Appearance Alert!
MRC Research Director Rich Noyes on Fox Business Network at 5:55 p.m. ET

NBC Slams Komen: 'Why Did It Cut Off Funds for Critical Breast Cancer Screenings?'

Since announcing that it would no longer provide funding to Planned Parenthood on Wednesday, the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation has been subject to a vicious smear campaign by the abortion provider, a campaign which NBC News has worked to advance over the past 48 hours.

At the top of Wednesday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams sounded the alarm: "Caught in the middle. Two of the biggest names in women's health, tonight in a bitter fight over money and it may be thousands of women who pay the biggest price." In a later tease of the upcoming report he made no secret of who he thought the villain of the story was: "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?"

One thing Williams failed to mention was the fact that Planned Parenthood does not actually provide mammograms.

In the report that followed, correspondent Lisa Myers proclaimed: "Susan G. Komen's race is for the cure. They raised 271 million dollars last year to advance breast cancer awareness, but today many angry women, on Twitter and the radio, vowed their Komen racing days are over."

Two sound bites were included from women calling into a local National Public Radio affiliate in New York City, WNYC. One complained: "We are really upset by this decision and were not gonna do the Komen race anymore." Another announced: "I changed my mind and sent the money elsewhere."

After noting that congressional Republicans were currently investigating Planned Parenthood, Myers touted how, "Planned Parenthood's CEO called the decision [by Komen] political and disappointing." CEO Cecile Richards condemned Komen: "The Komen Foundation has been the target of a right-wing political campaign, bullying them and unfortunately the results seems to be that they gave into it."

While completely ignoring Planned Parenthood's left-wing agenda, Myers worried that Komen had some how been co-opted by those "bullying" conservatives: "Not long ago, Komen also hired a new Vice President, Karen Handel, a former Republican gubernatorial candidate endorsed by Sarah Palin, who strongly opposed abortion and vowed to de-fund planned parenthood during her campaign."

Wrapping up the Planned Parenthood press release, Myers cited yet another staunch supporter of the group: "Leslie Dergen, a breast cancer survivor and an official with Planned Parenthood's Denver affiliate, says this will hurt the most vulnerable women who have nowhere else to turn."

On Thursday's Today, Myers offered an abbreviated repeat of the previous night's report, noting that it was "an increasingly bitter dispute" and signaled to Komen that slanted media coverage would continue: "If Komen thought its decision to end its partnership with Planned Parenthood would quietly defuse a controversial issue, it appears to have miscalculated."

Perhaps the oddest and most blatant advocacy for Planned Parenthood occurred in the 9 a.m. et hour on Today, when NBC's chief medical editor Nancy Snyderman awkwardly tried to shoe-horn the issue into a discussion of Mitt Romney's "not concerned about the very poor" comment:

So let me put this into context with regard to health care in this country. This is the same time that Planned Parenthood is losing money from the Komen Foundation which is a safety net for mammography for women. 37 million poor women now may not be able to get mammography. That's the safety net for the working poor? I don't care if he mis-spoke or not. Let's be real. Almost half of the U.S. now is, is not making it well. So I think it's a huge gaffe.


Once again, Planned Parenthood does not provide mammograms.

Here is a full transcript of the February 1 Nightly News report from Myers:


7:00PM ET TEASE:

BRIAN WILLIAMS: Caught in the middle. Two of the biggest names in women's health, tonight in a bitter fight over money and it may be thousands of women who pay the biggest price.

7:13PM TEASE:

BRIAN WILLIAMS: Still ahead as the broadcast continues this evening, 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?

7:15PM ET SEGMENT:

WILLIAMS: Two huge names in women's health are having a bitter dispute tonight. The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, one of the nation's biggest charities devoted to breast cancer research, and Planned Parenthood, which has gotten significant funding from the Komen foundation. But thats been stopped and the fallout here is both political and personal. Our report, from NBC's Lisa Myers.

LISA MYERS: Susan G. Komen's race is for the cure. They raised 271 million dollars last year to advance breast cancer awareness, but today many angry women, on Twitter and the radio, vowed their Komen racing days are over.

ZOYA FROM NY, NY (Radio caller on WNYC): We are really upset by this decision and were not gonna do the Komen race anymore.

MARTHA FROM SOUTH ORANGE, NJ (Radio Caller on WNYC): I changed my mind and sent the money elsewhere.

MYERS: Komen announced that it's stopping all new grants to Planned Parenthood because of a new policy that prohibits funding of groups under investigation. Planned Parenthood is being investigated by a congressional committee, controlled by Republicans. Planned Parenthood's CEO called the decision political and disappointing.

CECILE RICHARDS (Planned Parenthood President): The Komen Foundation has been the target of a right wing political campaign, bullying them and unfortunately the results seems to be that they gave into it.

MYERS: Not long ago, Komen also hired a new Vice President, Karen Handel, a former Republican gubernatorial candidate endorsed by Sarah Palin, who strongly opposed abortion and vowed to defund planned parenthood during her campaign. Over the last five years, officials say Komen's grants enabled 170,000 women to receive breast exams or diagnostic services. Planned Parenthood says none of the money ever went for abortion.

LESLIE DERGEN: It's really a sad day.

MYERS: Leslie Dergen, a breast cancer survivor and an official with Planned Parenthood's Denver affiliate, says this will hurt the most vulnerable women who have nowhere else to turn.

DERGEN: Low-income women who really need help in navigating the complex health care system are going to lose the services because of this decision.

MYERS: Tonight, Komen issued a statement saying, 'The more stringent eligibility standards are designed to safeguard donor dollars.' It says it regrets that Planned Parenthood was impacted, but insists this was not about politics. Lisa Myers, NBC News, Washington.


- Kyle Drennen is a news analyst at the Media Research Center. Click here to follow Kyle Drennen on Twitter.