CBS Destroys White House Rhetoric on Gender Pay Gap; NBC and ABC Ignore

On Tuesday's CBS This Morning, White House correspondent Major Garrett completely dismantled President Obama's left-wing talking points on the supposed gender pay gap of women making 77 cents on the dollar compared to men, reporting: "The White House is getting...roughed up by hits own pay equity rhetoric." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

Garrett used the administration's hypocrisy on the issue to fact check the false claims: "An analysis of White House salaries, which nobody here disputes, shows that the median income of female staffers is 88% of that of male staffers....Now, the White House said it's gender pay gap is tied to job experience, education, and hours worked, among other factors. This matters because those explanations, according to the Labor Department, explain a good deal of the gender pay gap nationally."

Garrett went after the selective nature of Obama's nationwide campaign on the topic: "The big difference in these stories, when President Obama discusses this issue nationally he doesn't mention those other work variables, only the broad figure that 77 cents per dollar is what women earn compared to men in median wages."

Landing the final blow to the liberal pet issue, Garrett observed: "When the factors that the White House used to defend its gender pay gap are used nationally, the Labor Department says the difference in median wages between men and women shrinks to about 5 cents to 7 cents on the dollar."

Garrett wrapped up his report by noting that the President would be signing two executive orders on Tuesday regarding equal pay among federal contract workers, "a small subset of the labor market." He dismissed the move as having little impact: "This is largely an information tool, economists doubt it will dramatically change pay for federal contract workers."

NBC's Today only featured a 21 second news brief on topic, with news anchor Natalie Morales touting the executive orders:

President Obama taking steps today regarding equal pay for female federal workers. The President will sign two executive orders, the first makes it illegal for federal contractors to punish employees who compare their pay with each other. The President will also order new rules requiring federal contractors to provide data about compensation based on sex and race.

The headline on screen proclaimed: "Equal Pay for Women; New Rules Attempt to Even the Playing Field."

Morales failed to mention how the White House had shot itself in the foot with its own rhetoric.

ABC's Good Morning America didn't discuss the "equal pay" issue at all on Tuesday and none of the network evening newscasts covered it Monday night.


Here is a full transcript of Garrett's April 8 report on CBS This Morning:

7:14 AM ET

NORAH O'DONNELL: And this morning, President Obama plans to sign an executive order aimed at eliminating the pay gap between men and women in the federal government. Census figures show in 2012 the average American woman earned only 77% of what the average man earned. And the White House staff isn't doing much better than that.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Wage Gap; President to Sign Orders to Make Pay More Equal]

JAY CARNEY [WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY]: We have – as an institution here –  have aggressively addressed this challenge. And, obviously, though, at the 88 cents that you cite, that is not 100, but it is better than the national average.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Wage Gap; Women at White House Make Less Than Men]

O'DONNELL: Major Garrett is at the White House. And, Major, so how do White House officials describe this disparity where at the White House women make on average 88 cents for every dollar the men make?

MAJOR GARRETT: Well, good morning. The White House is getting, as you indicated, Norah, roughed up by hits own pay equity rhetoric. An analysis of White House salaries, which nobody here disputes, shows that the median income of female staffers is 88% of that of male staffers. Now this study also showed that men and women with the same White House jobs earned exactly the same salary.

Now, the White House said it's gender pay gap is tied to job experience, education, and hours worked, among other factors. This matters because those explanations, according to the Labor Department, explain a good deal of the gender pay gap nationally.

The big difference in these stories, when President Obama discusses this issue nationally he doesn't mention those other work variables, only the broad figure that 77 cents per dollar is what women earn compared to men in median wages.

When the factors that the White House used to defend its gender pay gap are used nationally, the Labor Department says the difference in median wages between men and women shrinks to about 5 cents to 7 cents on the dollar.

CHARLIE ROSE: So, Major, exactly what is the President gonna do today?

GARRETT: Two executive orders dealing with federal contract workers, that's a small subset of the labor market. One requires those – actually, one of those executive orders allows workers, men and women, to discuss openly their salaries, and that could uncover some differences in pay. The second requires federal contractors to tell the Labor Department pay levels by race and gender. This is largely an information tool, economists doubt it will dramatically change pay for federal contract workers. Charlie and Norah.

ROSE: Thanks, Major.

Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen is a News Analyst for MRC