The Latest Komen Lie

I know we’re wall-to-wall Komen, but they’ve finally gotten around to addressing their critics. Komen President Nancy Brinker’s YouTube damage control video is full of half-truths and errors of omission, but I want to focus on one of them (at 1:25 in the video):

Wherever possible we want to grant to the provider who is actually providing the lifesaving mammogram.

The notion that a organization providing breast cancer screening must have mammogram equipment to save lives is, simply, horseshit. First, mammograms are not indicated for women under 40, unless they have a family history of breast cancer or other factors (less than 2% of the total). The piece of equipment needed to perform the type of breast examination recommended by the American Cancer Society for women under 40 is available at every Planned Parenthood clinic: a trained provider’s hands. Doctors and other providers find cancer every day using manual exams. Lives are saved every day because a woman had a breast examination at Planned Parenthood. Here are the stories of just a few of those women.

Second, here in Rochester, we have a world-class mammography facility, staffed by a set of physicians who specialize in nothing but breast examination and some limited treatment. Every woman I know who gets a mammogram gets it at this site. I know of no gynecologist or family practitioner who has a mammogram machine. To think that Komen would restrict its grants to only a few centers in every city, and ignore the opportunities available to provide more access to the thousands of practitioners providing first-line care, shows just how crazy Brinker’s justification is.

Brinker is using a right-to-life dog-whistle, based on the idea that the medical care provided by Planned Parenthood is somehow incomplete or substandard. By the time she’s done whistling, Planned Parenthood is going to double or triple the amount of money they have at hand to do breast exams, especially when people like Michael Bloomberg start throwing down cash.

61 replies
  1. 1
    geg6 says:

    You know, I detest Bloomberg, but good on him for this one.

  2. 2
    MikeJ says:

    Yeah, it’s a neat trick going from “breast exam” to “mammogram” and pretending that’s what they’d said all along.

  3. 3
    Cat Lady says:

    It’s the lying and the sneaky shit that SGK and the other wingers always pull around their bullshit that infuriates me, and it’s the tell that they know exactly that what they’re doing will be unpopular, which is why they always end up having to double down or walk it back or whine about context or try to shoot the messenger. They’re all a bunch of WATB bullies and cowards who don’t have the courage of their convictions in the light of day, because it’s about the sweet sweet tax exempt Benjamins.

  4. 4
    Bulworth says:

    “they’re being investigated and we don’t grant to orgs being investigated…”

    “they don’t actually diagnose the disease…”

    “the recession ate our money…”

    “abortion is icky…”

  5. 5
    beltane says:

    I think we’ve reached the point where we can safely say that anyone who donates to the Susan G. Koman Foundation now is doing so because they want to help pay for botox injections and new wardrobes for Nancy Brinker and her sister wingnuts on the board of directors.

  6. 6
    Jennifer says:

    One of the organizations Komen grants to is Penn State. I understand they have an investigation of some sort going on there…but so far, no loss of Komen funding.

  7. 7
    Jennifer says:

    @Bulworth: abortion is icky, but child rape is A-OK!

  8. 8
    The Moar You Know says:

    Way too little, way too late. The time for this would have been before the announcement of the defunding of Planned Parenthood.

    Damage control is an art, and one of the bedrock principles of it is to be prepared before damage happens. If not, you’re not practicing damage control, you’re just cleaning up a mess.

  9. 9
    muddy says:

    Getting any exam somewhere else besides PP makes it yet another appointment to have to make and keep. Generally these appointments are made ages in advance, if you work variable hours or have kids, the likelihood is that the appt will have to be rescheduled. Probably not at the top of the to do list, and falls off the radar.

    The yearly exam of everything at PP covers it at the same time, and is higher on the to do list because they won’t refill your birth control pills until you have your yearly appointment.

  10. 10
    dollared says:

    @Jennifer: nice!

  11. 11
    celticdragonchick says:

    Charles at LGF is hammering this story on Komen also.

    If you have a moment, also check out his expose on Ron Paul and his neo Nazi Stormfront friends.

  12. 12
  13. 13
    danimal says:

    I asked this on the Open Thread which no one will read now…If a Democratic congresscritter opened an investigation into the Komen Foundation, would Komen have to defund themselves until the investigation is complete?

  14. 14
    tofudog says:

    If you’d like other examples of women who have been helped by PP (not necessarily breast cancer patients) please see this Tumblr. Better yet, add your story or encourage others to.

  15. 15
    Culture of Truth says:

    Race From the Truth!

  16. 16
    JGabriel says:

    @danimal: Heh. Two minds, single thought. I asked the same thing here, in Zandar’s open thread.


  17. 17
    Princess says:

    They’re also banning funding any cancer research involving embryonic stem cells. So the notion that this isn’t part of the anti-choice, anti-woman Republican program is ludicrous.

  18. 18
    beltane says:

    It’s hard to believe Nancy Brinker was an ambassador to Hungary. In that interview with Andrea Mitchell she appeared to be anything but diplomatic.

  19. 19

    So much for that “not if they’re under investigation” lie, too. They just gave Penn State $7.5 million.

    Assholes. Pedophilia is fine but safe, legal abortion services for those who CHOOSE it? Nope.

  20. 20
    Ken says:

    Comments made in the earlier Komen posts make me wonder – is it because you can put a pink-ribbon sticker on a mammogram machine, but not on a doctor’s hands?

  21. 21
    Culture of Truth says:

    If not, you’re not practicing damage control, you’re just cleaning up a mess.

    Hell, they’re still creating one

  22. 22
    Satanicpanic says:

    Wow, just saw the Andrea Mitchell vs Nancy Brinker clip- to think, this woman was a paid diplomat. Under Bush, but still.

    *Damn, Beltane beat me to it!

  23. 23
    shortstop says:

    Brinker is using a right-to-life dog-whistle, based on the idea that the medical care provided by Planned Parenthood is somehow incomplete or substandard.

    She’s also willfully ignoring the reality of insurance inequality and how our medical system works. As you point out, no one gets a mammogram without a referral; no one simply walks into a radiology department on her own and asks for a mammo. Women with health insurance get those referrals from their doctors. Women without health insurance who can’t afford the going rate of physicians’ office appointments turn to Planned Parenthood, which gives them the mammo referrals if the manual exams warrant further investigation.

  24. 24
    SarahT says:

    Apologies if this was already mentioned in the previous hundreds of comments on John Cole’s previous Komen thread (that my Blackberry refuses to load), but I think it’s pretty funny (not that I condone this kind of thing. Much…) :

  25. 25
    dollared says:

    @Cat Lady: It’s very simple, and it’s not just about lying. It’s the voter registration bullshit, it’s the constant fighting to demonize and defang the institutions that represent the poor and working people, it’s the dirty tricks and ratfucking.

    Bottom line is that conservative policies are deeply, deeply unpopular and they know it. So they must 1) limit others’ rights to vote; 2)lie about their policies and the consequences; 3) exclude others from the political process; and 4) just plain cheat.

    The entire panoply is in on display in Wisconsin. Why? Because in a transparent universe with open voting registration, they would lose 60-40. Period.

  26. 26
    schrodinger's cat says:

    Since Obama was elected the right wingers are showing their true colors so far they have declared a war against

    1. Obama and all his initiatives, he can’t even get his nominees confirmed, even the ones that have won a Nobel Prize (Diamond)
    2. Women
    3. Black People
    4. Poor People
    5. Hispanic People
    6. Muslims
    7. Federal Government Employees
    8. Climate Scientists and Scientists in General
    9. Anyone with Union Representation

    Have I left anyone out. It is surprising that they keep getting elected.

  27. 27
    wrb says:

    Too cool.

    Now Komen Won’t Bow Down

    And Karen Handel is Bo Dollis!!

  28. 28
    Ken says:

    @Southern Beale: Well, you see, um…, they’re not giving it to the organization under investigation which is the football program, but to an entirely different organization which is doing medical research, and even thought they’re both part of the larger Penn State organization that’s OK because, um, Penn State will compartmentalize and only use the money for the research, because money’s not fungible. In this case.

  29. 29
    Jennifer says:

    $600,000 to an organization currently under politically-motivated investigation to perform breast cancer screenings for poor women? No can do.

    $7.5 million to an organization currently under investigation for a politically-motivated suppression of the facts about one of its staff members raping children on campus over a period of decades? No problem!

  30. 30
    trollhattan says:


    Haven’t watched the vids but the stills of her throw a strong Bachmann vibe.

  31. 31
    shortstop says:

    One thing I haven’t really seen addressed yet is how the scientific community is likely to react to all this. Judging from the feedback across the tubes, most of the people lauding the decision to defund PP are busily throwing around discredited and flawed studies: abortion causes breast cancer, the pill is a major carcinogen, etc. If SKG devolves into a fringe right organization supported mostly by scientific illiterates with religious axes to grind, are researchers going to want to be connected to them?

  32. 32
    Calouste says:


    American ambassadors, with the exception of a few major posts, aren’t diplomats, they are sinecures for campaign donors. In that regard, the USA has nothing on 18th century European monarchies.

  33. 33
    Rafer Janders says:


    Man, Little Green Footballs. Never thought I’d see the day that two of the leading lights of liberalism would be John Cole and Charles…..

  34. 34
    gwangung says:

    @shortstop: We all know the answer to that. (Mainly because scientists have gotten a lot of practice at this over the last few years).

  35. 35
    schrodinger's cat says:

    I just saw some of the Brinker video, why do GOP women have such outdated hair? I guess it goes with what is inside their head.

  36. 36
    danimal says:

    @JGabriel: Well, if I’m going to parrot another BJ commenter, I could do a whole lot worse than parroting you, JG. But I still reserve the right to call you a jackass if the need ever arises…

    I prefer my apolitical donations to be, well, apolitical. Komen has clearly chosen a political path, which is, of course, their right. But don’t lie to me about it; there are too many legitimate charities who will use my donations for their intended purpose.

  37. 37
    beltane says:

    @shortstop: My guess is that SGK has squandered whatever credibility they had in the scientific community. It is important to keep in mind that there were already concerns about the nature of SGK’s real agenda; their latest jihad against PP and stem-cell research will just confirm these suspicions.

    They are toast as far as being a mainstream cancer charity.

  38. 38
    shortstop says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: In the early part of the last century, women tucked pads under their hair to create happenin’ pompadours. I assume Brinker’s got a breast implant under hers.

    Too tasteless?

    Even for here?

  39. 39
    Bulworth says:

    More Komen responses in the cue:

    “Abortion and birth control cause breast cancer!”

    “Although this decision has nothing to do with abortion or politics the liberal democrat party and media hate us and are picking on us…”

    “We’re the victims here!”

  40. 40
    Maude says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:
    They are taking after the DOJ.
    They won’t reverse the tax break on offshoring jobs.

  41. 41
    beltane says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: I know. That hair is hideous. It looks like mine after a night of heavy drinking.

  42. 42
    shortstop says:

    @beltane: I am really going to enjoy watching them crash and burn into lunatic misfit status.

  43. 43
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @beltane: God knows they have enough money to afford a good stylist. I was also thinking of Callista and her hair.

  44. 44


    And yet they’re also happy to take money from Bank of America, also under investigation.

    Lots of things are fungible, it seems. Like, logic.

  45. 45
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    Have I left anyone out

    Gay people.

  46. 46
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @ThatLeftTurnInABQ: Yes, I have, sorry about that. Poor GOP, so many to hate, so little time…

    ETA: I guess everyone who is not a white straight male who is also rich is on the list.

  47. 47
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @ThatLeftTurnInABQ: Sorry about that. In short anyone who is not a straight white male with oodles of cash is on their hate list.

  48. 48
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    Poor GOP, so many to hate, so little time…

    I think it is more that they only love wealthy white males and everybody else is either a current or potential future hate target. Their problem is that there are so many categories of different sorts of people, different flavors of [NOT wealthy white male], people who most of the time are just plain invisible if you assume that [wealthy white male] = [normal], that every time they turn around up pops some new category of untermenschen who have to be added to the list.

    Heaven and Earth are full of more than is dreamt of in their philosophy.

  49. 49
    ABL 2.0 says:

    I know we’re wall-to-wall Komen

    i think a rimshot is appropriate here.

    yes? no? bueller?

  50. 50
    the fake fake al says:

    Is the the same org that gets baseball players to play with pink bats and pinks gloves during the season? She be interesting to see how MLB handles this. I would certainly boycott such a game if all is true.

  51. 51
    Roger Moore says:


    American ambassadors, with the exception of a few major posts, aren’t diplomats, they are sinecures for campaign donors.

    And I’ve heard a very good explanation for that: the US is important enough that all the real, high-level diplomacy takes place here between their ambassadors and the career diplomats at the State Department. We only have embassies and ambassadors in other countries because it would be insulting not to, not because we expect real diplomacy to happen there.

  52. 52
    becca says:


    You know Hungary has taken a worrisome hard-right turn lately. She seems to have left an impression.

  53. 53
    pseudonymous in nc says:


    to think, this woman was a paid diplomat. Under Bush, but still.

    That was a “thanks for the donations, now live in a Budapest mansion and host lots of parties” appointment. One of the postings where the career diplomats do the real work.

  54. 54
    Tom Hilton says:

    @danimal: I asked the same thing on Twitter. I think we should find out.

  55. 55
    Maus says:

    @the fake fake al: This is the ONLY pink charity. They invented the Kochian “Pinkwashing” (aka astroturfing for polluting/unhealthy companies) and sue other charities.

  56. 56
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    @Roger Moore:

    the US is important enough that all the real, high-level diplomacy takes place here between their ambassadors and the career diplomats at the State Department.

    That sounds about right: other countries send their most senior career diplomats to be ambassador in DC.

  57. 57
    Mnemosyne says:

    @the fake fake al:

    The MLB donates to multiple organizations for those games, so the way to go is to ask them to remove Komen as a beneficiary of the event, not to boycott the entire event. More money for the American Cancer Society!

  58. 58
    Roger Moore says:

    Which shows why it’s a good idea to diversify your charitable giving. That way if one of your charities turns out to be undeserving, you can cut them off and give more to the other guys while you look for a replacement. Of course it also increases the chance that you’ll have a problem, but it seems like you’ll come out ahead anyway.

  59. 59
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Roger Moore:

    I guarantee you that every big company that is partnered with Komen — especially the food companies — is carefully reading over their contracts to see if they can break them because their brand management departments have been shitting themselves since yesterday. Corporations DO NOT like controversy, especially food companies that want distracted moms to grab their products off the shelf without thinking too much about it.

    I think that Komen’s calculation was that Planned Parenthood would be the source of the controversy, because Komen’s board lives in Teabagger Land where everyone hates PP. But instead Komen managed to make themselves the source of the controversy, and they’re going to be losing corporate sponsors right and left.

    As I said before, couldn’t happen to a more deserving group of people.

  60. 60
    Debbie(aussie) says:

    I would just like to mention that here this little soc!al!st utopia we have free screenig for all woman , every two years (over 40 with history or) over 50.
    Have been reading all these posts, so unbelievably sad that abortion is so devicive. agree that it is about control of the wymens. Have cultral wars here too, but not to the same extent.

  61. 61
    Samara Morgan says:

    well… must admit that forcing poor and/or darkskinned women to birth more future democrats is a strange way of fending off the demographic timer.

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