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CNN’s Lisa Sylvester fact-checks the exchange and determines that the actual gender gap is about 5 cents. But as Mediate’s headline suggests, Sylvester determines that Rachel Maddow was “right” in the debate. This ruling is meant to satisfy the half-sophisticates following the discussion.
How does CNN determine rightness or wrongness here? By attributing an argument to Maddow which she didn’t make while holding Castellanos to something he didn’t actually say. Looking into the gearworks of the liberal media machine – at the piled up fibs and distortions – is an instructive exercise.
CNN first cites a female professor who is the president of the American Association for University Women who asserts that the 77 cent pay gap exists. She says that she sees the pay gap at the university level as well.
The AAUW president points out that the Census data from which the 77 cent trope is drawn does factor in work hours, contra Castellanos’s claims. But this is a distorted interpretation of the Census Bureau’s statistics. The Census Bureau controls for “full time employment” which they set at 35 hours per week, but not for actual work hour inputs. Maddow and the professor would have us ignore what we know is true: some people, and more men than women, work many hours over the full-time threshold. As Kay Hymnowitz pointed out in the Wall Street Journal:
The Labor Department defines full-time as 35 hours a week or more, and the “or more” is far more likely to refer to male workers than to female ones. According to the department, almost 55% of workers logging more than 35 hours a week are men. In 2007, 25% of men working full-time jobs had workweeks of 41 or more hours, compared with 14% of female full-time workers. In other words, the famous gender-wage gap is to a considerable degree a gender-hours gap.
Here were Maddow’s assertions which do not all mean the same thing:
“Women in this country make 77 cents on the dollar for what men make.”
“Women don’t make less than men?”
“Do women make less than men for the same work?”
So Maddow is clearly saying that women make 77 cents on the dollar for the same work even though CNN determines that the gap is closer to 95 cents on the dollar. Yet Castellanos, who never did say that a gender gap doesn’t exist just that the 77 cent myth is “not exactly” true, is determined to be wrong. But if you just do the quick math, Castellanos would have only been off by that 5 cents while Maddow was off by 18 cents. If this is a question about who is less wrong, Castellanos wins.
These are the half-truths and obfuscations on which many progressive liberal policies are based.