Look closer. Think harder. Choose the sound argument over the clever one.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

USA Today Misleads About Roberts' "Equal-pay" Position

Headline: Roberts scoffed at equal-pay theory

As an assistant White House counsel in 1984, John Roberts scoffed at the notion that men and women should earn equal pay in jobs of comparable importance, and he belittled three female Republican members of Congress who promoted that idea to the Reagan administration.

That's the headline & first paragraph of yesterday's USA Today article (via Yahoo! News). On the face, it sounds like he's against equal pay for equal work. But a closer look reveals something different.

In fact, he was responding to a concept promoting unequal pay for equal work--described as comparable value pay: "The women had said that the concept of 'equal pay for equal work' had not sufficiently boosted women's wages..."

Roberts characterizes it as "a radical redistributive concept," and that's exactly what it is.

Consider this, from CAMERA.org:

Headlines are the first, and sometimes only, news items seen by readers and should provide the essence of a news story. While they must capture the reader's attention, headlines should always be accurate and specific.

Accurate headlines would be "Roberts scoffed at comparable-value theory"; "Roberts calls comparable-value theory a radical redistributive concept"; "Roberts rejects controversial equal-pay theory"; etc.

CQ documents another media smear.

8/20, Powerline: Washington Post takes the same cheap shot.


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