NO STATISTICS NEED APPLY: The Times tries to report the gender wage gap!


Part 2—Big newspaper tries and fails:
We do love our phony statistics!

Let’s put that a slightly different way. Sometimes, if it weren’t for the phony statistics, we’d have no statistics at all!

This Sunday, we offered these bromides to the analysts after a very rough week. Consider what happened on Saturday morning, when we let them enjoy their weekly political cartoons, courtesy of the Washington Post.

Right at the top of the Post’s op-ed page sat the latest four-panel effort by the Boston Globe’s hilarious Dan Wasserman.

At the Boston Globe site, the hilarious effort bears this headline: “Woman on $20 bill?”

Could a woman be pictured on the twenty? Wasserman ends with a thoughtful observation: You could put a woman on the $20 bill. “But it would only be worth $15.40!”

Hilariously, Wasserman had worked with a treasured statistic. According to this treasured statistic, women are paid 77 cents on the dollar, compared to men, for doing the same or equal work.

Can we talk? No one who works in the field thinks that’s a valid statistic. But we pseudo-liberals love the claim. We just love to repeat it.

Good old Wasserman! He applied the bogus statistic, then ran his cartoon in the Globe. The Washington Post liked it so much they put it at the top of their weekly political cartoons, where our young analysts saw it.

What gives our nation's bogus statistics so much juice? We’ll offer two explanations:

For obvious reasons, nitwits within the various tribes love to build their tribal claims around embellished statistics. Meanwhile, “journalists” at our leading newspapers can’t work with statistics at all.

Our “journalists” can’t handle statistics! Consider the terrible, horrible news report which appeared in Wednesday’s New York Times.

The analysts were hopeful as they read the hard-copy headline:

“Longtime Nursing Pay Gap Hasn’t Budged, Study Says”

Interesting, they loudly exclaimed. They pictured themselves getting the dope on some aspect of the gender pay gap.

Momentarily, they forgot! They forgot what frequently happens when reporters at the Times try to deal with the latest study concerning some important aspect of American life!

In this case, it happened again! Reporter Catherine Saint Louis and her unnamed editor produced a thoroughly bungled analysis of a new study.

It would be hard to be more clueless than Saint Louis and her unnamed editor were. But as we’ll be noting all week, this is what happens when the Times attempts to report key statistics.

Uh-oh! By the time they’d read just two paragraphs, the analysts were worried. Already, Saint Louis and her editor had employed a suspiciously fuzzy term:
SAINT LOUIS (3/25/15): Longtime Nursing Pay Gap Hasn’t Budged, Study Says

Male nurses make $5,100 more on average per year than female colleagues in similar positions,
researchers reported on Tuesday.

The new analysis, which included data on more than 290,000 registered nurses, also found that the pay gap had not narrowed within workplace settings and specialties from 1988 to 2013. The new study is the first to have measured gender disparities in pay among nurses over time.
“In similar positions?” What did that formulation mean? Already, the analysts thought they saw doom approaching.

Let’s understand—everyone knows that women, on average, earn smaller annual incomes than men in virtually every field. The famous “77 cents on the dollar” statistic—it’s already outdated, but still in wide use—involved a comparison of annual incomes for all full-time workers, defined as people working 35 hours per week or more.

Among those two groups, women were earning 77 percent as much as men, on average, over the course of a year. But that was before the statistics were adjusted for such factors as total hours worked per week (on average, men worked more hours), years of seniority and type of position.

When such adjustments were made, the difference in pay was much smaller. Every expert understands this fact, whatever their political orientation. You just don’t hear it much on cable! Or in other types of cartoons!

As she started her report, Saint Louis reported that male nurses “in similar positions” earn more on an annual basis. Instant problems:

She presented a dollar amount without converting it to a percentage. She didn’t specify the statistical adjustments which may or may not have been made.

Concerning statistical adjustments, was some part of that pay differential due to different hours of work per week? Way far down in paragraphs 9-11, she finally offered this:
SAINT LOUIS: The study did not address reasons underpinning the persistent gap. There could be several reasons, Dr. Muench said: Men may be better negotiators, for instance, or perhaps women more often leave the work force to raise children. Women may have a tougher time getting promoted, she said.

“A workplace may offer a bit more to the men in order to diversify,” said Diana Mason, a professor of nursing at Hunter College of The City University of New York and former editor of The American Journal of Nursing.

Still, it is possible that women earn less because of a “lingering bias that a man is more of an expert because he’s a man,” she said.
The study did not address reasons underpinning the gap, Saint Louis now wrote. And not only that:

“Women more often leave the work force to raise children?” That suggested that the study was comparing the annual incomes of men and women with different levels of seniority.

“Women may have a tougher time getting promoted?” That suggested that the study was comparing annual income of men and women who were actually holding different types of positions.

In the end, the journalistic incompetence here is hard to believe. Let’s consider those two basic problems:

Who needs percentages: The gender wage gap is normally discussed in terms of percentages. All over these United States, we the people have had that “77 percent” statistic drummed into our heads. That said, Saint Louis never converted the difference in income among nurses into a percentage.

That $5,100 difference in income sounds like a lot—and it is! That said, it doesn’t come anywhere near the statistical difference commonly cited on a percentage basis.

According to Wasserman’s bogus statistic, women are paid 23 percent less than men. But based on income data which appear in the study, that $5,100 seems to represent something like seven percent less income for women in this field. Though we can’t be entirely sure about that, due to the Times’ weak reporting.

Saint Louis did a long report. Given the conventional way this topic is discussed, she and her unnamed editor should have thrown in a percentage.

Who needs adjustments: That $5,100 difference in income is still a large amount. To what extent does it represent less pay for the same work?

Amazingly, Saint Louis and her editor never really attempt to settle this question. At first, her use of the term “in similar positions” suggested to many readers (you can see them in comments) that she was talking about amounts of pay “for the same or equal work.”

Later, though, she seemed to say that the study didn’t make such adjustments. Here’s where this gets really sad:

In comments, many commenters said they had clicked to the study. Most of the study lies behind a substantial pay wall. But in one portion which is visible, the study seems to suggest that it did adjust for some standard factors at some point.

Or something! Who can tell?
JAMA STUDY (3/24/15): Using ordinary least-squares regression and employment information in the NSSRN, we assessed how much of the annual salary differences could be accounted for by demographic factors, work hours, experience, work setting, clinical specialty, job position, survey year, state of residence, and other factors...
The researchers say they assessed “how much of the annual salary differences” could be accounted for by such factors as “work hours, experience [and] job position.”

Does that mean that the $5,100 was the raw difference in average income? Does that mean that adjustments were later made on the basis of such factors as “hours worked?”

We don’t have the slightest idea. In even a slightly rational world, that’s the sort of thing the New York Times would have explained in its news report!

The gender wage gap has become a battle cry for us on the pseudo-left. We love to repeat our bogus statistic, just as pseudo-conservatives have always loved to advance their own tribe’s bogus claims.

Into the fray stepped the New York Times. The analysts were gnashing their teeth as they struggled with the paper's report.

“Can’t anyone here play this game?” one analyst even asked.

Last Wednesday, this news report drove the analysts wild. The very next day, the youngsters would come to despair over the way the Times handled a striking statistic about another high-profile topic—the rate of police shootings by race.

How many shootings is just about right? We will admit that we were struck by what the New York Times said.

Tomorrow: Shootings by race. Still coming:

Doctored statistics about math achievement. Also, those peculiar dueling statistics concerning campus rape! With brief side trips to health care spending! Also, Mitt Romney’s tax rate!

“Can anyone here play this game?” We’d call the answer surprising but obvious.


  1. 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.

    1. "These comments ... are infested by one or more trolls ...." (eg. Anonymous March 31, 2015 at 11:48 AM).

    2. The disclaimer really does seem to bother the trolls.

    3. Warning to casual readers of this blog: comments and responses about trolls are unmoderated. They are generated by hardy fans of imaginary analysts. They are dedicated to building the self esteem of an underappreciated messenger of doom trying to save his intellectual culture from a meltdown he says few can see. Belief in trolls, like belief in the analysts, is optional and not required to prevent scoffing at the content of the blog. But it helps.

    4. While I admire the work of the disclaimer lady, and I'm sure she's a very nice person, in my view A. Perez and his hot potato work is far more effective in outraging the trolls than repeating the same message over and over again as if you are a warning on a pack of cigarettes. On the other hand it is consistent with the style of the author.

    5. "Metaphors We Live By" by George Lakoff and Mark Johnson

      “To give some idea of what it could mean for a concept to be metaphorical and for such a concept to structure an everyday activity, let us start with the concept ARGUMENT and the conceptual metaphor ARGUMENT IS WAR. This metaphor is reflected in our everyday language by a wide variety of expressions:
      Your claims are indefensible.
      He attacked every weak point in my argument.
      His criticisms were right on target.
      I demolished his argument.
      I've never won an argument with him.
      You disagree? Okay, shoot!
      If you use that strategy, he'll wipe you out.
      He shot down all of my arguments.

      It is important to see that we don't just talk about arguments in terms of war. We can actually win or lose arguments. We see the person we are arguing with as an opponent. We attack his positions and we defend our own. We gain and lose ground. We plan and use strategies. If we find a position indefensible, we can abandon it and take a new line of attack. Many of the things we do in arguing are partially structured by the concept of war.”

      This is the Subject of an e-mail to me: Game, set, AND match AND THE WAR to: JACK!!!
      So, the goals of trolls are not to prove a point, or enlighten others, their goals are to vanquish the enemy, and declare VICTORY!
      They like the smell of napalm in the morning, and that’s pretty much all they’ve got going for them.
      Pity them.

    6. Couldn't have said it any better.

    7. S. Mellow NeighpalmMarch 31, 2015 at 3:25 PM

      Mazel Tots!

  2. The people who obsessively focus on that "for less work" formulation don't seem to care about the other sources of discrimination in the workforce. It matters that women don't get promoted or don't get offered the same number of hours of work (especially where hours determine benefits) or lose seniority when they take family leave to have a child.

    For example, in the Department where I teach, men are offered the chance to work during summer and make extra pay. When there is the chance for an overage by covering a class for an ill colleague, that is offered to a man. Men are offered the travel and extra stipend involved in sitting on special committees or taking on consulting work. Female faculty often don't even know these opportunities exist because they are given to men without advertising the task to the whole faculty. And if you complain about such things, you get a reputation for being a difficult person to work with. That kind of thing is held against you when you are up for promotion.

    Somerby is ever so careful about getting that 77% statistic right but he doesn't seem to care at all about the systematic practices on the job that produce such a disparity. Why do women wind up doing different work for less pay? That should be the question we are wondering about, not why doesn't the NY Times understand statistics instead of understanding that there is a problem with how women are paid.

    1. As a regular reader of this blog I caution you against trying to have anyone believe a professor.

    2. What you've described is a terrible situation --literally gender discrimination.

      If women are being deprived of equal opportunities in the workplace primarily because they are women, then that's simply intolerable.

      But it's also very odd in how thorough it seems to be. It really does seem to be the effects of a deliberate policy of exclusion. The obvious question is: why women would as a group be subjected to this kind of treatment at an establishment like that?

      Is this a case of some systemic business practice that needs to be abolished, e.g. discriminatory insurance "red-lining," or is it a matter of the school existing in a local culture of religious fundamentalism, e.g. Hasidic communities, or is it a matter of an individual within a particular hierarchy with the wrong ideas and too much power successfully evading the law?

      Even if the result is the same, i.e. that women as a group are disadvantaged in that particular workplace, the reason for that collective punishment is important, because the remedies that should be brought to bear will significantly differ.

      Reasonable people can surely agree that "Why do women wind up doing different work for less pay?" is a serious question we should be wondering about (right along with establishment journalism's current analytic capacities).

      But positing that the vast majority of Americans live and work in situations that resemble orthodox community cultures, and then "wondering" about that "problem with how women are paid" is not actually the same as asking real questions whose answers are not known in advance. It's putting the conclusion of nationwide, pan-industry, structural and systemic gender discrimination first, and then moving on to such remedies as would be necessary to abolish those things.

      Is it really the case that, in 21st century America, businesses, non-profits, universities, flower shops, investment banks, start-ups, organic farms and hospitals all tend to be chaired, managed and supervised by the kind of men who have either overt male superiority complexes or unconscious gender-related values that weirdly resemble those prevalent in fundamentalist Mormon communities in rural Utah?

      Simply declaring that there are "the systematic practices on the job that produce such a disparity" just doesn't do enough to explain what's happening in all of the various places in which women of all incomes and occupations work. Are these practices horizontal and systemic on a national scale? What exactly are the nature of these systems of disadvantage at work?

      Something is happening, and it's worth our attention.

      "Why do women wind up doing different work for less pay?" is a good question.

      A better question, probably, is "Why do some women wind up doing different work for less pay?"

      That this more precise question tends to get concerned people right back to the ""for less work" formulation" seems to be a good thing, though, unless one is primarily interested in putting the ideological cart before the horse.

      Thanks for considering this,
      Stuart Zechman

    3. Nice work, Stuart. Just for laughs, I'd like to add a couple of more observations. The first is that using claims that are not substantiated but are treated as valid because they fit the agenda of the claimant is a classic argument from ignorance. I have a friend who keeps insisting the the infamous lost Malaysian airline must have been captured by aliens because he see alien conspiracies everywhere the same way a feminist constantly sees patriarchy. My friend would be regarded by most people as a crackpot the other a possible women's studies professor. The second, which is directly related and devised by a better wag than me is to note, "the multiple of anecdotal evidence is not data."

      If it was actually typical that women got paid 77 cents on the dollar for doing the exact same work this would be true to a greater or lesser degree virtually everywhere you looked. Rachel Maddow ore the National Organization of Women would be able to rattle off countless examples of women working alongside men doing the exact same job but being paid 23% less. And yet this does not happen. Virtually no examples are offered. It's like rape culture. Feminists go looking for a case to match their paranoid and hateful vision of men come up with Duke lacrosse, Hofstra University, Dominque Strauss Khan and, most recently, the University of Virginia, have all of these cases blow up in their faces by turning out to be hoaxes and yet, w/o showing the slightest embarrassment or shame or any sort of intelligent self doubt go on insisting that WE MUST BELIEVE THE VICTIM or be guilty of supporting rape culture.

      Feminism is a crackpot, man-hating cult that simply refuses to acknowledge even the possibility of reasonable doubt. According to them we MUST LISTEN AND BELIEVE, no matter how many times they turn out to wrong or obviously running on empty.

      They are a huge distraction from real issues and, as such, among the best friends Republicans ever had. If global warming does eventually run riot and destroys civilization, for example, they will deserve a huge amount of the blame for making liberalism look so goddam stupid.

    4. Stuart, it could be as simple as men feeling more comfortable around other men, hanging around with men more than women, and when opportunities arise naturally thinking of their buddies first. That is widespread and systemic without being deliberate. It happens everywhere there are not policies for making fairer decisions.

    5. HB,
      You should be as skeptical when the defense contractors call for war.

    6. RE "it could be as simple as men feeling more comfortable around other men"

      "That is widespread and systemic"

      "It happens everywhere"

      First, thanks for these ideas, they are certainly more plausible than assuming that American men everywhere automatically assume the role of fundamentalist oppressor in whatever corners of the nation that remain uncorrected by agents of federal law.

      I agree, it could be as simple as men in every role in every profession and industry naturally preferring the company of other men, but perhaps it's not.

      And while it's certainly a more plausible theory than positing a widespread, deeply held, male psychological longing for Victorian gender roles and relations, it still doesn't make that much sense when applied to the vast majority of men in every community and station.

      Why would men fell more comfortable around other men? Aren't men socialized to constantly compete with one another? Isn't the likelihood of a physical confrontation breaking out between men something like thousands of times more probable? Don't men have wives, friends, family that are women, with whom they've freely chosen to spend their time and attention?

      In fact, isn't it a strange sort of stereotyping that assumes men would naturally bond around such boilerplate items as shared interest in professional sports teams? Can we safely assume such stereotypes when we're social problem solving, generally, or is that exactly the type of cloudy thinking the perpetuation of which we're trying to avoid?

      If it's not that simple, then we won't solve anything, other than that we might feel better about "doing something" regardless of whether the "policies for making fairer decisions" work or have significant, unintended consequences that make the situation worse.

      I thought that conservatives tend to apply commonly held, simplifying stereotypes this way to their policy ideas, whereas we on the left are trying to work from a more reality-based, necessarily complicated set of formulas regarding what is or isn't "natural" for people --that's how we came to understand and accept the reality that "feminine" and "masculine" roles weren't some decree by God in the first place!

      I hope that this discussion has contributed toward our mutual understanding, and look forward to more of your input.

      Thanks for the response,
      Stuart Zechman

  3. Bob Somerby has become the James Imhofe of wage gap denial.

    1. ...because he expects the NYT to report on it!!

    2. "because he expects the NYT to report on it!!"

      It did. Otherwise he wouldn't have spent 3/4 of his post thinslicing (correctly or otherwise) the "77 cents" meme. Whether or not Bob Somerby is in denial for any wage disparity isn't even addressed by your comment!!

    3. GW hasn't been debunked. The 77 cent figure has.

    4. "The 77 cent figure has."
      So you are saying that women don't make 77 cents for every dollar a man makes? I thought only the qualifier that isn't in the debate was debunked.

    5. Yes. It has been debunked.

      "The 77 cent figure" is garbage.

      No, "women don't make 77 cents for every dollar a man makes."

      Like any sane person, if I hear you say "women make 77 cents for every dollar a man makes" I understand you mean they are paid 23% less than men for the same work.

      You don't have to SAY "the same work." It's quite obviously implied unless you immediately qualify it by saying:

      "Women make 77 cents for every dollar a man makes! Well, I mean, not for doing the exact same work of course. For whatever work, on on average. When women and men do the same work, with the same seniority, for the same hours, there's still a gap, but it's much, much smaller -- nowhere near 77 cents to the dollar."

      Which is something that the 77 centers never, never do.

      So yeah, "the 77 cent figure" is UTTERLY BUNK, useful only for trying to deceive by implication.

  4. "According to this treasured statistic, women are paid 77 cents on the dollar, compared to men,for doing the same or equal work.."

    The highlighted language is Bob Somerby's treasured addition to an actual measured statistic. He inserts it regularly even when the person he is attacking does not use it. Then he attacks them for saying it.

    In this regard he is very much like, no, I'd have to say he is exactly like those who elected Bush and caused the deaths of thousands of innocent Iraqi's by inventing things Al Gore didn't say.

    By the way, when Al Gore ran for President he took the initiative to say women made 72% of what men make. He did not say it was for doing the same or equal work.

    1. It is always abundantly clear exactly what we're talking about in this context. Here's some of that abundance:


      Let me widen this discussion. Political strategist, Republican Alex Castellanos is here. And of course our own MSNBC's Rachel Maddow. And also Congressman Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington state, head of the Republican conference on Capitol Hill.

      This is a wider conversation about how to win the women's vote, what women will care about and the kind of conversation ultimately that they're having as they evaluate this campaign. Where are we after Hilary remarks and the debate that ensued?

      Well, Hilary apologized. And I think we've all made statements that we later regret. The reason that it caused such a controversy, though, is that it exposed that the war on women is really a myth. That it has been created by the Democrats in an effort to distract Americans, once again, from the real issues.

      Democrats know that the Republicans won the women's vote in 2010. It was the first time since Reagan that the Republicans won the women's vote and it resulted in the Republicans taking the majority in the House. Eighty-seven new freshmen, a record number of women, Republican women, that were elected to the House.

      And it could be argued that it was the American women that really voted out, fired the first woman speaker of the House because they didn't like the direction the country was taking. They didn't like the policies promoted by this administration, by the Democrat majority at that time, whether it was the massive debt, record debt, $5 trillion now, whether it was the healthcare bill that women oppose. They wanted a different direction.

      How, Rachel, should this conversation actually be framed? I made the comment when I've done this topic before. In a lot of ways, men bringing up this question it's almost a condescending question. "Well, what is it that women want?"


      So what is the right way to be framing this conversation and this debate, which is a very serious debate, because we're talking about the real deciders in the race.

      Policy. It should be about policy. And all of our best debates are always about policy. And it should be about policy that affects women specifically. The Romney campaign wants to talk about women and the economy. Women in this country still make 77 cents on the dollar for what men make. So if--

      Not exactly.

      Women don't make less than men?

      Actually, if you start looking at the numbers, Rachel, there are lots of reasons for that.

      Wait, wait. No.

      Well, first of all, we--

      Don't tell me what the reasons are. Do women make less than men for the (UNINTEL PHRASE)?


      Not (UNINTEL).


      No? (LAUGH) Okay. No.

      Well, for example--


      --men work an average of 44 hours a week. Women work 41 hours a week. Men go into professions like engineering, science and math that earn more. Women want more flexibility--


      Listen, this is not a math is hard type of conversation.

      No, no. Yes, it is, actually.
      No, it isn't.
      We're having to look--

      No, listen--

      All right, let Rachel--


      --by the way (UNINTEL).

      Right now women are making 77 cents--

      And litigated--

      --on the dollar for what men are making, so--

      Well, that's not true.


      If so every--

      All right, let Rachel make her point.

      --greedy businessman in America would hire only women, save 25% and be hugely profitable.

      I feel like this is actually--

      That's it.

      --and it's weird that you're interrupting me and not letting me make my point, because we get along so well. So let me make my point.

      I will.

      But it is important, I think, the interruption is important, I think, because now we know, at least from both of your perspectives, that women are not faring worse than men in the economy. That women aren't getting paid less for equal work. I think that's a serious difference in factual understanding of the world.

      But given that some of us believe that women are getting paid less than men for doing the same work, there is something called the Fair Pay Act. There was a court ruling that said the statute of limitations, if you're getting paid less than a men, if you're subject to discrimination, starts before you know that discrimination is happening, effectively cutting off your recourse to the courts. You didn't know you were being discriminated against. You can't go.

      The first law passed by this administration is the Fair Pay Act. To remedy that court ruling. The Mitt Romney campaign put you out as a surrogate to shore up people's feelings about this issue after they could not say whether or not Mitt Romney would have signed that bill. You're supposed to make us feel better about it. You voted against the Fair Pay Act. It's not about--


      --whether or not you have a female surrogate. It's about policy and whether or not you want to fix some of the structural discrimination that women really do face that Republicans don't believe is happening.

      It's policy is the argument.

      It's policy. And I love how passionate you are. I wish you are as right about what you're saying as you are passionate about it. I really do.

      That's really condescending.

      For example-- no.

      I mean this is a stylistic issue.

      I'll tell you what--

      My passion on this issue--

      Here's a fact--

      --is actually me making a factual argument--

      Can I share one--

      --on it, Alex.

      May I share one fact with us?

      Please share.

      When you look at, for example, single women working in America today between the ages of, I think, 40 and 64, who makes more? Men or women, on average? Men make $40,000 a year. Women make $47,000. When you take out the marriage factor, look at some economics. My point here is that we're manufacturing a political crisis to get away from what this election really wants to be about.

      All right. Well, let me bring it back--

      And that's the Obama strategy in this election.

      All right, but--


      [END QUOTE]***

    4. So, MikeC, I guess you know the answer to these questions then....

      Do women make less than men?
      Do women make less than men for the same work?
      Did Rachel Maddow ever say women make "77 cents on the dollar, compared to men,for doing the same or equal work.."

    5. She said she didn't want to know the reasons why, and objected to having those reasons mentioned. Rachel perferred to mislead.

    6. Humble Ed,

      Do women make less than men? Yes. Men receive more money in both wages and unearned income than do women.

      Do women make less than men for the same work? There is a constant stream of reported cases where that is observed. However, I don't know of a definitive study that controls for all the variables that might be taken into consideration, aside from the indefensible influences of business culture norms and the prejudice of individuals in authority, to give a good quantified estimation of the dollar cost to women (and the general cost to society taking into especial consideration that women head more single parent households than do men).

      Did Rachel Maddow ever say women make "77 cents on the dollar, compared to men,for doing the same or equal work."? My browser search says Maddow did not say that during the Meet the Press episode from which the transcript I pasted was taken. You're welcomed to pursue that question with google and other search tools and get back to me with a definitive answer as to whether she has ever said that. While you're at it, do us a solid and see how many times Maddow has used the "77 cents on the dollar" comparison and, also, explicitly stated she is not suggesting that this is pay for the same or equal work.

    7. I am glad we have so many anonymous responders willing to step in for MikeC.

      @ 3:34 I followed the debate over this edition of Meet the Press in real time. You have resurrected the lying tactic of the right used then. Maddow was trying to get Castellano to answer a "yes or no" question after being interrupted. Her response is, in my opinion, not to say she didn't want to know the reasons, but that she didn't want Castellano to give reasons without first acknowledging the simple answer.

      @ 4:18 Your browser is right. Somerby has clearly alleged she said it during this appearance on Meet the Press. She did not.

      I do not feel the need to find out if Maddow ever said it anywhere because I have not factually represented she has not.

    8. Poor CMike. Forced to admit that Maddow did not say "same work" in the link he provided.

      But he still thinks that Somerby isn't lying through his teeth when he says, "According to this treasured statistic, women are paid 77 cents on the dollar, compared to men,for doing the same or equal work."

      You're little game of "Oh yeah? Well Somerby is right until proven wrong" wouldn't work in a high school debate. It's up to him to support what he says with evidence, and so far, both you and he have failed to do so, and your extensive try at it was laughable.

    9. Just a thought CMike: instead of citing the entire friggin' citation, link to it and provide the link.

    10. CMike is a true student of Somerby. Thinks debates are won by word count.

    11. Right Strunk, and you're just the person to be suggesting proper comment thread etiquette.

    12. @4:57 says incorrectly:

      Poor CMike. Forced to admit that Maddow did not say "same work" in the link he provided.

      Actually, Maddow most certainly did say -and you can put quotes around it- "same work" and that at the link I provided.

      Let me bold it for you:

      ***[QUOTE] But it is important, I think, the interruption is important, I think, because now we know, at least from both of your perspectives, that women are not faring worse than men in the economy. That women aren't getting paid less for equal work. I think that's a serious difference in factual understanding of the world.

      But given that some of us believe that women are getting paid less than men for doing the same work, there is something called the Fair Pay Act. ***[END QUOTE]

      That followed the back and forth between Maddow and Castellanos which began when she said, "...Women in this country still make 77 cents on the dollar for what men make...."

      To waste everyone's time, earlier you had specifically asked with the quotation marks: Did Rachel Maddow ever say women make "77 cents on the dollar, compared to men, for doing the same or equal work." The answer to that was no. If you had asked: Might Rachel Maddow have confused viewers into thinking that women make 77 cents on the dollar, compared to men for doing the same or equal work?- the answer would be yes, and I think she thinks that confusion is useful to her argument.

    13. "Did Rachel Maddow ever say women make "77 cents on the dollar, compared to men, for doing the same or equal work." The answer to that was no."

      Great. That dispensed with, can you find ANYBODY who EVER said: "According to this treasured statistic, women are paid 77 cents on the dollar, compared to men,for doing the same or equal work.."

      Because if you CAN"T, then you will be forced to accuse Somerby of the very same sin of "confusing" you.

      And please. Speak for yourself. Not these other "viewers" who exist in your head.

      You see, I don't consider either Maddow or Somerby to be so "confusing."

      And in Somerby's case, his whole Maddow schtick was nothing more than clickbait as his blog continues to sink slowly in the West. And like every other time he has tried to goose a flagging career, it has failed. Miserably.

      You, however, were "confused" into thinking he was more that that. Why, he even summons the "great souls" and wonders why everyone else except him can't model their behavior.

      I can see how all that can be "confusing" to you. You might try growing up, waking up and smelling the coffee.

    14. CMike, let us use your standard. Despite the fact that Maddow never said the "treasured statistic" in the way Bob has repeatedly alleged, you say: "Might Rachel Maddow have confused viewers into thinking that women make 77 cents on the dollar, compared to men for doing the same or equal work?- the answer would be yes."

      By saying "I took the initiative in creating the internet" might Al Gore have confused viewers into thinking he claimed he invented the internet?

    15. Find a mom to give you a name and you won't be so lonely and sad Anonymous @10:55PM.

    16. Humble Ed,

      As to whether Al Gore might have confused viewers with what he said, the answer is no. He preceded that part of his comment with "During my service in the United States Congress..." not "During my years in Washington while I was tinkering in the garage..." and after the comment became the basis a manufactured controversy he did not then go on to host a show segment during which he further confused the issue.

    17. Sorry CMike, but Al Gore was asked a question and he gave a calm, deliberate, and uninterrupted answer. You don't think he confused viewers? Hell man, the stupidity of his comment helped turn him into a joke that is so firmly associated with him that when you Google his name the first thing that comes up is "Al Gore internet."

      Rachel Maddow was interrupted before she could complete a sentence and the interruptions continued throughout. the best you can do to support your conclusion of her confusing people is to find her saying "some of us believe that women are getting paid less than men for doing the same work" which is an expression of belief that by virtually every measure in almost every profession turns out to be true.

      You just can't bring yourself to apply the same standard for some reason.

    18. Humble Ed,

      There wasn't any confusion about what Al Gore said when he said it. It only became a liability for Gore when the RNC resurrected it in cropped and then modified form. But you know all this. You're here to put on a show of being obnoxious in defense of Maddow. I guess all those Obama devotees each have to be some place these days acting out like an Obama devotee- so here you are.

    19. Seasoned politician Al Gore was sitting down for a pre-arranged interview on national TV for which he was (or should have been) well prepared when Blitzer stunned him with this "gotcha" question:

      "Why should Democrats looking at the Democratic nomination — the process, support you instead of Bill Bradley, a friend of yours, a former colleague in the Senate? What do you have to bring to this that he doesn’t necessarily bring to this process?"

      To which Gore answered in full:

      Well, I will be — I’ll be offering my vision when my campaign begins, and it’ll be comprehensive and sweeping, and I hope that it’ll be compelling enough to draw people toward it. I feel that it will be.

      "But it will emerge from my dialogue with the American people. I’ve traveled to every part of this country during the last six years. During my service in the United States Congress, I took the initiative in creating the Internet. I took the initiative in moving forward a whole range of initiatives that have proven to be important to our country’s economic growth, environmental protection, improvements in our educational system. During a quarter century of public service, including most of it long before I came into my current job, I have worked to try to improve the quality of life in our country and in our world. And what I’ve seen during that experience is an emerging future that’s very exciting about which I’m very optimistic and toward which I want to lead."

      Yep, we owe our entire "quality of life" to the "initiative" Al Gore took during his service in Congress.

      As for Maddow? She was engaged in a heated debate on live TV, never said (by your own admission) what Somerby has accused her (and other "pseudo-liberals") of not only saying, but saying repeatedly,

      Yet, she stands convicted of deceiving poor CMike into thinking she said that.

      Now here is where I am confused. Somerby took an indisputable statistic (Women working full time are paid 77 cents (now 78.8) on the dollar) and added "for the same or equal work" to it, claimed that others say it all the time, can't find a single instance of it, yet still repeats his claim.

      And you buy it, even going so far as to say that even if they never said it, that is what they are deceiving "people" into thinking.

      Well, who is deceiving whom?

    20. CMike, your comment @ 4:10 is extremely bizarre.

      I didn't see any defense of Maddow from Humble Ed. He simply asked you, who went to the trouble of posting three long cut and paste pieces of transcripts, some questions. Then he followed up on your answers. And he never mentioned Obama, nor did anyone in this subthread.

      Did you misplace some marbles in the wee hours?

    21. 10:38 - I thought it was CMike's April Fool's joke.

      Wow, he was serious!

  5. Perhaps the $20 should have a black face on it.
    Then the "joke" would be "it only would be worth $12.00", right?

  6. And now, we are treated to another week of Boxcar Bob's Greatest Hits!

    Yesterday: "Sexual Assault Ain't So Bad!"

    Today: "The 77 Percent Statistic!"

    Bet tomorrow we get "Subsidized School Lunches Are Not A Measure of Poverty!"

    When do we get "The Ballad of Railroaded Dennis and George"?

    Can he fit in "Poor Gov. Ultrasound" and "It Still May Be A Legitimate Traffic Study"?

    1. Yesterday: "Sexual Assault Ain't So Bad!"

      You are deeply dishonest.

    2. Let's take another measure of honesty @ 10:48

      "According to this treasured statistic, women are paid 77 cents on the dollar, compared to men, for doing the same or equal work.

      Can we talk? No one who works in the field thinks that’s a valid statistic. But we pseudo-liberals love the claim. We just love to repeat it."

      Name a pseudo liberal Bob has ever correctly identified who has made the claim. Name a pseudo liberal who Bob has indentified who has repeated it.

      Now I will repeat a treasured statistic. It was mine. I presented it in a comment yesterday when Somerby first headlined a post: The New York Times can’t handle stats!

      "Statistics on "New York Times Can't Handle Stats"

      Number of NY Times articles linked by Bob: 4
      Number of statistical errors identified by Bob: 0"

      Bob has taken a second bite at the Big Apples's Big Paper.

      Can you or any of his readers point to a single statistic the Times presented in error based on this post?

      Don't repeat what Bob says they should have included but did not. That's Bob's favorite tactic when he is caught lying to you, as he was in his own combox. Tell me what statistics they got wrong.

    3. Half a day later and still nobody has found an error in the Times report beyond the Editor from Baltimore's objections to what was not in the article.

  7. The Census Bureau just updated it's numbers. The Wage Gap is now 78.8 cents on the dollar for women compared to men.

    The figure has improved from 59.8% when President Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act in 1963.

    I think Bob Somerby should treat the Pay Gap like he treats the Achievement Gap in public schools. He should complain that the press does not report the fantastic gains women have been making over the last 52 years.

    1. OMB

      Be careful what you ask for. When you do a comparison of how the U.S, fares on wage equity internationally we once again find ourselves beaten badly by those nasty old Finns and Poles.

      "U.S. is 65th in world on gender pay gap"

      That's according to the World Economic Forum. But that is based on a study relying on data from CEO's.

      What happens when working people do the study?

      "Of 38 countries assessed in the International Labour Organization's Global Wage Report 2014/15, released Friday, Americans had the widest reported total gap, at 36 percent. That's a bigger paycheck bite than the Census Bureau's most recent estimate, which has women earning 78 cents for every dollar men earned. In comparison, the ILO report's front-runner, Sweden, has a pay gap of just 4 percent."

      We fear if BOB adopted your recommendation he would try and explain away the poor showing of the US by stating those other countries don't have all the black and Hispanic workers the US has that we pay less. If you compare only our white men's wages to white women, surely the One True BOB could argue, we do much better.

    2. It's surprising to me to see that video on the CNN site. I wonder if they're going to work that one into the on air, er on cable, rotation.

    3. CNN is just trying to get the viewers who like to read about imaginary analysts working on a sprawling campus bursting into tears over a melting intellectual culture. Or perhaps the decision to put the video up was made by a clueless youngish female scribe with an Ivy League degree who spent a summer abroad. We just don't know.

    4. Women have made fantastic gains over the last 52 years. They are now more than 50% of the graduates of professional schools with similar representation as lawyers, doctors, dentists, pharmacists and CPAs. They were 1-2% 50 years ago. There is no longer a pink ghetto in which women even with college degrees are relegated to strictly clerical positions and cannot get salaried jobs, as was true 50 years ago. Women are now admitted to trade unions and skilled trades, including plumbing, electrician and similar unions that excluded them 50 years ago. Women can pursue a much wider variety of positions in the military leading to actual line advancement instead of the dead-end clerical jobs they held 50 years ago. Women can now get business loans without a cosigner, rent office, open bank accounts and thus can own and operate small businesses.

      Such progress doesn't mean there isn't room for more change.

    5. Anonymous April 1, 2015 at 10:29 AM says,

      >>>CNN is just trying to get the viewers who like to read about imaginary analysts working on a sprawling campus bursting into tears over a melting intellectual culture.<<<

      Maybe. They sure seem to have Howler regular ZKoD on the hook.