National Public Radio’s David Greene (host) and Tamara Keith (reporter) double-teamed on a story on Wednesday’s Morning Edition about President Barack Obama’s summit to address the pay gap between men and women. The premise of the story was the false statistic–debunked repeatedly, but flogged repeatedly by the president and his chorus–that women earn 77 cents for every dollar made by men for doing the same jobs.
Greene merely repeats the “77 cents” claim as if it were undisputed fact, and Keith does not bother to address the debate about the statistic, nor the reason that a (much smaller) pay gap persists. She also ignores the fact that President Obama himself pays the women who work in the White House far less than he pays the men. That fact would certainly seem relevant to judging the president’s latest initiative to appeal to female voters.
Greene and Keith acknowledge that Obama’s meeting is partly driven by midterm-election-year politics. But they do not provide NPR’s listeners with the facts that would enable them to make up their own minds. So they proceed from a faulty, unsubstantiated premise to a politicized report that favors the Democrats’ narrative. This is how much White House reporting is done–particularly when a Democrat is in office, and in deep trouble.
The article has been corrected to reflect the fact that David Greene, not Ari Shapiro, was the host.