HARPER: Media whoppers misrepresent the GOP

Question of the Day

Should Congress make English the official language of the U.S.?

View results

Politicians and the media like slogans. They’re simple and don’t necessarily need to be true.

The past week, we got two whoppers, which are likely to set the tone of the 2014 campaign, that Republicans are sexist and racist.

SEE ALSO: Obama administration’s ‘Culture of intimidation’ seen in Nevada ranch standoff

No. 1: President Obama said, “Today, the average, full-time working woman earns just 77 cents for every dollar a man earns. In 2014, that’s an embarrassment. It is wrong.”

No. 2: Baseball legend Hank Aaron “reportedly” compared Republicans who oppose Mr. Obama to the Ku Klux Klan.

Many news organizations bought Whopper No. 1 hook, line and sinker. Laura Bassett, a reporter for The Huffington Post, blasted the GOP for voting against the so-called “Paycheck Fairness Act.” The meme played out throughout the country, challenged only in some of the more perceptive media outlets.

In a column, Mark Perry and Andrew Biggs of the American Enterprise Institute take down the wage myth fact by fact. The headline notes: “Once education, marital status and occupations are considered, the ‘gender wage gap’ all but disappears.”

Some pertinent facts from the column:

Men are almost twice as likely as women to work more than 40 hours a week, and women are almost twice as likely to work only 35 to 39 hours per week. Once that is taken into consideration, the pay gap begins to shrink. Women who worked a 40-hour week made 88 percent of what men were paid.

The wages of single women who have never married jumped to 96 percent of men’s earnings. (See http://on.wsj.com/1qfBwix).

Even The Washington Post dismissed Mr. Obama’s claims in its “The Fact Checker” series, noting a number of incorrect statements on the wage differential. (See http://wapo.st/1g7u3yA).

As The Washington Post said, “The president must begin to acknowledge that ‘77 cents’ does not begin to capture what is actually happening in the workforce and society.”

The news organization gave the president two “Pinocchios” for misleading people on the issue. An outright lie earns four Pinocchios.

Whopper No. 2: Mr. Aaron did not compare the GOP with the KKK. Nevertheless, a number of news organizations decided to headline that obviously negative and ridiculous comparison.

Mr. Aaron hit more home runs than anyone else in U.S. baseball history except for Barry Bonds, who has been suspected of using performance-enhancing drugs. It was an amazing accomplishment, which occurred 40 years ago.

As part of the anniversary celebration, Mr. Aaron, who now serves as senior vice president of the Atlanta Braves, said this in an interview with USA Today: “President Obama is left with his foot stuck in the mud from all of the Republicans with the way he’s treated. We have moved in the right direction, and there have been improvements, but we still have a long ways to go in the country. The bigger difference is that back then they had hoods. Now they have neckties and starched shirts.”

Story Continues →

View Entire Story
blog comments powered by Disqus
TWT Video Picks
You Might Also Like
  • Maureen McDonnell looks on as her husband, former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, made a statement on Tuesday after the couple was indicted on corruption charges. (associated press)

    PRUDEN: Where have the big-time grifters gone?

  • This photo taken Jan. 9, 2014,  shows New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie gesturing as he answers a question during a news conference  at the Statehouse in Trenton.  Christie will propose extending the public school calendar and lengthening the school day in a speech he hopes will help him rebound from an apparent political payback scheme orchestrated by key aides. The early front-runner for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination will make a case Tuesday Jan. 14, 2014, that children who spend more time in school graduate better prepared academically, according to excerpts of his State of the State address obtained by The Associated Press. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

    BRUCE: Bombastic arrogance or humble determination? Chris Christie’s choice

  • ** FILE ** Secretary of State Hillary Rodham testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013, before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the deadly September attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, that killed Ambassador J. Chris Stevens and three other Americans. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

    PRUDEN: The question to haunt the West

  • Get Breaking Alerts