A few days ago, I wrote here about an article in the Washington Post that was clearly misleading to its readers.
That was an example of one way media distortion happens. Today, we saw another, this time from the left side of the political spectrum.
Nancy Brinker, founder of the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation
As I’m sure everyone out there is aware, the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure Foundation had passed new regulations governing its grant process that would have ended its funding for Planned Parenthood. The ensuing outcry made them reverse their decision.
A great victory right? Well, yes, it was, but you would not know it if you read this Huffington Post article by Laura Basset. The headline reads: “Susan G. Komen Reverses Planned Parenthood Decision, Does Not Promise To Renew Grants.”
Sounds like not much of a victory at all, right? It certainly led some friends of mine to question the big win, and it led The Daily Kos to just about toss the whole thing out the window and call it a defeat.
Nonsense. This was every bit the victory it seems to be.
The issue for the HuffPo and Kos (really Greg Sargent at the Washington Post, whose article was mostly just echoed at Kos), is that there is no guarantee that Planned Parenthood will get its funding renewed at the next funding cycle.
Well, yeah. There isn’t. Guess what? There wasn’t such a guarantee before.
Grants are made, renewed, discontinued for all sorts of reasons. No grant is simply assumed to be renewed. If a foundation commits in writing to funding a program or organization till the end of time, fine. Otherwise, everyone has to go through the renewal process.
Sometimes there are political reasons that a foundation does not renew a grant. More often, there is simply a decision to use the limited resources at hand elsewhere, perhaps to start up a new organization or help one that is in more dire need than the one it had been funding.
That’s all there is here. That’s all there ever was. The status quo ante has been restored which is all Planned Parenthood ever wanted.
I don’t know if this is simply an example of lazy reporting by Basset and Sargent or if one or both of them wanted to make sure people didn’t get complacent about this issue. But in either case, they are misinforming their readers. (more…)
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