Whether you call it irony, hypocrisy, or schadenfreude, the deliciousness here is simply too good not to point out. First, we start with a little bit of background from the White House’s own website:
Despite passage of the Equal Pay Act of 1963, which requires that men and women in the same work place be given equal pay for equal work, the “gender gap” in pay persists. Full-time women workers’ earnings are only about 77 percent of their male counterparts’ earnings. The pay gap is even greater for African-American and Latina women, with African-American women earning 64 cents and Latina women earning 56 cents for every dollar earned by a Caucasian man. Decades of research shows that no matter how you evaluate the data, there remains a pay gap — even after factoring in the kind of work people do, or qualifications such as education and experience — and there is good evidence that discrimination contributes to the persistent pay disparity between men and women. In other words, pay discrimination is a real and persistent problem that continues to shortchange American women and their families.
In April of 2014, President Obama signed an Executive Order to prevent workplace discrimination and empower workers to take control over negotiations regarding their pay. In addition, he signed a Presidential Memorandum directing the Secretary of Labor to require federal contractors to submit data on employee compensation by race and gender, helping employers take proactive efforts to ensure fair pay for their employees.
Sounds nice, and completely in line with the claims of the Obama administration of standing up for the “little people” and minorities and such. There’s just one little problem, as noted by even the uber-liberal New York Times (emphasis mine):
…critics of the administration are eager to turn the tables and note that Mr. Obama’s White House fares only slightly better. A study released in January showed that female White House staff members make on average 88 cents for every dollar a male staff member earns.
The dueling statistics reveal the political sensitivities around a set of gender-related issues that could be critical in the midterm elections this fall. Those include pay equity, family leave, preschool and child care. …
Even as Mr. Obama seeks to make an issue of the gender gap in compensation across the country, however, his own hiring is facing some scrutiny. The recent study, by the conservative American Enterprise Institute, showed that the median annual salary for women in the White House last year was $65,000, while the median annual salary for men was $73,729. The study was based on White House salary data.
My, my, my.
Since we know that the Obama White House is completely, totally, and in all ways free from prejudice, bias, or favoritism, let’s think about what might actually be causing the disparity. Hm…I don’t know about you, but this makes a whole lot of sense to me:
Mark Perry, an economics professor at the University of Michigan-Flint and author of the AEI study, said coming up with a median salary average is “meaningless” whether you apply it to the national overall or the White House specifically.
Perry, a resident scholar at AEI, noted that the wage gap within the White House might “not be based on discrimination, but based on the fact that women and men are playing different roles within the organization.”
When analysts factor in that variable, as well as others such as education and years of work experience, the gender gap narrows. According to these calculations, women lag anywhere between 5 and 12 percent behind their male counterparts.
Wait, what? Taking time off from one’s career has an effect on one’s career trajectory? Revelatory! There’s also this, from the above NYT article:
…the 88-cent statistic was misleading because it aggregates the salaries of White House staff members at all levels, including the lowest levels, where women outnumber men.
But this little meet-and-greet between pot and kettle just keeps getting better. With even the New York Times questioning the White House disparity (before helpfully minimizing it, of course), surely the NYT would have its own house in order, yes? Well…
At the annual City University Journalism School dinner, on Monday, Dean Baquet, the managing editor of the New York Times, was seated with Arthur Sulzberger, Jr., the paper’s publisher. At the time, I did not give a moment’s thought to why Jill Abramson, the paper’s executive editor, was not at their table. Then, at 2:36 P.M. on Wednesday, an announcement from the Times hit my e-mail, saying that Baquet would replace Abramson, less than three years after she was appointed the first woman in the top job. Baquet will be the first African-American to lead the Times.
Fellow-journalists and others scrambled to find out what had happened. Sulzberger had fired Abramson, and he did not try to hide that. In a speech to the newsroom on Wednesday afternoon, he said, “I chose to appoint a new leader of our newsroom because I believe that new leadership will improve some aspects …” Abramson chose not to attend the announcement, and not to pretend that she had volunteered to step down.
There’s some more back story to it, but here’s the part that really puts the fun in dysfunctional (emphasis mine):
Abramson discovered that her pay and her pension benefits as both executive editor and, before that, as managing editor were considerably less than the pay and pension benefits of Bill Keller, the male editor whom she replaced in both jobs. “She confronted the top brass,” one close associate said, and this may have fed into the management’s narrative that she was “pushy,” a characterization that, for many, has an inescapably gendered aspect. … I was also told by another friend of Abramson’s that the pay gap with Keller was only closed after she complained. But, to women at an institution that was once sued by its female employees for discriminatory practices, the question brings up ugly memories. Whether Abramson was right or wrong, both sides were left unhappy. A third associate told me, “She found out that a former deputy managing editor”—a man—“made more money than she did” while she was managing editor. “She had a lawyer make polite inquiries about the pay and pension disparities, which set them off.”
If this doesn’t illustrate the liberal phenomenon of steadfastly believing in two sets of rules — one for them and one for everyone else — then I’m not sure what does. Perhaps lost in all this is the decision of who replaced Abramson – an African American. Now, far be it from me to suggest anything about Baquet’s competence for running the NYT, but I do find it just a wee bit coincidental that the potential backlash resulting from firing a woman who questioned why she wasn’t being paid equally compared to her male predecessor would be largely mitigated by the elevation of an African American to the post in her place. After all, the political machinery in power right now has made it clear that the highest ranking protected class of people in this nation is African Americans, so as angry as women might be at taking second place, that’s just how it’s going to be. Get in line, and be glad you’re as high as second, ladies!
This is another beautiful example of the Orwellian nature of liberalism. Sure, we’re all equal…but some of us are more equal.
There’s my two cents.