Fox Talker Sandy Rios: Komen Backlash Is 'An Absolute Shakedown'

Sandy Rios is a Fox Talker and Vice President of Family PAC Federal, a PAC supporting ultra-conservative candidates like Michele Bachmann, Marco Rubio, Jim DeMint and Tom Coburn. Evidently her gifts are limited to her abilities to repeat right wing talking points with alacrity and little more.

Her "discussion" with Fox contributor Jehmu Greene about the Susan G Komen Foundation's announcement to reverse themselves on some level with regard to Planned Parenthood paints a pretty vivid image of the differences between right and left when it comes to women's health.

Rios views the backlash by men and women across the country over the Komen Foundation's decision to withdraw funding for breast cancer screening from Planned Parenthood centers across the country as a mere "shakedown" while arguing that the foundation is a private enterprise which can do what it wants.

Not so fast, there, Ms. Rios. As long as donations to the foundation are tax-deductible, it is not a private enterprise. It is a taxpayer-subsidized enterprise with a stated mission to raise money for and fund breast cancer research and health initiatives to prevent and treat breast cancer. It is not a corporation created with private dollars to pursue private objectives. Not at all.

Rios' protests might actually be interesting if the statement released this morning by the Komen Foundation weren't so full of holes and hedges that you could play croquet on it. On first blush, it appeared to be a concession to the backlash, but upon closer inspection, it appears to be mostly a public relations move to keep a terrible situation from being even more terrible.

Since President and CEO Nancy Brinker has offered two separate and contradictory reasons for the original decision, there's no reason to expect they won't withhold grants from Planned Parenthood because they decide to add requirements, like on-site mammography, which Planned Parenthood contracts with third party providers for.

And as John Aravosis points out, they could show some contrition by approving the grant application from Planned Parenthood they've turned down once already.

But let's not allow facts to distract this wild-eyed woman on Fox from just going on and on about how Senators intimidated Brinker. Here's a question for Sandy Rios: Since abortions represent 3 percent of Planned Parenthood's overall health services delivered to women, then what she is saying is that 97 percent of health services delivered to women is worthless. Did she really mean that?

The right-wing has settled on their battle cry, by the way. It's the "shakedown" theme, which was echoed by the National Review who called it "gangsterism." Seems that activism is only activism when it's on the right. When the left uses the same tools, they're gangsters. Got that?

Jehmu Greene tries hard to take the high road by simply complimenting the Komen people on their decision to place women's health above all others. It goes nowhere.

You won't find any new facts in this exchange, but it certainly highlights the state of things between right and left, which is abysmal, contentious, and exactly what Roger Ailes prays for on his knobby, bowed-right knees every night.

Meanwhile, here are some things to watch for in the days to come. Will Karen Handel, the right wing politician who was at the very least, a lightning rod for all of this, resign? She should. Actually, she should be fired. Will those who resigned over this come back? I think this would be a huge indicator of which way this will play out in the future. If these people aren't satisfied that there's a real change in the works, they won't come back.

And finally, will people "walk for the cure" as they have in the past? My sense is that without some substance behind the promise, they will run to Avon or other charities' activities to raise funds for a cause that we should all support, male and female. Breast cancer doesn't care about gender. Men can get it too. But for the Susan G Komen Foundation, women seem to be the political football of the day, unless they change their ways.


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