Nancy Brinker, the CEO of the Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation and sister of the late Ms. Komen, spent most of yesterday telling journalists that her organization had made the right decision is their move to stop providing money to Planned Parenthood for breast cancer screenings. And, she crowed, the Komen foundation was receiving plenty of new donations.
But as Brinker was claiming that things were never better, the blogosphere and mainstream media were having a heyday shining a light on the charity. Suddenly people were learning things about the hard-line right-wingers who have been quietly moving into positions of power at Komen. Suddenly the public was learning that Komen was also no longer funding stem-cell research. Suddenly people knew that the sanctimonious Ms. Brinker was hauling in personal salary and benefits of a half-a-million dollars a year from the "charity." Suddenly people were talking seriously about boycotting the corporate sponsors of Komen for the Cure.
Today Ms. Brinker issued an apology to Planned Parenthood saying that the decision to quit funding their breast cancer screening program had not been political in nature. She said they had reworked their policy about groups under investigation and would no long penalize groups who were only being subjected to political investigations. And, she apologized to Planned Parenthood and said that they would now be eligible to submit new grant requests in the future. (Of course, the same group of right-wing zealots who made the decision to quit giving money to Planned Parenthood will be deciding which grants get approved - so it remains unclear whether anything has really changed or not.)
But it was nice that she apologized.
That apology, however, has now stirred up the conservatives who were busy yesterday giving money to Komen. And many of the liberals are still pissed as well. All-in-all it probably wasn't Komen's best week.
The Komen foundation hurt itself with the hard right and the hard left, as well as with the general public. It clearly lost all the way around. Planned Parenthood, on the other hand, came out smelling like a big red rose. The group had been receiving about $600,000 a year from Komen for breast cancer screenings, but this senseless action by Ms. Brinker's group stirred up many Americans to donate to Planned Parenthood. Net result: over $3 million in new donations!
Thank you, Nancy. Thank you very much!