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One Day After Discrediting Gender Pay Gap, CBS Brings on Obama Ally to Promote It

After CBS White House correspondent Major Garrett thoroughly dismantled White House rhetoric on the supposed "pay gap" between men and women on Tuesday, only twenty-four hours later, CBS This Morning brought on a guest to push the same false talking points unchallenged. [Listen to the audio]

On Wednesday, with footage rolling of President Obama signing executive orders designed to promote the liberal agenda item, co-host Gayle King introduced Catalyst CEO Deborah Gillis, who was "in the room yesterday when the signing took place." Gillis lamented: "I first looked at this issue as a high school senior, and at that time, the gender pay gap was 67 cents on the dollar. Today it's 77 cents. 31 years later, we've not made a lot of progress..." Neither King nor her fellow co-hosts cited Garrett's reporting from the day before to refute those numbers.

King prompted Gillis by mentioning the administration's hypocrisy: "Even the White House had to acknowledge that there's some discrepancy between the salaries of men and women who work at the White House. Are you surprised that this is still an issue in 2014 among all businesses?" Gillis replied: "I am surprised."

Fill-in co-host Sharyn Alfonsi fretted: "I was shocked to see that more women are now staying home. What's that about?" Gillis partly blamed the weak economy and then turned back to the pay gap argument: "[It's] really a question about is work worth it? And if women are not being paid fairly and equally, then families are going to make choices about who stays at home and who doesn't..."

Co-host Charlie Rose wrapped up the segment by lobbing one final softball – it wasn't even a question, just a supportive statement: "It seems to me also important to make sure that there is a clear understanding of the data that suggests how much women contribute to economic growth and innovation."

Gillis happily proclaimed: "You're absolutely right, Charlie. This is an economic issue. Because if you close the gender pay gap for women, then what you have is more women with money to spend in the economy and that's going to drive economic growth for all businesses and for the country as a whole."

Here is a full transcript of the April 9 segment:

8:03 AM ET

GAYLE KING: The Senate begins debate today on the Paycheck Fairness Act. The bill is meant to protect women from retaliation if they talk about their salary with their co-workers. Yesterday, President Obama signed an executive order allowing government contract workers to discuss pay and benefits.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Money Talks; Senate to Begin Debating Paycheck Fairness Act]

Deborah Gillis is President and CEO of Catalyst, she attended the White House event yesterday. Her company works with other businesses to expand opportunities for women. Deborah, welcome. You were in the room yesterday when the signing took place.

DEBORAH GILLIS: I was.

KING: Why is the transparency so important when it comes to salaries?

GILLIS: The transparency is so important because if you know what your salary is and what your colleagues are making, then that gives women the information they need to negotiate and to ask to be paid fairly and equally to men.

KING: Even the White House had to acknowledge that there's some discrepancy between the salaries of men and women who work at the White House. Are you surprised that this is still an issue in 2014 among all businesses?

GILLIS: I am surprised. I first looked at this issue as a high school senior, and at that time, the gender pay gap was 67 cents on the dollar. Today it's 77 cents. 31 years later, we've not made a lot of progress, so paying attention to this issue is really important.

CHARLIE ROSE: Beyond paying attention, what else is necessary?

GILLIS: Well, the transparency that we talked about, it becomes really important, and the data. Catalyst research has found that first job post MBA, women earn $4,600 a year less than men. When that data is presented and employers are aware of it, then it gives them the tools they need to actually change what's happening in their workplace.

SHARYN ALFONSI: Deborah, I was shocked to see that more women are now staying home. What's that about?

GILLIS: There's a couple of things that I think are happening there. One is if you look at the increase in number of women staying at home, it's tied to the economic downturn. So more women are staying home because they can't find a job. The other is really a question about is work worth it? And if women are not being paid fairly and equally, then families are going to make choices about who stays at home and who doesn't, particularly when you take into account costs of daycare and other things.

ALFONSI: Everybody I know is trying to make that equation in their house, yeah.

CHARLIE ROSE: It seems to me also important to make sure that there is a clear understanding of the data that suggests how much women contribute to economic growth and innovation.

GILLIS: You're absolutely right, Charlie. This is an economic issue. Because if you close the gender pay gap for women, then what you have is more women with money to spend in the economy and that's going to drive economic growth for all businesses and for the country as a whole.

ALFONSI: Alright, thanks, Deborah. So interesting.

— Kyle Drennen is News Analyst at the Media Research Center. Follow Kyle Drennen on Twitter.