Melber lets her do it: Last evening, Kamala Harris appeared on The Beat with Ari Melber.
What happened was several steps beyond disappointing. As Harrison Ford is told at the end of Witness, "You be careful, John Book, out among them English."
At the start of the interview, Melber asked Harris about her plan to address the gender pay gap.
You can see Harris' initial answer below. Already, things are very shaky. To watch the full segment, click here:
MELBER (5/20/19): Let's start with this. What does your plan do to combat the gender pay gap?Already, we were in serious trouble. Harris seemed to be saying that, "on average," black women get paid 61 cents on the dollar "for equal work" as compared to men.
HARRIS: Well, first of all, it is just a fact, right? So the reality of this is that we don't have to debate the point, which is that, on average, women make 80 cents on the dollar to men. If you're talking about African-American women, that's 61 cents. If it's Latinas, it's 53 cents.
So there is an obvious issue that we have around, not only disparities but fairness, and equal pay for equal work. So let's get beyond that because it's not a debatable point.
The question becomes, what are we going to do about it? And I think the goal, we would all agree, should be that people should be paid equally for equal work.
HARRIS: There should be a consequence, Ari. There should be a consequence to the corporation if they're not paying people equally for equal work. Women deserve to be paid as much as men, and they are not. And this has not changed over decades.
As far as we know, no one actually believes that. No conservative specialist believes such a thing. No liberal or progressive specialist does.
As a statement about what's true "on average" across the work force, this familiar old claim seems absurd on its face. But so far, it was possible to think that Harris was merely speaking carelessly, in a way which could be corrected.
Later in the interview, that was no longer possible. Melber noted the stiff financial penalties built into Harris' proposal. Did she really plan to follow through? Harris answered thusly:
MELBER: So that [financial penalty] is a lot. I mean, are you hearing about that from your donors from Wall Street? Are you—is that for real, I guess is what I'm asking?To Melber, this was very interesting. By now, we were being asked to picture a woman "in a cubicle," working right next to a man who was doing "the same work."
HARRIS: It is for real because look, Ari, it's for real that that woman is getting paid 80 cents on the dollar. It's for real that that other woman is getting paid 61 cents on the dollar.
It's for real that that other woman is getting paid 53 cents on the dollar. And she's sitting at her kitchen table in the middle of the night trying to figure out how she can pay her bills.
When she wakes up at the same time the next morning as the guy who was working in the cubicle next to her, she performs the same work, but she's not getting paid the same amount. That's for real too.
MELBER: Very, very strongly put and very interesting. I want to get you on some of the other breaking news.
We were told that the woman who was doing the same work was getting paid 53 or 61 cents on the dollar, as compared to the man working right alongside her.
As far as we know, no one thinks that anything like that is actually true "on average." Surely, Senator Harris knows that. Presumably, Melber does too.
As the week proceeds, we'll discuss the way this topic is being discussed out there among them English. That said, it's easy to spot this sort of thing when it's being done Over There, by people in the other tribe, AKA The Very Bad People.
It's a whole other thing to see it done by people like Harris and Melber. In this lunatic age of Donald J. Trump and corporate looting, can this possibly be the best the liberal world can do?