CBS and ABC on Wednesday trotted out the same tired warning of a "pay gap" between men and women, deeming it "ridiculous" that anyone could possibly disagree with the talking points put forth by feminists such as Gloria Steinem and Jane Fonda. CBS This Morning featured the two liberal women, as well as another feminist for a one-sided harangue about females in the workplace. Norah O'Donnell hyped, "Last year women earned 76.5 cents to every dollar a man makes. Why does that still exist?" [MP3 audio here.]
None of the hosts questioned the legitimacy of the pay gap. Instead, they allowed Steinem to play the victim card, complaining that the reason is "because we are the cheap labor source on which the country is running." Fellow guest Robin Morgan (an arch-leftist author) railed against the "pale males" who run the media.
CBS has been touting this story for years. On April 24, 2007, the network featured Catherine Hill of the American Association of University Women. She lectured, "It suggests that discrimination may still be a very important problem for women in the workplace."
No one on CBS mentioned that Morgan is an extreme liberal who has trashed religion and wrote a sympathetic take on on the "core connection between patriarchal societies and the inevitability of terrorism," The Demon Lover: The Roots of Terrorism.
ABC's Good Morning America on Wednesday allowed a mere 20 seconds on the new Census numbers, but news reader Josh Elliott openly opined, "The gap has not changed significantly for a decade, which just seems completely ridiculous." (NBC didn't cover the story.)
ABC and CBS both ignored some simple facts about the alleged pay gap. According to an article on CBSNews.com:
Men are far more likely to choose careers that are more dangerous, so they naturally pay more. Top 10 most dangerous jobs (from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics): Fishers, loggers, aircraft pilots, farmers and ranchers, roofers, iron and steel workers, refuse and recyclable material collectors, industrial machinery installation and repair, truck drivers, construction laborers. They're all male-dominated jobs.
Men are far more likely to work in higher-paying fields and occupations (by choice). According to the White House report, "In 2009, only 7 percent of female professionals were employed in the relatively high paying computer and engineering fields, compared with 38 percent of male professionals." Professional women, on the other hand, are far more prevalent "in the relatively low-paying education and health care occupations."
Despite all of the above, unmarried women who've never had a child actually earn more than unmarried men, according to Nemko and data compiled from the Census Bureau.
A partial transcript of the September 18 segment is below:
GAYLE KING: I want you to start us off, because I wonder back in the day what you saw that said, hey, this isn't right and what you see today that makes you say, hey, this is not right?
GLORIA STEINEM: Well, it was also what I didn't see. I mean, I looked at the Senate. I could go snow blind there. I mean, from all those white folks and no women.
STEINEM: I mean, now, look at this show. This show --You bring different experiences.
NORAH O'DONNELL: That's right. Charlie is outnumbered, isn't he?
STEINEM: No. But, I mean, you're not yelling at each other. This show looks much more like the country than the people who are making the media decisions who are still only three percent women. So, you know, yes, it's changed, but we have a long way to go.
NORAH O'DONNELL: There is a new study out today about the pay gap, which has been, of course, something that's been talked about a great deal, and yet last year women earned 76.5 cents to every dollar a man makes. Why does that still exist?
STEINEM: Because we are the cheap labor source on which the country is running. I mean, the biggest economic stimulus this country could possibly have is the $2 billion put into the economy if we had equal pay, just for the work that women are already doing.
O'DONNELL: And yet, Jane this was something that – the President had the Lilly Ledbetter Act, which is about suing. It doesn't require companies to pay women the same amount. This has been an issue that's been at the forefront for three decades. Pay gap. The pay gap. What do you think needs to be done?
JANE FONDA: Yeah. How do we do it? How do we do it? What are we going to do?
STEINEM: We do it in all kinds of ways. We ask for what we're worth, which women don't always do.
STEINEM: We sue. We bring action. We start our own businesses. Women are starting their own businesses. I mean, by any means necessary. Isn't that what we used to say?
FONDA: And we make people aware of it.
FONDA: If you don't know that there's a problem and if you can't name it, then we can't solve it, which is one of the reasons we starts the Women's Media Center, because people, we see women's faces on television but we don't realize that in fact men way outnumber women in terms of the media and the media is what determines how we feel about ourselves, what we feel is possible. Whether it's print, radio, television, we're outnumbered.
O'DONNELL: And on that note 25 percent of the guests on talk shows are women. 30 percent of the local news directors, 37 percent of the newspaper newsrooms and 27 percent of the front page bylines. Despite the gains of women in the media –
ROBIN MORGAN: That's where the rubber meets the road. Because the positions of power are still largely concentrated in the hands of a relatively few rich pale males with the except of course, Charlie.
CHARLIE ROSE: Thank you, Robin.
KING: Present company excluded.