At this time of year they make their money, with little girls tramping up and down streets, knocking on doors, selling cookies to anyone who will listen. In this short selling season, the Girl Scouts hope to make upwards of $700 million in cookie sales. Instead, they find themselves fighting a multi-front war.
The battle continued on The O’Reilly Factor this week, with Bill O’Reilly going after new Girl Scout spokesman Kelly Parisi. O’Reilly grilled Parisi about the seeming promotion of late-term abortion advocate and candidate for Texas Governor Wendy Davis in a tweet that precipitated the “cookiecott,” announced in January by Breitbart News. Parisi tried to downplay the Davis tweet but then admitted to O’Reilly the Girl Scouts had apologized for it.
O’Reilly also quizzed her about the Girl Scouts having homopunk rocker Josh Ackley as media spokesman and blogger to the little girls. Ackley is a bit of old news. He was removed from any public connection to the Girl Scouts last fall after Breitbart News reported on him and his band, The Dead Betties, and their music videos pegged by critics as violent and misogynistic, including one in which a woman is strangled to death.
Parisi first said the Girl Scouts do not comment on the “lives of our employees” but that each employee is thoroughly vetted including criminal background checks. “So you knew who he was,” O’Reilly insisted. Parisi in turn insisted that the Girl Scouts are “non-partisan and non-political,” though she did not explain how criticism of Ackley’s extracurricular activity is a charge either partisan or political.
Parisi’s appearance to answer charges about the leftward drift of the Girl Scouts shows that the criticism may be hurting the organization in this cookie season.
In recent days, the Girl Scouts also sent threatening letters to some of their critics including Ann Saladin, a stay-at-home mom from St. Louis who runs mygirlscoutcouncil.com and who also appeared on O’Reilly this week, and to the pro-life news site LifeNews.
This aggressive stance may fit in with a new litigation strategy developed by a lawyer hired last summer as the first ever General Counsel for the Girls Scouts. Jennifer Rochon is a litigator who joined the Girl Scouts from the high-powered New York law firm Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel.