Pulling a Komen - writercize #160

Most everyone who follows the news, health care, nonprofits and civil liberties knows that the nonprofit Susan G. Komen foundation elected to cut funding to Planned Parenthood this week. Komen is best known for their pink ribbon and walk for the cure to raise money for breast cancer research and awareness.

Citing the excuse that Planned Parenthood is currently under investigation (for allegedly using federal money to pay for abortions, an investigation spurred by social conservatives) and Komen wants their donors to know that money will be used towards breast exams rather than lawyers, Komen pulled the plug on funding. The catch is, the money was already earmarked for use towards breast exams and cancer treatment, so Planned Parenthood could not have used the money elsewhere, nor did they ever plan to.

The decision to withdraw funding caused a huge angry backlash across media, social networking and women's groups and several threatened to stop donating to Komen. Reportedly, at least one top Komen executive resigned over the issue, but due to privacy agreements with Komen the reason can not be confirmed.

So, mere days after the announcement to suspend funding, Komen pulled a 180 and announced today that they will give Planned Parenthood after all.

Did they not realize the firestorm they would raise prior to the first announcement? They had to have known this would be a controversial decision, and taken that into account. Yet, they are now backpedaling and wishing for a time machine that would drop them off before the whole mess.

The problem is, the proverbial cat is now out of the bag. Anti-abortion activists who donated this week after Planned Parenthood funding was cut feel cheated, and pro-choice activists are left asking why they should trust Komen's flip flop rather than donate money directly to the screeners and examiners themselves. Komen has now succssfully alienated both sides of the spectrum and confused the middle ground. The country is left wondering how in the world Komen's PR department is going to save the nonprofit from any deeper trauma as the nonprofit case study of the year unravels.

All of this makes a writer who loves playing with words quite happy to coin a new phrase, pulling a Komen. To pull a Komen means to hastily retract a business decision in the face of public fury. It will now be part of my personal vernacular, and particularly applicable in knowingly controversial or political decisions.

I would love to see what phrases you writercizers can come up with, using the names of businesses, celebrities or otherwise notable people.

writercize: Take a name of a notable business, celebrity or person who is associated with either a famous mistake or good deed and place it in a descriptive phrase. Include the definition (and a sample sentence if you dare!).

Please leave your phrase here as a comment - I would love to see what you creative writercizers come up with!

Click "read more" for two writercizer sample responses: to pull a Komen and to be Gored.
writercizer sample response:

Example 1: 
"to pull a Komen:" to hastily retract a business decision in the face of public fury

Sentence: Susan knew she shouldn't have let her VP do the talking; now it'd look like she was pulling a Komen on behalf of the company just because Sherry had gone off her talking points and made promises that couldn't be kept.

Example 2: 
"to be Gored:" to be "robbed" of a win 
(after Al Gore's apparent win and subsequent loss in the 2000 Presidential race, based on controversial voting polls and recounts in Florida)

Sentence: After a recount missing tallies from eight of the state's districts, Mitt Romney was Gored by Rick Santorum in the Iowa caucus, declared the second place candidate with less than 50 votes dividing them.


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  2. Trying this again, without the repeat words:

    Pull a Paterno: to meet your legal obligation but fall sorely short of your moral one

    Sentence: Jack quickly explained the terms of the contract to the young buyers and assured them that it was all pretty standard; he knew he was pulling a Paterno, but his need for the commission outweighed his reservations.

  3. To Barack all over something:

    Etymology: Imitative of the sound of vomiting.

    Application: To cause a big mess and stink things up by promising improvement but making things worse.

    Sentence: The new manager had hailed the great heights to which he would take everyone but, in the end, he baracked all over the company by spending too much and driving it into irrecoverable debt, so everyone had to look for new jobs.


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