MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski Falsely Claims That ‘Women Get Paid 77 Cents’ of What Men Make

“Morning Joe” co-host Mika Brzezinski is an unapologetic liberal so it should come as no surprise that she would spew liberal talking points on a regular basis. Unfortunately, Ms. Brzezinski has taken it upon herself to repeat the liberal myth that women get paid less than men.

On both the March 18 and 19th broadcasts of “Morning Joe” Mika hyped “the issue of equal pay in the workplace” before deceitfully claiming that “of course women get paid 77 cents for every dollar men earn for the same exact job so it's something that needs to be rectified obviously.” [See video below.]

Mika’s comments came after she learned that Republican Greg Abbott, who is running for governor of Texas, opposes the Lilly Ledbetter Act which “Expands the time that women have to file a lawsuit over pay discrimination.” It should come as no surprise that the MSNBC host would claim that “women get paid 77 cents for every dollar men earn” as this is a myth that liberals have used for years.

As noted in The Daily Beast, certainly no conservative publication, “The 23-cent gender pay gap is simply the difference between the average earnings of all men and women working full-time. It does not account for differences in occupations, positions, education, job tenure, or hours worked per week. When all these relevant factors are taken into consideration, the wage gap narrows to about five cents.

The St. Louis Federal Reserve expanded on this point and argued that: 

Women are likely to work fewer hours than men, which would make a gap in weekly earnings between the two groups substantial even if their hourly wages are the same. For this reason, most economic studies of a gender gap, including all of the studies reviewed in this article, use hourly wages instead of weekly earnings as a measure. Second, many other factors (such as education and labor force attachment) could affect wages. Research suggests that the actual gender wage gap (when female workers are compared with male workers who have similar characteristics) is much lower than the raw wage gap.

Even the Politifact website rated a Barack Obama campaign ad claiming that “women are paid 77 cents” as “mostly false.” Their reasoning:

The 77-cent figure compares all male and female workers, regardless of their occupation. Whether due to a history of discrimination or because of personal choice, women and men are disproportionately represented in certain jobs. For example, women dominate the ranks of receptionists, nurses, and elementary and middle-school teachers, among other fields. Men are disproportionately truck drivers, managers and computer software engineers.

Instead of reporting this information, Mika decided to peddle a lie to create faux outrage at Republicans who oppose the Lilly Ledbetter Act as somehow opposing equal pay for women. Unfortunately, during this segment there was no conservative on the panel to correct Mika’s lie. Instead everyone on the panel agreed with the co-host, allowing a liberal lie about “equal pay” to go uncorrected.

 

See relevant transcripts below.


MSNBC

Morning Joe

March 18, 2014

6:20 a.m. Eastern

MIKA BRZEZINSKI: Among the big topics that play in the race for governor in Texas is the issue of equal play in the workplace. You heard of that? I've heard of it. I've worked on it. Democratic candidate Wendy Davis is looking to attack her Republican opponent Greg Abbott for arguing against the Lilly Ledbetter Act as the state’s attorney general. The law which was signed by President Obama in 2009 expands the time that women have to file a lawsuit over pay discrimination because of course women get paid 77 cents for every dollar men earn for the same exact job so it's something that needs to be rectified obviously. One of Abbott's supporters, the head of the Republican PAC red state women got a little tongue-tied, I guess is the way. She was sort of trying, grasping here. She was offering the GOP alternatives and now that response is part of Wendy Davis online campaign ads. Take a look.

CARI CHRISTMAN: If you look at it, women are -- are extremely busy. We lead busy lives whether working professionally, whether we are working from home and times are -- are extremely -- extremely busy. It's a busy cycle for women and we have got a lot to juggle and so when we look at this issue, we think what is practical? And we want more access to jobs. We want -- we want to be able to go to -- get a higher education degree at the same time that we are working or raise ago family. That's common sense and we believe that that real world solution is a more practical way to approach the problem.

MIKE BARNICLE: Huh? What?

MARK HALPERIN: She nailed it. 

BARNICLE: Say what? 

BRZEZINSKI: We are very busy. It's a busy cycle for women. Are you serious? We are so busy that we don't want equal pay. We're too busy for that.

HALPERIN: She needed someone in her ear. 

BRZEZINSKI: Here is the deal. Let's say you don't want to support all of President Obama's policies so you have to find a way around a really good one like the Lilly Ledbetter Act.You could say something like -- I agree with equal pay and I think all women should have it. I think the president's approach is a start but actually there might be better policies that we could put in place that would inspire companies to do it themselves rather than penalize them after the fact. That would be a good answer, right? Or I don't know. Anything but that.How about that? All right. Alright Gene Robinson, you want to jump in?

EUGENE ROBINSON: No. I just think that having all of that extra money would be a hassle. Women don't have time to go to the bank. 

BRZEZINSKI: We don't have time. 

ROBINSON: They don't have time to do online banking so really this is an advantage to women. I think that is what they should have said. 

BARNICLE: What major companies don't agree with equal pay? I don't know of any. 

BRZEZINSKI: I don't know of any either. And it's a complicated situation and I know that I've met people along the way in my career, my boss included, who really, really want to fix it. And they actually don't need to be prosecuted to fix it. They just need to figure it out but what the heck is that? 

THOMAS ROBERTS: But why would young mother’s today want to raise their kids, especially mothers of boys, to equate women don't deserve equal pay. I think that raising young men in this day and age tounderstand that women are of equal value in all places of life makes the difference. So why would a young mother want to go on and say

HALPERIN: Even in this cycle? 

ROBERTS: Even in this cycle.

BRZEZINSKI: Cycle? What is that word? Are you saying that for a reason? Okay. 
 

 

MSNBC

Morning Joe

March 19, 2014

6:24 a.m. Eastern

MIKA BRZEZINSKI: Alright, the politics of equal pay for women continues to be a headache for Republicans in the state of Texas. Yesterday the executive director of the Texas Republican Party looked to clarify her party’s position on the issue. Trying to fix things. So she said this. This is really helpful. Men are better negotiators. I would encourage women, instead of pursuing the courts for action, to become better negotiators.

MIKE BARNICLE: Did she make that statement in this century?

BRZEZINSKI: She made that statement after an awkward interview by the head of Red State Women, another woman, a Republican super-PAC aimed at recruiting female voters. And in that interview Cari Christman who I invite on this show. I will help you Cari attempts to explain gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott’s position on the Lilly Ledbetter Law on equal pay.

CARI CHRISTMAN: If you look at it, women are -- are extremely busy. We lead busy lives whether working professionally, whether we are working from home and times are -- are extremely -- extremely busy. It's a busy cycle for women and we have got a lot to juggle and so when we look at this issue, we think what is practical? And we want more access to jobs. We want -- we want to be able to go to -- get a higher education degree at the same time that we are working or raise ago family. That's common sense and we believe that that real world solution is a more practical way to approach the problem.

BARNICLE: Now maybe you know this too. Was that part of a hostage tape?

BRZEZINSKI: I feel so bad for her.

THOAMS ROBERTS: She actually got paid 77 cents for that message.

BRZEZINSKI: Okay now stop. It’s terrible.

AL SHARPTON: But the guy filming it got a dollar.

BRZEZINSKI: It’s really hard to hear.

SHARPTON: It’s painful. I mean when you look at how they are avoiding the issue. The issue is 77 cents to a dollar women to men in the country. And busy and all of the negotiating it’s crazy.

BRZEZINSKI: I really applaud the president for what he has done for women especially as it pertains to Lilly Ledbetter Act and the White House Council on Women and Girls. And trying to promote women. If Republicans have better ideas and there are tons of better ideas out there that Republicans can have, bring them to the table. I mean there’s not just one solution and the campaign for Wendy Davis now after this has been circulating that pathetic interview and is making equal pay a key issue in her bid for governor of Texas and I applaud her for that at this point. Who wouldn’t take that interview and run with it?  She currently trails Abbott 49 to 42 percent in a recent Texas Research Institute poll. Other Republicans are also weighing in on the equal pay debate. Minnesota State Representative Andrea Kieffer says quote we are losing the respect that we so dearly want in the workplace by bringing up all these special bills for women and almost making us look like whiners.  

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