Discussing the gender wage gap: On line at the Washington Post—it hasn’t appeared in the hard copy paper—Ruth Marcus accuses the Democrats of “revolting demagoguery” concerning the gender wage gap.
She says she supports the Paycheck Fairness Act. She just doesn’t like the dissembling.
(Marcus links to this Fact-Checker piece, which gives Obama two Pinocchios for his recent statements. Glenn Kessler says he considered three. In this case, we think Kessler should have gone with the devils of his worse nature.)
Are the Democrats engaging in demagoguery? We’re not sure we’d use that term, but we’d say the deliberate deception is looking more and more obvious.
Before we cite an example, consider what happened on Tuesday night’s Chris Hayes program.
Ari Melber sat in as guest host. We’d say the program turned into a case of two Guests Gone Wild.
We hate to see Melber, who is bright, coloring hard inside the lines. But all must submit to the hard tribal laws of modern “cable news” culture.
Melber was doing his best. Then, up popped Laura Bassett from the Huffington Post.
Cable news is tribal now. Can Laura Bassett say this?
BASSETT (4/9/14): The Paycheck Fairness Act really goes after employers who are paying women lower than men who are working the same jobs, and that’s not the kind of discrimination that’s happening in the White House. What’s happening in the White House is, as Ms. Munoz said, more women are in the entry level positions than men.Say what?
And so the Paycheck Fairness Act really gets at a kind of different issue, and the White House question is a bit irrelevant here. Although I do agree with Republicans saying it’s disingenuous to use that “77 cents” number, because you could say the same thing that Obama’s saying about the White House. You could say, “Well, if you control for all those different factors and say, Let’s talk about the wage gap only for women working the same jobs as men, it gets a lot smaller, down to about 7 percent.”
So I do think we need to have a more nuanced discussion about this.
“I do agree with Republicans saying it’s disingenuous to use that 77 cent number?”
“If you talk about the wage gap only for women working the same jobs as men, it gets a lot smaller, down to about 7 percent?”
Even this hammer blow to the senses? “We need to have a more nuanced discussion?”
We need to have a more nuanced discussion? Where does she get this stuff?
Can Laura Bassett say those things? Out in the lawless tribal regions, cable viewers were reeling.
And then, in response to the very next question, Josh Barro piped up with this:
MELBER (continuing directly): And look, that goes to the politics here, Josh, which is, this is highly disingenuous from a lot of conservatives who, I can’t mention it enough, actually hold the position that you shouldn’t put pressure on these employers. That’s their position. Having said that, there is an issue here, right, if what we’re having is a confusion around whether we need to hire more women in different jobs.Thinking quickly, Melber gave Barro the chance to say that conservatives are being disingenuous too. In a moment reminiscent of “Message: I care,” he said he couldn’t mention this point enough.
BARRO: Well, I think Mark Perry at the American Enterprise Institute, who put together this study, I don’t think he’s going for a hypocritical attack against the White House. I think his point was to draw out this response from Jay Carney, which is, “Look, these people have different jobs. In a given job, they’re being paid the same amount. And then you have these other drivers of the difference.”
And that’s the response he got. And when you add all those things up, that’s where you get to that 77 cents on the dollar thing. You have disparities in pay within the same jobs, which is 7 or 9 or some percent, depending on whose numbers you trust...
Barro said he didn’t agree! Like Bassett, he noted that the gender wage gap is nowhere near as large as the standard number which is constantly cited, if we’re discussing pay “for the same or equal work.”
Are guests allowed to say that? Increasingly, the answer seems to be no. Consider this editorial today’s New York Times.
Rather plainly, the editors refuse to cite a number for the size of the gap which remains after you restrict yourself to “the same or equal work.”
They cite the iconic 77 cent statistic, and other statistics of that type. But they never estimate the size of the gap for “the same or equal work.”
We’d have to say it’s becoming clear that pseudo-liberals in good standing have taken a group pledge. We’ll talk about the 77 cents—and yes, that is an actual statistic, one which is worth discussing.
But we won’t present the types of statistics Bassett and Barro did. It’s increasingly clear that we have agreed that those smaller numbers won’t be mentioned, except by Guests Gone Wild.
Plainly, the discussion of the gender wage gap is going to run through the year. We expect to spend next week trying to tease it out.
That said, the conduct of the liberal world has at least begun to resemble demagoguery. More and more, we pseudo-liberals are aping the conduct of Fox.
Final point: Sometime after 6 this morning, Nexis finally posted Rachel Maddow’s transcript from Tuesday night. Her discussion of the gender wage gap was easily the worst on her channel that night.
The snark and the misstatements ran wild. The clarity called in sick.
We’ve really started to conclude that something has gone badly wrong with Maddow’s basic honesty. We’ll review her segment next week.
Her presentation was misleading, flatly wrong, bad. On the bright side, we did get a boatload of snark!
It’s what the tribal world runs on.