CBS, NBC Tout Hillary’s Call for Pay Equity, Ignore Her Hypocrisy on Issue

On Wednesday, both CBS This Morning and NBC’s Today did their best to promote a recent speech by Hillary Clinton in Silicon Valley in which the former First Lady stressed the importance of gender pay equity in the workforce.

Even though CBS and NBC were quick to tout Clinton’s call for pay equity, the two networks conveniently ignored the fact that under the media’s and her own definition of pay inequality, she paid her female Senate staffers 72 cents for each dollar her male staffers earned.  

According to the Washington Free Beacon, during Clinton’s years in the Senate “the median annual salary for a woman working in Clinton’s office was $15,708.38 less than the median salary for a man, according to the analysis of data compiled from official Senate expenditure reports" but NBC and CBS ignored how her own call for pay equity conflicts with her Senate record. 

During a report on NBC’s Today, Andrea Mitchell played up how “[a]t a women's conference in Silicon Valley, Hillary Clinton left little doubt she’ll be running.” In highlighting Clinton’s speech, the NBC reporter noted her work fighting for women’s issues and even played a clip of the former Secretary of State praising Patricia Arquette’s Academy Awards speech demanding equal pay for women: 

ANDREA MITCHELL: Last time Clinton played down her gender to prove she was tough enough to be commander in chief. This time she’ll play up her gender, focusing on equal pay for women, family leave, issues she’s fought for all her life. 

HILLARY CLINTON: We all cheered at Patricia Arquette's speech at the Oscars because she is right. It's time to have wage equality once and for all. 

On CBS This Morning, reporter Nancy Cordes beamed at how “[i]n the heart of Silicon Valley, Clinton chastised the tech industry for hiring fewer women and paying them less and she took on rigid family leave policies across the economy.”  

The CBS reporter continued to detail Clinton’s efforts at promoting wage equality: 

Women's issues aren't a new focus for the former First Lady. As Secretary of State she advocated for wage quality and universal education and got, she says, a mixed reception...Clinton downplayed gender in her first bid for president as she sought to show she was tough enough for the job. 

Despite Cordes’ attempts to publicize Clinton’s call for pay equity, her own network actually refuted the liberal talking point that women make 77 cents on the dollar compared to men. In a report on the April 8, 2014 edition of CBS This Morning, Major Garrett called out the Obama administration for their faulty logic on the issue: 

The White House said it's gender pay gap is tied to job experience, education, and hours worked, among other factors. This matters because those explanations, according to the Labor Department, explain a good deal of the gender pay gap nationally.
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When the factors that the White House used to defend its gender pay gap are used nationally, the Labor Department says the difference in median wages between men and women shrinks to about 5 cents to 7 cents on the dollar.

While CBS and NBC ignored the recent report that under Clinton's own standards, she paid her female staffers less than the men, on Tuesday, ABC's The View actually covered the story during their "Hot Topics" segment. Fill-in co-host Stacy London called the Clinton revelations "damaging" and co-host Nicolle Wallace explained that women are not paid less for the same work despite CBS and NBC's attempt to promote Clinton's flawed and hypocritical argument: 

I never thought a Democrat candidate for the nomination for president would be the one giving us a lesson on this, but the problem with the argument that Democrats and liberals make about equal pay is it's impossible to know if the women have the same job and the same job experience as the men. 

See relevant transcripts below. 

CBS This Morning 

February 25, 2015

CHARLIE ROSE: This morning the outlines of Hillary Clinton's possible White House bid are coming into focus after her first domestic speech of the year. The former Secretary of State came out swinging on issues relating to women at a conference of female tech workers. Nancy Cordes is in Washington with how Clinton is sharpening her message. Nancy, good morning. 

NANCY CORDES: Good morning. Well Clinton has been keeping kind of a low profile as she lays the groundwork for a possible run. But over the next couple of weeks she's got a series of events lined up which are all dedicated to women, something she largely avoided in her last campaign. 

HILLARY CLINTON: Our economy seems to still be operating like it's 1955. 

CORDES: In the heart of Silicon Valley, Clinton chastised the tech industry for hiring fewer women and paying them less and she took on rigid family leave policies across the economy. 

CLINTON: There are still too many women who want to earn more and work more but are held back by outdated policies and pressures. 

CORDES: Women's issues aren't a new focus for the former First Lady. As Secretary of State she advocated for wage quality and universal education and got, she says, a mixed reception. 

CLINTON: I could see men's eyes glaze over. I could see particularly foreign leaders, but some Americans, too, saying, oh, yeah, here she goes. 

CORDES: Clinton downplayed gender in her first bid for president as she sought to show she was tough enough for the job. Democratic strategist Maria Cardona says this time Clinton would likely highlight her experience as a mother and grandmother. 

MARIA CARDONA: She will be able to talk about these issues not in the marginalized women's lib category as they may have been seen several years ago but as mainstream issues of economic security for all of our families. 

CORDES: It would also be a way to set herself apart from what is currently an all-male Republican field. 

JEB BUSH: But I'm my own man. 

 

NBC’s Today

February 25, 2015

NATALIE MORALES: Well, she’s not a candidate just yet, but Hillary Clinton is starting to sound more and more like one. NBC’s Andrea Mitchell is in Washington with more. Andrea good morning. 

ANDREA MITCHELL: Good morning Natalie. Well, she’s hired top aides away from the Obama White House and the president's own pollster. And now Hillary Clinton has hinted more broadly than ever before about the campaign that’s sure to come. At a women's conference in Silicon Valley, Hillary Clinton left little doubt she’ll be running. 

 HILLARY CLINTON: You don't have to run for office, although if you do, more power to you. 

MITCHELL: And in answer to questions from Kara Swisher from Re/Code, a tech site partly owned by NBCUniversal. 

KARA SWISHER: I interviewed President Obama last week and I am very eager to interview another president so--

CLINTON: Look, if you don't tell anybody, I am obviously talking to a lot of people, thinking through. 

MITCHELL: Last time Clinton played down her gender to prove she was tough enough to be commander in chief. This time she’ll play up her gender, focusing on equal pay for women, family leave, issues she’s fought for all her life. 

CLINTON: We all cheered at Patricia Arquette's speech at the Oscars because she is right. It's time to have wage equality once and for all. 

 

NB Daily Campaigns & Elections 2016 Presidential CBS CBS This Morning NBC Today Andrea Mitchell Nancy Cordes Charlie Rose Natalie Morales Hillary Clinton

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