THE CALIBER OF OUR OWN DISCOURSE: It happened one night!

MONDAY, MARCH 2, 2015

Part 1—Patricia Arquette speaks:
Our young analysts were crying even before she was done.

We had let them stay up late to watch the Oscars broadcast. Midway through the glamour-strewn evening, Patricia Arquette was honored as Best Actress in a Supporting Role.

Arquette was being honored for her performance in Boyhood, a very unusual film. Along with everyone else in the “Boyhood family,” she had worked on the project over the course of twelve years.

You’d think a person in that position might want to say something about her “art.” Like other Oscar winners this night, Arquette didn’t go there.

Instead, she offered a jumbled statement about an undefined aspect of an actual social concern—a social concern which may or may not exist, depending on what Arquette was talking about.

Arquette closed by saying this. Already, the youngsters were crying:
ARQUETTE (2/22/15): To every woman who gave birth to every taxpayer and citizen of this nation, we have fought for everybody else’s equal rights. It’s our time to have wage equality once and for all and equal rights for women in the United States of America.
Meryl Streep shot out of her chair as Arquette spoke these inspiring words. Meanwhile, we support wage equality too! So why were the analysts crying?

Sagaciously, they understood that Arquette’s speech would inspire bollixed presentations like the one shown below. The very next morning, Katie McDonough was talking the talk for the new Salon:
MCDONOUGH (2/23/15): According to a breakdown of median weekly salaries from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the gender pay gap is consistent across fields. Disparities between men and women’s earnings exist in all but seven of the Bureau’s 600 listed occupations. Men who drive buses, prepare meals in cafeterias, run companies and watch your kids, on average, make more money than women who do the exact same work.

A quantitative analysis from the Government Accountability Office also found that the pay gap persisted between men and women even after factoring in part-time work and women working fewer hours or taking time off after they have children or when a family member falls ill. So Arquette is right about the pay gap being very, very real and badly in need of correcting.

But take a closer look at the gap and you’ll find that the numbers often used as shorthand—women earning 77 cents on the dollar—isn’t reflective of the much starker wage gap faced by women of color. Black women who work full-time year round, on average, earn 64 cents on the dollar, and Latina women earn just 54 cents.
From reading that, a person would think that women earn 77 cents on the dollar, as compared to men, for “doing the exact same work.”

As far we know, no expert in this field, including the “liberals,” actually makes that claim. But this has become a standard claim in our liberal tribe. This explains why the analysts cried.

We live in a very surprising time. Recent flaps concerning the Oscars help illustrate this point.

We live in a time when we in the liberal world have begun inventing fake facts and phony statistics, in much the way the “conservative” world has done for these many long years.

Our journalists may push these fake facts; so may our ranking professors. Hollywood actors will often enlist for the drive to advance our tribe’s bollixed story lines.

And alas! As we liberals push our fake facts, we often direct our gaze away from various actual facts—actual facts which might help us advance important progressive interests. These swirling trends were on display before, during and after last Sunday’s Oscar broadcast.

All week long, we’ll look at some of the bogus facts our tribe now seems to enjoy. We’ll also consider important real facts we tend to disappear and ignore.

We’ll review the work of some of our leading professors. We’ll look at the work of our tribe’s journalists. We’ll consider the caliber of our own discourse, the discourse which is emerging from within our own liberal tribe.

After Arquette spoke on stage, she went backstage and spoke about wage equality some more. She took big hits from observers on the left for some of the things she said in that second statement.

Many of those complaints had merit; some were perhaps overstated. All our work on the left isn’t flawed—but we’re easily divided and conquered!

For many years, Rush and Sean were the biggest clowns in show. It isn’t clear that that is the case any more.

Over here within our own liberal tribe, we’re doing some horrible work of our own. We find it hard to believe that this widespread conduct serves progressive interests.

Tomorrow: There are at least three different types of “wage inequality,” of “wage or income gap.”

Which of the three did Arquette have in mind? What brought Streep out of her chair?

62 comments:

  1. Bob argued against views that George Zimmerman obviously killed Trayvon Martin due to his race. Race baiters in the comments section disagreed. The DOJ recently announced no charges vs. Trayvon.
    Winner: Bob.
    Losers: The Race-baiters/trolls.
    Now back to today's topic.

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    1. Do I read "The Daily Howler?"

      Yeah... But I swear, it's only for the peerless insights of his commenters!

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    2. While 10:41 awaits Bob's idiot critics arguing DOJ should have charged Trayvon, I am awaiting Bob's sagacious headline:

      "Dead Teen Thug Still Hasn't Been Charged."

      Now back to stuff that bores the racially obsessed.

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    3. The DOJ deciding, of course, that it might have difficulty before a jury of uncertain composition proving Zimmerman's intent beyond a reasonable doubt. Not sure anyone comes out a debate winner when that is the standard that has to be met.

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  2. Insightful CommenterMarch 2, 2015 at 10:55 AM

    "From reading that, a person would think that women earn 77 cents on the dollar, as compared to men, for “doing the exact same work.” "

    No, no, no. You awful elitist, thinking you know what other people would think, since they're not as smart as you!!

    Of course, no one thinks that presentation really implies women earn 77% of the wages men receive for doing identical work.

    No one would think that comment is trying to suggest black women get only 64/100 of what men get when they do the exact same work.

    You're just trying to fool your sheep-like readers when you suggest anyone would come away from reading that paragraph thinking that for doing the exact job that a man does Latina women are paid only a bit over half what a man earns.

    That's not what it's saying. Not at all! That's just a 'shorthand'. The author said so right there!!

    How deceptive you've become, you awful Somerby!

    Luckily, because the comments here are SO informative, you won't get away with it!!

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    1. You do know parody works better when it is not 100% technically accurate on a journalistic basis?

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    2. As if on cue, they begin to arrive...

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    3. ....streaming and waving shit as they slip unmoderated past analysts weeping while their blogmaster worries that hair tearing liberals undermine progressive causes in the face of unimpeded cultural collapse.

      FIFY.

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  3. From reading that, a person would think that women earn 77 cents on the dollar, as compared to men, for “doing the exact same work.”

    I don't think that. I know for a fact the opposite is true.

    From reading the Howler I know that Bob Somerby, a white male, gets paid a whole lot less than Rachel Maddow and he not only does the same work he always works hard and in good faith, sometimes works weekends, posts Supplementals, and never has a guest blogger.

    Plus he exposes people who wave streams of shit into print.

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  4. The troll pretends to think that McDonough first took issue with same-job disparity, only to follow up with a different-job statistic. The troll does not explain why McDonough did not cite a same-job statistic.

    The troll in fact KNOWS that McDonough wants the reader to think this is a same-job statistic. But the troll pretends to think what he doesn't. Now stop playing dumb.

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    1. "The troll" vs "The guy who can't recognize what any 12-year old would in a heartbeat sniff out as sarcasm"

      Bets?

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    2. I'll bet two hot potatoes on "the guy."

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    3. urban legend has spoken.

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    4. @ 10:41 is more or less like clockwork. By a very rough rule of thumb.

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    5. I have? Not yet, but here it goes: anyone who has been reading the news and working for about two years or more knows that's an aggregate -- the product of not only continuing disparities in pay for equal work (not as great as 77 cents on the dollar, but frequent, usually measurable and never flowing the other way), but also the fact that for many years women were either kept out of or in complex ways discouraged from seeking "equal work." The 45-year-old female junior law partner who is paid less than her male peer of the same age doing the same kind of work because she took five years off for child rearing is part of the aggregate.

      The idea that "for equal work" is an inevitable implication of mentioning that aggregate (which happens to have been announced by the Federal government as an aggregate over several decades) is either a complete and deliberate fabrication or the product of an imagination that sees what it wants to see, or some of both. Given recent work, the former probably carries the most weight.

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    6. Peesson YoparadeMarch 2, 2015 at 3:15 PM

      The 77% Statistic?

      Actually it is currently a compilation of statistics collected by the U.S, Census Bureau as part of the American Community Survey, a random sample monthly update of the main Census.

      It compares women to men. What is measured is self reported annual wages among people who, when surveyed, report themselves to be currently working 35 hours or more per week and also worked for a sufficient number of self reported weeks during the previous year.

      I know that is not as exciting as why Zimm shot Trayvon dead. But that is what is measured. Just like eligibility for free and reduced lunches in schools is, by federal law, a measure of poverty.

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    7. No, you have that backward. The income levels qualify you for free lunch by law. The law is not establishing who is poor. It is establishing who qualifies as "poor" for free lunch purposes.

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    8. No, you have been reading too much Somerby. The law defines eligibility for free and reduced lunch as a measure of poverty.

      It is Somerby who has, at least a dozen times as was documented in comments to his false attack on Emma Brown last week, stated that eligibility for free and reduced price lunch is "not a measure of poverty."

      He usually does it with such gusto he throws in fecal references when the media says it is a "rough proxy" for measuring poverty in schools. He is wrong. He is dead wrong.

      Federal law states clearly that eligibility for free and reduced lunch programs is a measure of poverty. It is one of five measures local schools are allowed to use to determine which school campus may receive funds for federal aid targeted for high poverty schools.

      I hate to disabuse you, and perhaps others who think Bob Somerby knows something about school policy and journalism in the area of low income education. He does not. He has been perpetrating a total falsehood for several years over a simple basic fact. He is the one spreading fake facts.

      It is the law. Federal Law. You can read it yourself.

      20 U.S. Code § 6313

      And if you want to read how many times Somerby has written something completely false on this topic, read the comments to the post he did on Emma Brown. Or go to his internal search engine yourself and Google "free and reduced lunch."

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    9. You are trying hard to be deceptive. And you're almost succeeding.

      It's a "measure of poverty" ONLY for purposes of administering the school lunch program.

      Which is to say:

      When you use the school lunch measure to imply that it's a measure of poverty for any other purpose, as in the formulation "It's a rough measure of poverty," you are being deceptive and you are redefining the measure as it is ordinarily understood.

      "Poverty" is simply not ordinarily understood to mean "anyone able to qualify for the administration of free/reduced price lunches."

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    10. You don't understand things even simply.

      "It's a "measure of poverty" ONLY for purposes of administering the school lunch program." This is false.

      The section of law I cited has nothing to do with administering the school lunch program. It does reference the law establishing the school lunch program. It does so because it establishes that, by law, the number of students eligibile for that program can be used to qualify a campus for, and rank it in priority to receive, federal aid for low income education programs.

      To state it is a "rough proxy for poverty" is more than accurate. To state it is "not a measure of poverty" as Somerby has done a dozen times when discussing coverage of education, is false.

      Let's restate this once more for the very low wattage among us:

      Eligibility for FRLP is a proxy for poverty when discussing schools. It is so because federal law establishes the number of students eligible for FRLP as one of five criteria school offcials shall use to measure poverty to qualify for federal aid for education program funds. They can use any one of those five criteria or a combination of them. Most use FRLP.

      When Bob Somerby says FRLP eligibility in not a proxy for, or more often "not a measure" of poverty is schools, he is wrong. Whether this is deliberate or due to ignorance is something he can discuss with his followers. Either way it is a fake fact.

      Has FRLP eligibility been misstated as a being a general proxy for poverty by the press? No doubt. But Somerby goes well beyond criticism of that kind of error.

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  5. Oscar Recap: Compare and contrast


    I.

    "All week long, we’ll look at some of the bogus facts our tribe now seems to enjoy. We’ll also consider important real facts we tend to disappear and ignore.

    We’ll review the work of some of our leading professors. We’ll look at the work of our tribe’s journalists. We’ll consider the caliber of our own discourse, the discourse which is emerging from within our own liberal tribe."

    II.

    "He was no different from any other officer in the ward room, they were all disloyal. I tried to run the ship properly, by the book, but they fought me at every turn. The crew wanted to walk around with their shirt tails hanging out, that's all right, let them. Take the tow line, defective equipment, no more, no less. But they encouraged the crew to go around scoffing at me, and spreading wild rumors about steaming in circles, and then old yellow-strain. I was to blame for Lt. Maryk's incompetence and poor seamanship. Lt. Maryk was the perfect officer, but not Captain Queeg.

    Ah, but the strawberries, that's, that's where I had them, they laughed at me and made jokes, but I proved beyond the shadow of a doubt, with geometric logic, that a duplicate key to the ward room icebox did exist, and I've had produced that key if they hadn't pulled the Caine out of action. I, I know now they were only trying to protect some fellow officer.

    Naturally, I can only cover these things from memory. If I left anything out, why, just ask me specific questions and I'll be glad to answer them.

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    1. Contrast:

      Lt. Commander Queeg fought for his country in time of war.

      Blogmaster Somerby fought for black children's attention.

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    2. Lt. Commander Queeg served his country when Mao and Stalin were among our allied elites.

      Blogmaster Somerby fights to alert his country to Maoists and Stalinists among our liberal elite.

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  6. Eric Holder is racist.

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    1. @ 10:41 took almost two hours to think of something else he could write to make a fool of himself where those who know him wouldn't notice.

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  7. Bob sure caught Ms. Disclaimer off base this morning.

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    1. Sorry for the delay. Had some other things to do this morning.

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    2. That's okay. A. Perez hasn't shown up with the hot taters for us to dodge yet either.

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  8. Warning to casual readers of this blog: These comments are unmoderated. They are infested by one or more trolls who routinely attack the blog author in a variety of ways, rarely substantive. Such attacks are not an indicator of the level of interest of other readers, the validity of the content posted nor of the esteem in which the blog author is held by others.

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    1. Oh mommy mommy
      Please may I go
      It's such a sight to see
      Somebody steal the show

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  9. Yessirree! Now that Bob has taken a whole month to call Brian Williams and Nicholas Kristof some really bad names, now that he has thoroughly re-re-re-reexamined "free/reduced lunch as a measure of poverty," it is once again time to re-re-re-reexamine "women earn 77 cents on the dollar."

    Perhaps next week can discuss once again how dead, unarmed black kids really had it coming, while we take another thrilling tour of Meredith Vieira's home to show that how all journalists live.

    You can never plow the same ground enough in Howlerland.

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    1. Bob never said any unarmed black kid "had it coming." Anonymous@1:47PM fails.

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    2. Some people claim that there's a woman to blame, but you know its your own damn fault.

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    3. Well, let's play the home version of Let's Make a Howler, OK, 1:55?

      McDonough also never said that women earn 77 cents on the dollar for doing the exact same work.

      But, to quote Our Own Harvard Blogger, "a person would think that." upon reading McDonough.

      Well . . . After reading Bob's recitation of right wing excuses for Zimmerman and Officer Wilson gunning down unarmed black kids, "a person would think" the two kids had it coming.

      Isn't this mind-reading game fun???

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    4. You know what else @ 1:55? Bob never said Al Gore didn't invent the internet, but he did suggest it was true that he was seemed a lot like Oliver Barrett IV.

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    5. Punching someone in the face then slamming their into the pavement, and trying to wrestle a gun away from a cop often ends badly.

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    6. Yes, the Zimmerman and Wilson Defense Team, believing withouth the vaguest hit of skepticism everything that Zimmerman and Wilson have said, has arrived!


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    7. Without skepticism?! The Zimmerman case went to trial, he was aquited. The other case should have gone to trial, but nonetheless I do seriously doubt the cop was on the hunt looking for a black male to murder as many have suggested. BTW Michael Brown was a lowlife thief.

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    8. I know of nobody who has "suggested" that Wilson was on the hunt for a black kid to kill. But you go ahead and argue against those voices inside your head.

      Meanwhile, I continue to hold the silly notion that stopping a kid for jaywalking, then 90 seconds later, the kid is dead after you empty your service revolver on him at noon on a Saturday down a residential street isn't exactly exemplary police work.

      BTW, even if Wilson knew that Brown was "a lowlife thief," I think the punishment for that falls short of death. You probably disagree.

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    9. By the way, 5:59. Thank you for your assistance in derailing this thread into another topic that's been beaten to death on this blog.

      There are so few to choose from.

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    10. "The other case should have gone to trial ...."

      I didn't know that being a lowlife thief carried the death penalty.

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    11. Well, apparently it does in some people's minds.

      But then again, Wilson should have gone to trial in order to be completely exonerated like George the Brave Defender of the Neighborhood.

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    12. As you well know he was NOT killed for being a thief, unless maybe some karma came into play, it has a odd way of working like that sometimes.

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    13. If I remember correctly the Z-Man helped bring a home invasion scumbag to justice not long prior to the Martin altercation. What excuses do you have for that thief?

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    14. If I remember correctly, Zimmerman was a wimp who got the shit kicked out of him by a 140-pound kid. If you believe his story.

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    15. If I also remember correctly, Wilson was a 6-4, 210 wimp who was no match for a jaywalking fat kid. If you believe his story.

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    16. And both "tough guys", the gay basher and the thief, ended up biting the dust. It just doesn't pay to be a violent thug sometimes.

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    17. @ 9:05 (Alias @10:41, @ 12:28, @ 1:46, @ 5:07, @ 7:15) doesn't remember well regardless of when or what he posts.

      On the other hand, the rough rules of thumb on his clock keep telling him its time to sound off.

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  10. I hope Somerby mentions how gay the Oscar Fiesta was this year among the other swirling trends.

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    1. It does seem that Somerby checks what's trending on Monday mornings, then says, "I'll write a series about this next week."

      He always seems to be about a week behind.

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  11. Why did McDonough cite a statistic other than a same-job statistic? Hours later, trolls have not touch this, today's hot potato.

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    1. Because she's an East Coast Irish Catholic?

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    2. Obviously. And if she is elitely educated to boot and draws down big paychecks, well there you go! The Somerby Trifecta.

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    3. Now be fair, A. Perez!!!

      They did show up with their very best, at 12:54 PM: "100% technically accurate on a journalistic basis."

      That's the troll line in the sand.

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    4. No, @ 2:24 those are the lyrics to Troll Letters in the Sand.

      It is one of the 45 prm hits Bob keeps quoting from back in the sixties he and Al used to play while dreaming impossible dreams and imagining improbable initiatives.

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  12. Has anyone noticed how very insightful and informative the comments are at this blog?!

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    Replies
    1. All those long, lonely years cranking off page after page of the War on Gore. Snub after snub at the Koufax awards.

      Seventeen pointless years and finally, this backhanded piece of streaming esteem.

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  13. I'll never forgive Meryl Streep for snubbing Joan Rivers in her Oscar speech.

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