Sunday, March 4, 2012
Deconstructing Sandra Fluke
via The Abattoir
Who is Sandra Fluke? If you don't live under a rock, you'll probably answer "a law student at Georgetown who testified about birth control." You probably will say her friend lost her ovary because Georgetown wouldn't let her have birth control...or some other tale of woe. In my last post I railed against the paternalism behind the birth control debate and had Sandra Fluke in my sights but there was something about her that didn't feel quite right so I decided to leave her for another day. Today is that day.
Sandra Fluke is a 30 year old 3rd year student at Georgetown University Law School. Before law school she worked in advocacy for women. We learn from her interview with The Washington Post that she came to Georgetown fully aware that they didn't cover contraceptives for students and has spent the last 3 years lobbying the administration to change it's policy. Her supporters claim she is an organic folk hero, and anyone who hints at her being managed or working with a PR firm are ridiculed and accused of cynicism. The problem is, I think she is manufactured, too.
Sandra Fluke strolled into to public consciousness on February 9, 2012 during a press conference in support of Obama's contraceptive mandate by "Catholic Students for Women's Health" at the National Press Club. Being unfamiliar with this group I did a Google search. The group has no web page and the first mention I can find is an announcement here on February 8, 2012 of the press conference. For media credentialing you are directed to contact Francesca Witcher. Another Google search brings me to Francesca's LinkedIn page which shows me that she is the National Campus Organizer for The Feminist Majority Foundation. Curious.
The press conference participants were students at Georgetown, American, and Catholic Universities. In addition to the students were Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, American "Catholic" royalty, Meghan Smith of Catholics for Choice, and Keeley Monroe of the National Women's Health Network. So, while "Catholic Students for Women's Health" were supposedly holding a press conference notice that the media credentialer was with Feminist Majority and Catholics for Choice and the National Women's Health Network also were represented.
Does this prove Sandra Fluke is being "managed?" No; but there's more. On February 16th Sandra Fluke makes big headlines when she is "banned" from testifying at Daryll Issa's hearing on religious liberty implications of the birth control mandate. The Democrats on the committee missed deadlines to file witness requests, we're granted a witness with expertise in the area of religious liberty, then said they didn't want him but instead wanted Sandra Fluke to testify. Given Ms. Fluke's lack of expertise in this field she was not allowed to testify and the Democrats in the committee turned the whole thing into a well choreographed circus. (I watched it live so I can attest to it's choreography.) Sandra Fluke, along with the Democratic women on the committee, walked out of the hearing in protest of the lack of women and a star was born.
On February 17th, Sandra Fluke sends out her first tweet. In my opinion her twitter feed is being managed by a professional. Many other people are of the same opinion. Take a look at it yourself and tell me you disagree. All the tweets are announcements of media appearances, thanks you's to media personalities and politicians, links to articles, etc. There are though, 2 tweets of note. Her first tweet screams "I have a PR machine." Actually it says: "Thank you for supporting women's voices & women's issues! Follow me for updates on the #contraception struggle." The next tweet of note is a call to action: "I'm calling all women to have a say make a video of yrself speaking for #birthcontrol and upload @theCPWH." There is a link that directs you here: Curious. Click on Partners and Rsources and notice who a few of the coalition members are...that's right kids: Catholics for Choice; The Feminist Majority; National Women's Health Network; and Law Students for Reproductive Justice, of whose Georgetown chapter Sandra Fluke was president.
The Coalition to Protect Women's Health sent out its first tweet on February 10th, the day after Sandra Fluke's press conference with the non-existant Catholic Students for Women's Health which was choreographed by the Feminist Majority a member of the Coalition to Protect Women's Health. Though I have no damning evidence yet, I am rather certain that Sandra Fluke and The Coalition to Protect Women's Health are being "managed" by the same group. Who is that, you ask? The answer is The Glover Park Group. On what do I base this? I base it on this screen shot 1 and screen shot 2. Brian Gluckman, VP of Public Affairs at Glover Park Group, refers his friend to the newly launched coalition, which had obviously been in the works for quite a while and on which he is obviously working. For more on Glover Park Group, you may Google them yourself, but they were founded by former Clinton staffers if that helps.
In short, Sandra Fluke, the public figure, is a creation of the Glover Park Group. Whether she is a long-time Democratic activist I can not say. My point is that the Sandra Fluke phenomenon is not organic. It is AstroTurf at its finest and makes a mockery of our system of government and our citizens.