Friday, April 11, 2014

More gender wage gap shenanigans from PolitiFact Oregon

Back in February, we pointed out PolitiFact Oregon's blunder in ruling it "Mostly True" that women in Oregon earn 79 cents on the dollar compared to men for doing the same job.

PolitiFact Oregon is back today with another misleading take on the gender wage gap.
The National Partnership For Women & Families, a Washington, D.C.-based advocacy group, released a new analysis April 8, 2014, to coincide with Equal Pay Day. It cited U.S. Census data showing that women who work full time in Oregon are paid 79 cents for every dollar paid to men -- a claim PolitiFact Oregon has investigated previously and found solid.

But it went further. If the wage gap were eliminated, it said, "a working woman in Oregon would have enough money per year for 2,877 gallons of gas, 72 more weeks of food for her family or nearly 12 more months of rent.["]
PolitiFact Oregon apparently doesn't remember that its earlier fact check examined a version of the gender wage gap claim that had men and women doing the same work.

So we've got a fact check that focuses on a wage gap that exists primarily because men and women work at different jobs and men tend to put in longer hours.

This is a little like hearing "If you step on a crack, you'll break your mother's back" and then focusing intently on whether somebody stepped on a crack.

The National Partnership for Women & Families drew PolitiFact's attention with an April press release expressly designed to encourage support for paycheck fairness measures--measures that would do next to nothing to reduce the 21-cent gap that creates all the would-be disparities PolitiFact carefully verifies.

OMG!  We stepped on a crack!  Our poor mothers!

PolitiFact Oregon rules it "True" that we stepped on a crack the average woman in Oregon could afford to pay for more stuff if the wage gap was eliminated.  PolitiFact Oregon ignores the fact that the paycheck fairness measures the NPFWF supports would narrow the gender wage gap fractionally if at all.

Looks like PolitiFact Oregon is too busy fact checking to worry about little details like that.


We liked The Oregonian's added touch of promoting its gender wage gap story with teaser headlined with "That 79-cent gender pay gap and what it will buy."

A 79-cent gap!  What happened to the 21-cent gap?

The accompanying video has PolitiFact Oregon reporter Dana Tims expressing the NPFWF's argument, saying the pay gap would narrow if women were compensated fairly.  Tims also says the claim of a 21-cent pay gap in Oregon pretty much holds up when women and men are doing the same work, which is baloney.

Correction 4/12/2014:  Replaced the "e" in "women" in the next-to-last paragraph with an "a," changing it to the grammatically correct singular form.

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