On Tuesday evening, the networks all dutifully touted President Obama's call for equal pay for women in the workplace. NBC and CBS ignored Obama's hypocrisy – the pay gap that exists among his own White House staff.
ABC's Diane Sawyer put a dramatic spin on the news, saying Obama called for "action" on the "explosive issue of equal pay for equal work." World News did note the GOP response that women in the White House earn 88 percent of the men's salaries, but relegated that important fact to the very end of the report. Neither NBC nor CBS reported it.
Yet on Tuesday morning, CBS's White House correspondent Major Garrett exposed Obama's hypocrisy on the issue, saying the White House got "roughed up by hits on pay equity rhetoric." Garrett added that "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." (BiasAlert post)
And on Tuesday afternoon, ABC's Jonathan Karl pushed White House press secretary Jay Carney on the matter, prompting a lengthy tussle. Karl asked:
"The President cited Census data that women, on average, make 77 percent of what men make. Why is that an example or evidence of discrimination in the workforce at large, but it's not evidence of discrimination when women here at the White House make 88 percent of what men here at the White House make?"
Yet CBS didn't follow up on Garrett's scrutiny of the White House on Tuesday evening, and ABC ignored Karl's debate with Carney, only mentioning that "the right" argued "that women in Obama's own White House make 88 cents to a man's dollar." NBC ignored the fact altogether, instead playing the role of White House stenographer.
As Brian Williams reported, "the White House says today April 8th is an important date for women because they say for the average American woman to earn what the average American male was paid last year, she has to work all of 2013 plus all the way through today into 2014."