NBC: 'Soiled' Komen Foundation Trying to 'Restore Faith' After Planned Parenthood 'Controversy'

On Thursday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams eagerly touted ongoing trouble for the nation's largest breast cancer charity: "...the controversy involving the Susan G. Komen Foundation has soiled one of the great names and best-known brand names in all of charity....it was the symbol of the fight against breast cancer until controversy came along and Komen cut funds for Planned Parenthood, a decision it later reversed."

Williams noted how "senior leadership has given way" as "founder, Nancy Brinker, whose late sister was Susan G. Komen, is stepping down from her role as CEO." He wondered: "But will it be enough to restore faith and quiet the critics?" Correspondent Lisa Myers declared the move "was welcomed as much-needed change at Komen affiliates."

At no point in the segment was Planned Parenthood, the nation's largest abortion provider, described as controversial.

Myers included only critics of Komen for the report, citing "charity watchers" who called Brinker's demotion "a step forward." Melissa Berman of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors proclaimed: "It was pretty clear that some change at the top was needed as a really strong signal to all the women who depend on Susan G. Komen and those services."

Myers continued: "...on the web, some skepticism, 'Too little, too late,' 'I will never, ever trust Komen again.' This longtime donor says she's still not giving any more money." Former Komen Greater NYC Board Member Eve Ellis ranted: "I see this as window dressing and as PR, I mean, the bottom line is Nancy Brinker will still be running the organization."

Wrapping up the one-sided report, Myers lamented: "The biggest loser in all this, low-income women, Komen's troubles mean less money to help women who can't afford mammograms or cancer treatment."

NBC has been a major source of "Komen's troubles," with one hit piece after another denouncing the cancer foundation for daring to stand up against the hard-left Planned Parenthood. As the supposed controversy first broke out in February, Williams decried Komen's initial actions: "A decision that's making a lot of women furious at the world's largest breast cancer organization. Why did it cut off funds for critical breast cancer screenings?"

In March, Williams kept up the attack: "The nation's largest breast cancer charity remains in turmoil tonight after a controversial attempt to cut off its funding of Planned Parenthood." Myers followed: "Komen's hierarchy is in turmoil....there are growing demands for Komen to clean house."

It looks like NBC's constant barrage against the charity worked.


Here is a full transcript of the August 9 report:

7:00PM ET TEASE:

BRIAN WILLIAMS: Also at home, will women and donations now come back to those races for the cure? A big change at the top of the nation's biggest breast cancer charity.

7:04PM ET SEGMENT:

WILLIAMS: Back home in the U.S. tonight, an update on another story we've been following, the controversy involving the Susan G. Komen Foundation has soiled one of the great names and best-known brand names in all of charity. The instantly recognizable and zealously guarded trademark pink ribbon always stood for one thing, it was the symbol of the fight against breast cancer until controversy came along and Komen cut funds for Planned Parenthood, a decision it later reversed. Now senior leadership has given way. The founder, Nancy Brinker, whose late sister was Susan G. Komen, is stepping down from her role as CEO. But will it be enough to restore faith and quiet the critics? Our report tonight from NBC's Lisa Myers.

LISA MYERS: Today the shake-up moving founder Nancy Brinker out as CEO and into a different management role was welcomed as much-needed change at Komen affiliates. Like the one in Seattle, where the annual Race for the Cure raised a half million dollars less this year, with participation down 30%. Donations also were down sharply in many other parts of the country.

CHERYL SHAW [EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, KOMEN PUGET SOUND]: I do see this as a path to recovery. I am hoping that people will begin to look at us moving forward.

MYERS: Charity watchers say it is a step forward.

MELISSA BERMAN [ROCKEFELLER PHILANTHROPY ADVISORS]: It was pretty clear that some change at the top was needed as a really strong signal to all the women who depend on Susan G. Komen and those services.

MYERS: Komen insiders tell NBC News that this will remove Brinker from day-to-day operations. They say she will retain a significant amount of influence and that this would not have happened without Brinker's consent. Though it's been very hard for her. But on the web, some skepticism, "Too little, too late," "I will never, ever trust Komen again." This longtime donor says she's still not giving any more money.

EVE ELLIS [FORMER KOMEN GREATER NYC BOARD MEMBER]: I see this as window dressing and as PR, I mean, the bottom line is Nancy Brinker will still be running the organization.

MYER: The biggest loser in all this, low-income women, Komen's troubles mean less money to help women who can't afford mammograms or cancer treatment. Lisa Myers, NBC News, Washington.

Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen is a News Analyst for MRC