Topic: Media Research Center
In a March 23 Media Research Center item, Kyle Drennen wrote that NBC's Brian Williams "touted the handiwork of Planned Parenthood's vicious attacks against the Susan G. Komen foundation." What were these "vicious attacks" by Planned Parenthood? Drennen doesn't say -- perhaps because there weren't any.
For instance, here's a Feb. 1 Los Angeles Times article quoting Planned Parenthood officials after Komen decided to cut off funding to Planned Parenthood clinics:
"We had the sense this was coming and that they were under pressure," said Sue Dunlap, chief executive of Planned Parenthood Los Angeles. "I find this really disappointing. I think when women's health is more of a political conversation than a conversation about healthcare and taking care of people, then we've gone too far."
Officials for Planned Parenthood Federation of America said they learned of Komen's new stance on funding late last year and asked the Komen board of directors for a meeting to resolve any issues or questions related to funding. The meeting did not take place, said Cecile Richards, the federation's president.
"We are alarmed and saddened that the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation appears to have succumbed to political pressure," Richards said in a statement. "Our greatest desire is for Komen to reconsider this policy and recommit to the partnership on which so many women count."
Critical? Sure. "Vicious"? Not so much. Same with a statement from Richards a few days later:
"In recent weeks, the treasured relationship between the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation and Planned Parenthood has been challenged, and we are now heartened that we can continue to work in partnership toward our shared commitment to breast health for the most underserved women. We are enormously grateful that the Komen Foundation has clarified its grantmaking criteria, and we look forward to continuing our partnership with Komen partners, leaders and volunteers. What these past few days have demonstrated is the deep resolve all Americans share in the fight against cancer, and we honor those who are at the helm of this battle.
"Planned Parenthood has been a trusted partner with the Komen Foundation in early cancer detection and prevention services. In particular, Planned Parenthood helps the Komen Foundation reach vulnerable populations - low-income women, African-American women, and Latinas - especially in rural areas and underserved communities where Planned Parenthood health centers are their only source of health care. With Komen Foundation grants, over the past five years, Planned Parenthood health centers provided nearly 170,000 clinical breast exams and more than 6,400 mammogram referrals. With the outpouring of support over the past week, even more women in need will receive lifesaving breast cancer care."
Again, nothing "vicious" there. Indeed, one could argue that there was no incentive for Planned Parenthood to be vicious because it wanted to continue to receive Komen's funding, and vicious rhetoric would have alienated Komen officials. As it turned out, Komen eventually reversed its decision.