NPR Plays Up Democrats' 'Pay Equity' Tactic Against GOP; Omit Democrat Wage Gap!

NPR's Tamara Keith forwarded the "war on women" talking point of Democratic senators on Tuesday's All Things Considered as she reported on their proposed Paycheck Fairness Act. Keith spotlighted how "the bill's author...Senator Barbara Mikulski from Maryland, points out women earn just 77 cents for every dollar made by a man in the same position. She says that's the real war on women."

However, the correspondent omitted that several cosponsors of the bill actually pay their female staffers less than male staffers. She also slanted towards the liberal politicians by playing three soundbites from them, versus only one from a Republican senator.

Host Audie Cornish noted that "Republicans in the Senate blocked a vote on the Paycheck Fairness Act today, a bill aimed at closing pay disparities between men and women. The defeat of the bill is not a surprise. Democrats knew the likely outcome before ever bringing the bill up. But, as NPR's Tamara Keith reports, this is an election year when many votes are as much about getting the opposition on the record as passing legislation."

Tamara Keith, NPR Correspondent; found at http://www.rtdna.org/pages/education/money-matters-webinar.phpKeith led her report with the anti-GOP smear: "By now, you've heard about the Republican war on women. Democrats don't want voters, particularly coveted female voters, to forget about it. First, there was the issue of contraception; then, came the Violence Against Women Act. You might say the Paycheck Fairness Act is a sequel." She continued with two clips from Senator Harry Reid attacking Republicans, and specifically singling out presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

Later in the segment, the NPR journalist acknowledged that "the fact that he [Romney] and his fellow Republicans had to, once again, explain their position on women's issues appears to be exactly what Democrats want. In the Senate, they keep bringing up bills related to women - bills they know Republicans don't support....With the war on women narrative apparently likely to continue, House Republicans are trying to get off of defense. They recently launched the women's policy committee."

What Keith failed to mention that is that a May 24, 2012 article by Andrew Stiles of the Washington Free Beacon documented that "a substantial gender pay gap exists" in the offices of three female senators who support the Paycheck Fairness Act. Senator Patty Murray of Washington is "one of the worst offenders," according to Stiles: "Female members of Murray's staff made about $21,000 less per year than male staffers in 2011, a difference of 33.8 percent. That is well above the 23 percent gap that Democrats claim exists between male and female workers nationwide." Overall, according to the writer, "women working for Senate Democrats in 2011 pulled in an average salary of $60,877. Men made about $6,500 more."

Back in April 2012, the correspondent filed a one-sided report on Mitt Romney and cited the "liberal news site Think Progress" as one of her main sources. Keith turned to a former aide to Democrats John Kerry and Deval Patrick without giving his political or ideological affiliation.

The full transcript of Tamara Keith's report from Tuesday's All Things Considered:


AUDIE CORNISH: Republicans in the Senate blocked a vote on the Paycheck Fairness Act today, a bill aimed at closing pay disparities between men and women. The defeat of the bill is not a surprise. Democrats knew the likely outcome before ever bringing the bill up.

But, as NPR's Tamara Keith reports, this is an election year when many votes are as much about getting the opposition on the record as passing legislation.

TAMARA KEITH: By now, you've heard about the Republican war on women. Democrats don't want voters, particularly coveted female voters, to forget about it. First, there was the issue of contraception; then, came the Violence Against Women Act. You might say the Paycheck Fairness Act is a sequel. Here's Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

SEN. HARRY REID, (D), NEVADA: It's clear where Democrats stand. We stand for equal pay for equal work, and it's time for Republicans to stop denying the reality that millions of women face every day, and work with us to give women the pay equality they deserve.

KEITH: Reid also took the opportunity to attack GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney on the issue.

REID: He should show some leadership, and tell his fellow Republicans that opposing fair pay for all Americans is shameful.

KEITH: Romney's campaign says he supports pay equity for women, but he did not take a position on the bill. The fact that he and his fellow Republicans had to, once again, explain their position on women's issues appears to be exactly what Democrats want. In the Senate, they keep bringing up bills related to women - bills they know Republicans don't support.

Nevada Senator Dean Heller was the only Republican to address the Paycheck Fairness Act on the Senate floor today.

SEN. DEAN HELLER, (R), NEVADA: This proposal couldn't pass when Democrats controlled both chambers of Congress. Yet, here we are today voting on the same measure again and again, and those who are actually victims of workplace discrimination are only getting lip service from Washington.

KEITH: And despite all the politics, the bill's author, Democratic Senator Barbara Mikulski from Maryland, points out women earn just 77 cents for every dollar made by a man in the same position. She says that's the real war on women.

SEN. BARBARA MIKULSKI, (D), MARYLAND: It's one bullet every paycheck when you're discriminated against. Every time you get a paycheck and you're making less to [sic] the next person, that's a war against women.

KEITH: The bill would protect women from retaliation from their employers for trying to seek equal pay. Republicans objected, saying it would lead to frivolous lawsuits. With the war on women narrative apparently likely to continue, House Republicans are trying to get off of defense. They recently launched the women's policy committee, complete with a video featuring GOP women.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN 1: Today, Republican women in Congress are making a real difference.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN 2: We Republican women are working together to create jobs, reduce spending-

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN 3: Help small businesses and put healthcare decisions back into your hands-

KEITH: It's just another sign of the value placed on female voters this election year. Tamara Keith, NPR News, the Capitol.

Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan is a news analyst at Media Research Center