at Komen in part because it was the right wing thugs chasing PP that made it a political hot potato, and enabled Handel to persuade risk averse people at Komen to distance itself from PP based on the “investigations” criteria. That dishonest posture sowed the seeds for disaster, and made pushback by PP easy. Nothing but “fail” in every aspect of the Handel strategy at Komen.
Another Halocene Human
Bombing an abortion clinic and/or murdering doctors doesn’t reduce support from the anti-abortion side.
Don’t be so sure of that.
ditto. PP has been forced to become well versed in how to mobilize their constituents because they have been under attack for the last 20 years or so. they have learned that the best offense and defense is to serve their communities well and keep them educated and updated on issues that are important to their constituents. In other words PP knows its not about them, their bottom line or their branding. Oh, they aren’t mean bullies either, looking for a fight.
And see this polling from DKos/PPP:
Daily Kos/PPP survey: Damage done to Komen brand
Plot? Only scratching the surface.
Alien UFO pimps from the Dark Side, just trying to get Mexican drugs across the border so that the abortionists can seduce and coerce the Standard White Christians into buying their sexy paraphanelia (bras, and gay sex stuff!) and lies. Then they fund the anti-gun gun lobby, and clone more of Satan’s abortion doctors. Clear as the nose on my face.
@jnfr: Seems like including that information when I re-write to corporate sponsors might be helpful.
pseudonymous in nc
Dear wingnuts: if you dislike Planned Parenthood’s ability to do rapid-response, stop bombing their clinics.
If Komen loses funding from libs, they are done. Among conservatives, 51% disapprove of cancer screening through PP for low income women.
What does this even mean? Who said anything about bombs. We have to relentless and organized and not become complacent because of this win. That’s all I meant.
I think I said this before, but IMHO Komen had a pretty good strategy for dealing with the matter of how to address right-to-lifers’ objections to funding Planned Parenthood. They just COMPLETELY misjudged the prevalence of that complaint in the general population.
Commenting at Balloon Juice since 1937
They’re always the victims.
I don’t care if heads roll at Komen. Let them watch their donations drop if they continue to do this. Based on their statement, funding for PP is hardly guaranteed next time around, they are “eligible” to apply for it.
Yeah, because with an “anonymous source” spreading the story, you know that it was *true*, and not just, you know, a planted story where the Komen foundation wants people to think that they believe they were sandbagged by Planned Parenthood. I mean, it’s not like that story hasn’t been winging around the rightwinger blogs for a few days.
Folks, I’m sorry, but please, let’s have a little proper cynicism here? We get to make whatsername a brave little toaster, standing up to everyone wishing she would resign, and we’ve got the big old meanie-poopieheads Planned Parenthood being so vicious and we have an anonymous source bringing up the issue of abortion, to keep the idea in the news. Oh, yes, and they’ve received threats of violence! You see how unstable “those people” who support Planned Parenthood are?
@shortstop: Komen’s misstep is an inevitable result of the contraction of conservative belief and discussion into an insular paranoid band. “What do you mean, people out there don’t also think Planned Parenthood is the devil! Everyone I talk to does! This must be a PP astroturf operation!”
Shorter right wing whiners:
They sent out press releases, tweets, and emails to their supporters telling their side of the story. This is the rough equivalent of PZ Myers mentioning an on-line poll dealing with atheism. They don’t really need to tell anyone what to do beyond that, because their listeners get the point.
This is a major strategy of the right wing: bullying people into taking their side with the threat of a major PR shitstorm. If the left doesn’t have an equivalent ability to create PR problems, it looks as if taking the right’s side is avoiding politics while taking the left’s side is courting them. If we want to solve the problem, we have to get to be as good at pushing back as they are at pushing forward, so people know they can’t save themselves from a PR nightmare by backing down. More positively, you can see that as us defending them from right wing attacks, but it works out about the same either way.
Needs to be highlighted. I think this is a big part of what we’re dealing with. It’s how defunding PBS becomes “avoiding politics”. It’s how replacing government with private entities becomes “avoiding politics”. There’s no such thing as “avoiding politics” unless you avoid people altogether.
I’m just fillin’ out forms for matching grants at the nonprofit I founded and continue to work for and thought it might be of interest to people ‘outside the industry’ to know what big matching fund donors like Google require of 501c3 orgs to whom they make grants. Google requires a signed affidavit that the grantee organization will only use the funds to ‘support the primary objective’ (read: official mission) of the organization, and ‘furthermore, this organization will not discriminate against any person or group on the basis of age, political affiliation, race, national origin, ethnicity, gender, disability, sexual orientation or religious belief.”
Komen no doubt signed hundreds of these, all the while being out of compliance with the legal requirements for their 501c3 status. It’s not the ‘personal choice’ of a ‘private organization’ to break the law. As Karen Handel might say ‘cry me a freaking river.’
@Brachiator: most charities would be non-profit, no? The alternative seems silly.
Here’s a 2010 study of CEO salary (using only 2008 data, hmm). The link goes to a 228 page PDF.
– They looked at 3000 charities
– Median salary just under 150K
– That didn’t vary significantly by type of organization
– 14 charities paid their CEO more than a million
– 106 charities paid them between 0.5 and 1 million, matching Komen.
As far as I’m concerned, the best reason to continue to be against Komen isn’t abortion rights issue, but the commonplace observation that they’re not very good at their stated goal. They make money by helping companies (and consumers) feel good about themselves, then they very inefficiently dribble the money around, paying their CEO a large multiple of what other charity CEOs make.
Sure hope FYWP doesn’t mess up the formatting of this comment.