The Komen Debacle - Don't Be Fooled By Doublespeak!

by: Steve M

Thu Feb 02, 2012 at 10:21:57 AM EST



Progressives and other supporters of women's health have been disappointed and angered by the politically-motivated decision by the Susan G. Komen Foundation to cut off funding to Planned Parenthood for breast cancer screening, prevention, and screening services.  In many poor and rural communities, Planned Parenthood is the only option for women to obtain these lifesaving services.

(If you want to support the Breast Health Emergency Fund established by Planned Parenthood in response to these events, here is a secure donation link.)

In a glimmer of good news, it was widely reported yesterday (originating, I think at the Huffington Post), that the Connecticut chapter of Susan G. Komen had broken with the national decision and would continue to fund Planned Parenthood.  The Boston Globe appeared to follow suit.  Perhaps other affiliates would follow this courageous move, women's health supporters thought.

Only one problem with the courageous move.  It didn't happen.  Follow me after the jump to see how many good people were fooled.  

Steve M :: The Komen Debacle - Don't Be Fooled By Doublespeak!
The most important thing is to understand what actually happened to Planned Parenthood's funding.  In PP's own words:

In the last few weeks, the Komen Foundation has begun notifying local Planned Parenthood programs that their breast cancer initiatives will not be eligible for new grants (beyond existing agreements or plans).

That's easy enough to follow, right?  No new grant applications will be accepted as long as Planned Parenthood remains "under investigation."  (As most people now know, the "investigation" is nothing more than a demand for documents made by a single Republican legislator.)  Existing grants will continue until they run out, but no new applications will be accepted as long as the investigation remains open.  That's the new policy that Komen just now happened to coincidentally adopt.

Now, let's look at what the "courageous" Connecticut affiliate actually announced, as posted on its Facebook page and reported by the Huffington Post.

The decision regarding the funding of Planned Parenthood was made by Susan G. Komen for the Cure National Headquarters. Susan G. Komen for the Cure Connecticut enjoys a great partnership with Planned Parenthood, and is currently funding Planned Parenthood of Southern New England. We understand, and share, in the frustration around this situation. We hope that any investigation prohibiting Planned Parenthood from receiving Komen grants is promptly resolved.

Quite simply, this is not an expression of defiance of the national Susan G. Komen organization.  Connecticut says it is currently funding Planned Parenthood - but the national organization never said current funding would be cut off.  It just said no new grant applications would be accepted.  When the current grant runs out this June, there will be no more funding.  Unless you attach great significance to Connecticut's statement that it "shares in the frustration" (in my experience, corporate PR-speak which means "gosh, we really wish we could help, but we won't"), there is no news here.  In fact, they acknowledge that the so-called investigation "prohibits Planned Parenthood from receiving Komen grants."

Unfortunately, many people have been tricked by the doublespeak.  Just take a look at some of the comments from the Facebook page for the Connecticut affiliate:

Thank you for continuing to support Planned Parenthood in its mission to provide healthcare to women!

Thank you for standing up.

The only affiliate who was gone against National headquarters and has pledged to continue to support Planned Parenthood of Connecticut and work with the organization to save lives!

But as we have seen, the CT affiliate is not actually doing anything differently.  There will be no new funding for Planned Parenthood, which is precisely what the new national policy says.  Let's remember, even the national Susan G. Komen organization claims to think the world of Planned Parenthood and claims that it wishes it could continue funding PP if it weren't for that goshdarned new policy:

"While it is regrettable when changes in priorities and policies affect any of our grantees, such as a long-standing partner like Planned Parenthood, we must continue to evolve to best meet the needs of the women we serve and most fully advance our mission," the statement said.

To be clear, I do not question the heart of the CT affiliate and its officers.  For all I know, they understand the critical role PP plays in women's health and they completely disagree with the national decision.  Perhaps they truly wish they could continue issuing new grants to PP.  But I do question their honesty when they lead people to believe they will defy the national decision and continue funding Planned Parenthood.  Shame on them for the doublespeak.  We can only guess at how many donations have been made to the Connecticut affiliate in the past 24 hours to support them for a courageous action they didn't actually take.

Unless and until there is evidence that Connecticut or any other affiliate will defy the national policy and continue issuing new grants to Planned Parenthood, even against the will of the national organization - and I have no idea whether this is even theoretically possible - all the carefully-crafted expressions of "frustration" will make no difference in the bottom line.

Again, here is the secure donation link to support Planned Parenthood.  If you want to make a positive difference in women's health, they need your support now more than ever.

Tags: (All Tags)
Print Friendly View Send As Email

Great to have you back Steve (2.00 / 10)
...and an urgent important diary to boot.  

The p***artist formerly known as 'Brit'

Steve! (2.00 / 9)
Great to see your face. How is the world in your world?

John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."

Hi friends (2.00 / 11)
It was better before I heard about this issue.  What a sad development on many levels.

"Economics is not a morality play." -Paul Krugman

[ Parent ]
Mr. Steve M in da house! (2.00 / 8)
Very good to see you, Steve...and with a diary on a topic that has had my household raging for a couple days now.

My wife and I both have family members who are breast cancer survivors and we have donated both time and money to Susan G Komen for the Cure.

No more.

Any monies will now be added to what we already donate to Planned Parenthood, and any hours will be given to another local charity. I am so disgusted with them...and saddened...but, mostly just plain disgusted.

Arrrghh...this type thing just enrages me and it seems that there has been an onslaught of it the past couple of years. Republicans just can't seem to leave women alone...it is sick and ignorant and has become a major, if not THE major, part of their Party Platform. Demean, Dehumanize, Disrespect Women...it is Disgusting.

Thank you for writing on it, hopefully the outcry at their idiocy will lift their blinders. They have taken something precious and politicized it. Bunch of ------>fill in nasty foul namecalling here<------

Hope you and yours are well, Steve...you have been missed. /grin

Photobucket


They have taken something precious and politicized it. (2.00 / 6)
They have taken something precious and politicized it. Bunch of ------>fill in nasty foul namecalling here<------

They are a Bunch of Modern-Day Republicans.

Believe me, I don't think that Democrats are angels.  There are some fine, sane, Democrats, and there are some snakes.

But from an institutional point of view, the GOP has sought to exploit differences that should not be used for political purposes, e.g.,

the Southern Strategy, which was all about race, and which continues to yield fruit for the GOP;

difference in sexual orientation;

differences in religion.

They have cooked up a toxic brew, and now they have been forced to drink from it.  Let's hope that this is their Pickett's Charge.

Republicans like Everett Dirksen, Nelson Rockefeller, and Edward Brooke would be shocked by today's GOP.  Even Barry Goldwater would tell them to go to Hell.

What's the over/under on how long Karen Handel will last in her present position?


[ Parent ]
Why, is she still there? (2.00 / 3)


John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."

[ Parent ]
Why, is she still there? (2.00 / 3)
Yep, she's still there.

That leads to the questions:

"Why is she still there?"

and

"Why the Hell was she hired in the first place?"


[ Parent ]
Well, the episode reaffirms my faith in America. (2.00 / 4)
Spontaneous experiments in douchebag management.

It's like a college experiment in social dynamics. Proof provided: you cannot get away with douchebaggery just because everyone likes you.

John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."


[ Parent ]
One of the more helpful analyses I've seen (2.00 / 3)
from a local perspective kind of gets at your last sentence:  Dallas Observer article.

If religion means a way of life, and life's necessities are food, clothing, and shelter, then we should not separate religion from economics. - Malcolm X

[ Parent ]
Good find. (2.00 / 3)
She is exactly right:

It was incredibly stupid for Brinker to think she could lay a big old whack on Planned Parenthood and not get bitten. But look, this may be painful for us as Texans, but for us as Americans it's all good.

Especially because we're here in Dallas, we may get the feeling on any given day that the world is ruled by people like Perry, Brinker, Harold Simmons, the lot of them -- our local Sultans of Swiftboating. We need to remind ourselves that these people are not even representative of our own town, which has been trending progressively Obamacrat for years.

The really good news is this: They take that junk out on the national stage, these people go up like spit on a griddle. Maybe our nation isn't totally crazy yet. Personally, next time I start getting all worried about some right-wing super PAC raising a kabillion dollars, I'm going to ask myself: "Yeah, but is it a super stupid PAC?"

That, certainly is true. The rejoinder might be to point at the silliness that in fact does survive on the national stage. I would argue that, too, is only an artifact of our digestive processes.

What makes America great is not our skin color or education or even some set of skills. We may have been mostly pale and may have been mostly farmers or manufacturers, but those aren't the reasons this country stands out among its peers. What makes America great is the fact that we tolerate the very tawdriness that we and others see as our downfall. Tawdriness in all its forms is a part of being human, and in America it is tolerated in a certain way and to a certain extent.

We may not be the fastest or smartest kid in class, but we pay attention. And we learn.

John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."


[ Parent ]
Thanks for clarifying CT's position. (2.00 / 7)
It did seem odd that a chapter could buck the headquarters like that.

This whole thing does have a huge benefit.  I'm like a lot of people who hadn't really paid much attention to SGK, just knew them through the pink ribbons.  I have some socks and I bought a sparkly ribbon pin and a couple of other things because my mother is a breast cancer victim.  I did not know that Nancy Brinker is a long-time Republican who is apparently anti-choice and that the Board has been quietly biding its time and apparently decided the time was ripe to unveil their anti-choice agenda in the guise of hiring Karen Handel who during her run for the GA Governor's office pledged to defund PP.  She lost the primary but got her result in the way she could.

"When Fascism comes to America, it will come wrapped in teh stupid and waving a gun" ~ Esteev on Wonkette


fwiw, this came across my twitter ... (2.00 / 6)
RT @YoplaitYogurt: Yoplait was not involved in decisions to change the Susan G Komen grant process. Q's/concerns should be directed to Komen

I went to Yoplait's twitter page and it is getting hammered for continuing SGK sponsorship.

"When Fascism comes to America, it will come wrapped in teh stupid and waving a gun" ~ Esteev on Wonkette


My tweet to Yoplait complete with typo :( (2.00 / 6)
Elisabeth @elisabeth1518

@YoplaitYogurt change in the SGK grant process not yours; change is sponsorship is.

And, I'll give them this much: they answered back quite quickly (even if it was fairly canned):

Yoplait Yogurt @YoplaitYogurt

@elisabeth1518 We truly value fan feedback and we are absolutely listening. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, more: ow.ly/8QrVD



"When Fascism comes to America, it will come wrapped in teh stupid and waving a gun" ~ Esteev on Wonkette

[ Parent ]
Heh (2.00 / 6)

Susan G. Komen abandons women with cancer almost as fast as Newt Gingrich does.



[ Parent ]
Normally I'm not a fan of hacking but ... (2.00 / 3)
http://www.happyplace.com/1394...

I can be "bought" with teh funny.

"When Fascism comes to America, it will come wrapped in teh stupid and waving a gun" ~ Esteev on Wonkette


Interestingly... (2.00 / 7)
The Komen organisation, which looks like a very slick money factory, with an ex-Bush appointee with a career in health care marketing as CEO pulling down a cool $500k a year, spent something like 29% on overhead in 2010.  And their 37% ($140M) "education" spend looks like a potential junket-bucket too.

Planned Parenthood spent 12% on overhead in the same period (pp 6-7) and had no apparent slush fund.

In a sensible world Planned Parenthood would be getting $389M a year in donations and Komen would be under investigation in Congress.  Trust Republicans to hoover up Americans' hard-earned dollars and treat themselves well.


asdf (2.00 / 6)
Photobucket

Earth is the best vacation place for advanced clowns. --Gary Busey
 


[ Parent ]
I bought frozen corn this pm. (2.00 / 5)
Package had a pink ribbon but it was for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.  So now not only do we need to read the ingredients but the sponsors, too.

"When Fascism comes to America, it will come wrapped in teh stupid and waving a gun" ~ Esteev on Wonkette

[ Parent ]
Honestly, it looks like defunding PP might be one of the (2.00 / 6)
least objectionable thing SGK has done in recent years.

"When Fascism comes to America, it will come wrapped in teh stupid and waving a gun" ~ Esteev on Wonkette

[ Parent ]
Yeah... (2.00 / 5)
I was slow to pick up on this story because of my election obsession but it is interesting to note they have basically flushed a twenty-year old brand down the toilet in less than twenty-four hours.  The Atlantic published a few insider interviews which lead one to believe it was a calculated move specifically targeting Planned Parenthood.  And these Right wing types always overestimate crony politics vs the cleansing sunlight of the Internet when its attention is aroused.

Stuff them, they were just skimming the cream off the top of their donations anyhow, better it just goes straight to Planned Parenthood.  Komen was just a marketing outfit with their hooks in a very lucrative donor pool offering "pinkwashing" services to corporate partners.

But the jig is up now.  This will join New Coke in the annals of marketing stupid.


[ Parent ]
Komen was just a marketing outfit (2.00 / 7)
Komen was just a marketing outfit with their hooks in a very lucrative donor pool offering "pinkwashing" services to corporate partners.

Pretty good gig if you can get it... and are less than fully endowed in the scruples department.

This will join New Coke in the annals of marketing stupid.

No doubt this will become a textbook case in PR/communications/political-science/disaster-management courses.

Heckuva job, Komen!

http://www.dailykos.com/story/...


[ Parent ]
For Example... (2.00 / 5)
This film, serendipitously, is just about to be released.  Ooops:



[ Parent ]
Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaannnnnnnnnnnnnnd (2.00 / 6)
They back off:

http://news.blogs.cnn.com/2012...

For now.  Left themselves some room to maneuver in the weasel words, though:

"We will continue to fund existing grants, including those of Planned Parenthood, and preserve their eligibility to apply for future grants, while maintaining the ability of our affiliates to make funding decisions that meet the needs of their communities," the group said.


If it were done when 'tis done, then 'twere well it were done subjunctively.

Sounds like they hope that by the time they deny (2.00 / 6)
PP in the future no on will be looking.

"When Fascism comes to America, it will come wrapped in teh stupid and waving a gun" ~ Esteev on Wonkette

[ Parent ]
No one was looking this time (2.00 / 8)
It's not as if this controversy happened because Komen made a big announcement that they would no longer fund Planned Parenthood.  It happened because Komen quietly informed PP of the "new policy" and PP proceeded to scream bloody murder.  From a public relations standpoint, PP actually handled this situation masterfully.

6 months from now, if Komen tries to deny PP's next round of grant applications for transparently BS reasons... PP will scream bloody murder again.  And then Komen's PR nightmare will start up all over again.

"Economics is not a morality play." -Paul Krugman


[ Parent ]
As well it should (2.00 / 6)
One hopes the ideologues behind this bullshit have learned a lesson.

Though I won't be holding my breath.

If it were done when 'tis done, then 'twere well it were done subjunctively.


[ Parent ]
Fail (2.00 / 6)
Now they've got the anti-choice cohort angry.  It's a lose-lose for them and serves them right.  And their corporate partnerships are probably being reviewed in boardrooms across America; and rightly so.  Consumerism trumps partisanship.

[ Parent ]
and now we find Ari Fleischer's got his paws in this. (2.00 / 6)


"When Fascism comes to America, it will come wrapped in teh stupid and waving a gun" ~ Esteev on Wonkette

[ Parent ]
I am shocked, shocked. (2.00 / 6)


[ Parent ]
At the end of the day (2.00 / 9)
I will give the affiliates a measure of credit here.  Their expressions of disagreement with the national organization proved to be more than just words.  The backlash from affiliates, corporate partners, and of course donors and the public just proved to be too much.

This was really something to see.  Looks like we can call it a win for the good guys.

"Economics is not a morality play." -Paul Krugman


.... (2.00 / 7)
The backlash from affiliates, corporate partners, and of course donors and the public just proved to be too much.

...and saucy independent citizens. ;~)

Good work!

John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."


[ Parent ]
Yes WE can. n/t (2.00 / 7)


Just because they are posting on a progressive site doesn't make them progressives. - John Allen

[ Parent ]
And the house has dropped on the wicked witch (2.00 / 5)
Karen Handel has resigned.

http://www.cnn.com/2012/02/07/...

If it were done when 'tis done, then 'twere well it were done subjunctively.


Seems like she's going to throw SGK under the bus on (2.00 / 5)
the way out.  I've read that she turned down a severance package that likely would have prevented her from talking and she's meeting with the press this afternoon.

She's also saying that the decision was made prior to her arrival at Komen (April) which was before Stearns started his investigation (September).  So Handel's either lying now or Komen knew about the investigation months ahead of time.  Handel also says the Board fully approved the move in order to distance itself from any other agency involved in controversy which points directly at PP.  All this tells us what we already knew: Komen (the Board and officials) targeted PP and it was political.

"When Fascism comes to America, it will come wrapped in teh stupid and waving a gun" ~ Esteev on Wonkette


[ Parent ]
Woof. (2.00 / 2)
News cycle, on.

John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."

[ Parent ]
Search




Advanced Search
Menu

Make a New Account

Username:

Password:



Forget your username or password?


Blog Roll
Angry Bear
Angry Black Lady
Balloon Juice
Black Kos
Booman Tribune
Charles P. Pierce
Crooks and Liars
Daily Kos
Five Thirty Eight
Huffington Post
Juan Cole
Maddow Blog
P.M. Carpenter
Political Wire
RumpRoast
Scholars & Rogues
Smartypants
Stonekettle Station
Talking Points Memo
The Field
Washington Monthly
Wonkette
Moose With Blogs
Atdleft
Barr
BorderJumpers
BTchakir
Canadian Gal
Charles Lemos
Cheryl Kopec
Curtis Walker
Douglas Watts
Hubie Stubert
Intrepid Liberal
ItStands
Janicket
JoeTrippi
John Allen
LibraryGrape
MichaelEvan
National Gadfly
Peter Jukes
Senate Guru
Zachary Karabell




Back to Top

Posting Guidelines  |  FAQ  |  Privacy Policy  |  Contact the Moose  |  Contact Congress
Powered by: SoapBlox