MSNBC Quotes White House Data To Push Misleading Statistic On Equal Pay For Women

MSNBC seems to be doing everything it can to let its viewers know that it is the Obama propaganda network. With Tuesday April 8 being Equal Pay Day,  the “Lean Forward” network has been doing its best to misinform its viewers about the supposed pay gap between men and women.

Appearing on her daily “Jansing & Co.” program, host Chris Jansing openly cited the White House during an interview with Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) to push the false statistic that “a woman earns about 77 cents for every dollar a man makes.”

Jansing began the segment by hyping “This is the week Democrats are rolling out the plan to take on the Republicans. It starts with President Obama making another bold end around of a divided Congress.”

Before highlighting the misleading “77 cents” statistic, Jansing dishonestly stated that “These high-profile actions by the White House and Democrats are going to come tomorrow on Equal Pay Day which is the point in the year where the average woman’s pay finally catches up to what a man makes in the same job in the previousyear.”

Unsurprisingly, the liberal Norton did not correct Jansing’s claim, and instead reiterated the erroneous statistic: “And what we don't know are these differences between men and women wages that clearly exist or else that 77% disparity where we have been stuck now for many years would have moved.”

Jansing clearly sympathized with her guest’s efforts to push “equal pay” legislation and lamented “Why are we still here” before fretting that Norton was “not particularly optimistic that between now and November Congress is going to take action on any of these things.”

Unfortunately, Jansing is not the first MSNBC host to use the “77 cents” lie. Her colleague Mika Brzezinski has repeatedly used that argument on “Morning Joe” with no pushback from her conservative co-host Joe Scarborough. It appears that MSNBC has gone beyond echoing Obama talking points on its airwaves, moving to outright repetition of the White House’s agenda without any pushback from the “Lean Forward” hosts.


See relevant transcript below.


MSNBC

Jansing & Co.

April 7, 2014

10:15 a.m. Eastern

CHRIS JANSING: This is the week Democrats are rolling out the plan to take on the Republicans. It starts with President Obama making another bold end around of a divided Congress. He will have two executive orders on pay equity followed up by a bill in the Senate.

CHUCK SCHUMER: We have a whole agenda now called the fair shot agenda aimed at average middle-class people paying for college, minimum wage, keeping jobs in America. It is going to be, I think this past two to three weeks has been a turning point.

JANSING: So now, one executive order the president will sign will be to bar federal contractors from retaliating against workers who talk about their salaries. The other measure will direct the labor secretary to draft new regulations requiring contractors to submit data on compensation including a breakdown on sex and race. Lilly Ledbetter will be on hand for tomorrow’s announcement. She of course the namesake for the first bill President Obama ever signed into law giving women more power in recovering lostwages due to discrimination. Meantime, the Senate will vote on the Paycheck Fairness Act which would require the Labor Department to work with employers in eliminating the pay gap between men and women. I want it to bring in Washington D.C. Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, a member of the Oversight Committee, and Congressional Caucus for Women’s Issues. Good morning and a long-time advocate for pay equity and income equality. Good to see you congresswoman, good morning.

ELEANOR HOLMES NORTON: Good morning

JANSING: These high-profile actions by the White House and Democrats are going to come tomorrow on Equal Pay Day which is the point in the year where the average woman’s pay finally catches up to what a man makes in the same job in the previousyear. As you know a woman earns about 77 cents for every dollar a man makes, so what is the message that you want to get out there?

NORTON: As he has done in other areas, the president is using his executive power to do what the do-nothing Congress will not do. I am to-sponsor of two bills for equal pay bills in the Congress. They have been pending for more than ten years. What the president has done with these executive orders should not be underestimated. The most important is the part that for the first time would make only federal contractors, but that is an auspicious start, report on their compensation. I enforced the Equal Pay Act and the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Both of those bills require employers across the board to report on the race and gender of those they hire. Neither of those bills require that you report on the pay of men and women, so this is a giant step of a breakthrough, because what we don't know has been hurting women. And what we don't know are these differences between men and women wages that clearly exist or else that 77% disparity where we have been stuck now for many years would have moved.

JANSING: You talk about these bills that you’ve been pushing for ten years, and you have been talking about the gender gap for a very long time we have a picture of you from July of 1971. There you are with Gloria Steinem and Betty Friedan, two trailblazers. And I want to play a clip of you talking about the gender pay gap on the “Today” show back in 1982.

NORTON: Sure women have in fact penetrated corners of the workforce they were never in before. But the wage gap has remained stationary, and that is very bad news, because the American family now depends upon the second wage, and the wage of the woman.

JANSING: Ifeel, congresswoman that you could come on and say exactly the same thing, and here we are in 2014. Why are we still here?

NORTON: Well, these talking point, if that is what they were haven't changed, because I think that women have not done what we did to get the 1964 Civil Rights Act. The 1964 Civil Rights Act was a tremendous breakthrough, which by the way was as much of a breakthrough for women as men, because it meant that you could look at, and enforce the act, the first enforceable act for hiring men and women. But people were in the streets ten years before that happened. Women's issues are across the board. And equal pay has become a kind of motherhood issue. Everybody says he’s are for it. You put a bill in the congress, and you can't get it passed, because women have not demanded that it be passed. That’s one of the reasons that Democrats have made such inroads with women in the United States, because they are willing to press these issues, and in effect form a kind of movement to get Congress to do something about it. At least we have a president who is setting the pace by doing something about it with those employers, federal contractors that he in fact controls.

JANSING: So am I reading you right, congresswoman, that obviously the president is going to sign these two executive orders, but you are not particularly optimistic that between now and November Congress is going to take action on any of these things? 

NORTON: We are talking about a Congress that can't even pass appropriation bills and budgets, so don't expect the Congress to pass an equal pay act the fair pay act. Any of the bills pending. But I say that women can make this happen, and I hate to put it this way, but things don't happen, because members of Congress and there are an increasing number of us who are women say they must happen. It happens because the group that is most effective says it happen, and women have to organize around equal pay to get the Paycheck Fairness Act passed, and then it will be passed. 

Jeffrey Meyer
Jeffrey Meyer
Jeffrey Meyer is a News Analyst at the Media Research Center.