What Think Progress trumpets as an “exclusive” has turned into a “retraction required.” The Soros-funded blog claims that Republican Ari Fleischer was “secretly” involved with the Susan G. Komen Foundation’s decision on Planned Parenthood:
Ari Fleischer, former press secretary for George W. Bush and prominent right-wing pundit, was secretly involved in the Komen Foundation’s strategy regarding Planned Parenthood. Fleischer personally interviewed candidates for the position of “Senior Vice President for Communications and External Relations” at Komen last December. According to a source with first-hand knowledge, Fleischer drilled prospective candidates during their interviews on how they would handle the controversy about Komen’s relationship with Planned Parenthood.
Fleischer’s relationship with Komen and the Planned Parenthood controversy was previously undisclosed.
A slick move, to blame the other team for your side’s transgressions in order to deflect. Sources close to the Komen Foundation tell me Fleischer wasn’t involved in any way with Komen’s Planned Parenthood strategy. The person Komen did bring in to lead the effort is none other than Brendan Daly, Nancy Pelosi’s former press secretary, who is heading a team from Ogilvy PR. While Fleischer was assisting Komen CEO Nancy Brinker in finding a qualified PR person, Fleischer wasn’t directing decisions in the resulting Komen/Planned Parenthood debacle; it was Daly.
So Think Progress is accusing Ari Fleischer for Brendan Daly’s decisions. Don’t they have an editor fact-checking such things over there?
In fact, Fleischer’s job of finding Komen a reputable PR person is arguably now more difficult due to the current PR efforts headed up by Daly.
Think Progress needs to correct their story and offer an apology to Fleischer.
*UPDATE: After publishing the initial article and blaming Fleischer for Daly’s decisions (they spelled it “Dailey” on Twitter), Think Progress spoke with Komen CEO Nancy Brinker who discussed the scope of Fleischer’s advice to the organization. After the proverbial trash hit the fan Brinker had asked Fleischer of his opinion on the matter. Think Progress, eager to avoid a retraction, pounced on this to justify their earlier smear, done before speaking to anyone at the foundation. They probably feel as though they just escaped the guillotine. Unfortunately for them, my point still stands, and yes, they still blamed Fleischer for decisions made by a former Pelosi aide. Komen asking Fleischer’s opinion after the fact has no effect on the validity of my accusation made against Think Progress. It does however, place greater significance on how hard they’re working to deflect any and all blame towards a former Pelosi aide.