Mary Elizabeth Williams:
It started with a tweet. And in the end, that’s what won the war. On Tuesday, Planned Parenthood sent out a no-punches-pulling alert that “Susan G. Komen caves under anti-choice pressure, ends funding for breast cancer screenings at PP health centers.” By Friday, Komen for the Cure had said it was sorry, and reversed its decision.
Within minutes of that Tuesday bombshell, the tale had become not just a news story but a social media explosion, with a flurry of responses pouring out across Facebook, Twitter and Komen’s own message boards – overwhelmingly disapproving of Komen for the Cure’s severing of its ties to Planned Parenthood. And in the process, it became an object lesson in how to handle a crisis, how to make it worse, and then how to fix it.
To me, this issue became a text book case of how to politicize that which should not be political: the supporting of a a cure for breast cancer. On various comment boards you heard people from both sides say that they will no longer support Komen for the Cure because: insert partisan rhetoric here. THIS is what the television, radio, and internet battle between the right and the left hath wrought. Charities that were previously places where we could all come together have become new places for partisan bickering thereby enabling the news media to run another story for the insatiable 24 hour news cycle. In the words of the great thinker Rodney King: Can't we all just get along?!