Dr. Dawg

Fisking Komen's non-apology apology

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We want to apologize to the American public for recent decisions that cast doubt upon our commitment to our mission of saving women’s lives.

“We misspoke ourselves. Let us make things perfectly clear.”

The events of this week have been deeply unsettling for our supporters, partners and friends and all of us at Susan G. Komen. We have been distressed at the presumption that the changes made to our funding criteria were done for political reasons or to specifically penalize Planned Parenthood. They were not.

Our original desire was to fulfill our fiduciary duty to our donors by not funding grant applications made by organizations under investigation. We will amend the criteria to make clear that disqualifying investigations must be criminal and conclusive in nature and not political. That is what is right and fair.

Your own presumption is outrageous. No politics involved? That’s Florida cottage land I won’t be buying. Only Planned Parenthood was penalized, under a new “rule” that oddly didn’t apply to Penn State, currently under federal investigation for sanctioning sexual abuse. And Penn State is not the only exception, by any means. Meanwhile your flimsy alibi keeps shifting: first it was the “rule,” then a change in funding policy, now it’s back to the “rule.”

Good to see that “rule” abolished, in any case, assuming it actually existed in the first place. What’s “right and fair” is pledging future support to Planned Parenthood after this year if PP continues to meet the current terms and conditions. What wouldn’t be “right and fair” is to invent new reasons from your current grab-bag to deny them future funding.

Our only goal for our granting process is to support women and families in the fight against breast cancer. Amending our criteria will ensure that politics has no place in our grant process. 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.

Planned Parenthood’s existing grants were never in question, so don’t pat yourselves on the back for not questioning them now. As for politics in the granting process—will you reverse your decision on stem cell research? (What’s that? I can’t hear you!)

It is our hope and we believe it is time for everyone involved to pause, slow down and reflect on how grants can most effectively and directly be administered without controversies that hurt the cause of women. We urge everyone who has participated in this conversation across the country over the last few days to help us move past this issue. We do not want our mission marred or affected by politics - anyone’s politics.

“Everyone?” What cheek. It’s obviously time for you to “pause, slow down and reflect,” given the probably irreparable damage you’ve done to your corporate brand. Over the past few days you’ve hemorrhaged public support, top-level executives, and affiliate goodwill.

Your mission has indeed been marred, by your own excursion into far-right politics—and please don’t tell us that the extremist ideology of Karen Handel, your newly-appointed senior vice president at Komen (who appointed her?) and the GOP connections of your founder Nancy Brinker have nothing, nothing to do with your lamentable decision. We’re very sure you do want to “move past” your recent acts of incompetence and cowardice, but don’t you go wagging your finger at those of us who protested your grotesque decision to defund breast screenings for indigent women.

Starting this afternoon, we will have calls with our network and key supporters to refocus our attention on our mission and get back to doing our work. We ask for the public’s understanding and patience as we gather our Komen affiliates from around the country to determine how to move forward in the best interests of the women and people we serve.

We extend our deepest thanks for the outpouring of support we have received from so many in the past few days and we sincerely hope that these changes will be welcomed by those who have expressed their concern.

Good grief. The nation erupts in fury at your cack-handed embrace of far-right lunacy, and you talk about an “outpouring of support?” That’s positively Orwellian.

As for your changes, let’s wait and see. Will PP get future funding? Will stem cell research be funded once again?

The problem with being under the spotlight, as you now know, is that the public gets to see all sorts of other problems, like your costly lawfare, paid for with donor dollars, against mom-and-pop charities, and your slick corporate franchising that places your brand on guns and ammo.

Your non-apology apology is noted. We know you’re sorry that you’ve received what could be a fatal blow. We know you’re sorry that the protests against your actions weren’t a one-day wonder. We know you’re heartily sorry that we were offended.

A real apology will come in the form of actions, not words. You’ve got our undivided attention now, and we’ll be watching. Good luck with your disappointed right-to-life allies, by the way, who will no doubt let their feelings be known. Planned Parenthood knows what that’s like. Maybe you can team up?

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This page contains a single entry by Dr. Dawg published on February 3, 2012 12:56 PM.

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