At this point, it's less than shocking that the Komen Foundation secretly hired an ultra-conservative, former George W. Bush White House press secretary to handle the Planned Parenthood debacle. We're just surprised Ari Fleischer — who was once briefly employed by Tiger Woods to help him reenter the PGA Tour — didn't do a better job.
According to inside sources, Fleischer, who has worked as a media consultant for clients ranging from Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper to the NFL after leaving the White House in 2003, told prospective candidates for the position of "Senior Vice President for Communications and External Relations" at Komen that the foundation planned to stop giving Planned Parenthood money for breast cancer screenings, and asked them how they would handle the issue. One interviewee said Fleischer revealed that Komen's CEO, Nancy Brinker, was unsure how to deal with the situation, and that Brinker was a longtime friend of his.
Fleischer told ThinkProgress that he played a role in filling the position for a fee "substantially below the normal placement fee charged by executive search companies" because "they're a charity I believe in." However, he said a different PR company actually dealt with crisis management last week. Still, Fleischer's involvement "further complicates its image as an apolitical cancer charity," ThinkProgress points out. Fleischer, a well-known right-wing pundit, once went as far to allege that the Clinton Administration was influenced by Planned Parenthood to the point where, "if Planned Parenthood wanted it, the previous administration favored it." How ghastly.