Meredith Vieira ambushed Stacey Dash with misleading statistics; media covers for her.
Awhile back Meredith Vieira was a host on “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.” In that game, the contestant had to know the answers to questions. But if he didn’t know the answer, he had some options. One was a limited number of “lifelines” where he could call somebody and get their input.
But when you are a Republican celebrity on the Meredith Vieira show, you don’t get that luxury. And if she brings up a topic that you haven’t recently researched, and feeds you a line of bull manure, claiming that her words are “documented” facts, then you are going to be confused.
And the media, rather than doing basic research, will simply back up Meredith Vieira’s bull manure. After all, that is the same stuff they serve up to the public all the time. So, instead of looking into the truth, they will simply lampoon the celebrity, calling her interview “cringeworthy.”
Cue US magazine: “Stacey Dash, Meredith Vieira Face Off Over Gender Pay Gap in Cringeworthy Interview.”
“I feel like it’s an excuse. It’s the same thing with race. It’s an excuse. Stop making excuses,” the Fox News contributor said of the chatter over the gender pay gap. “If there are opportunities, seize them and be prepared for them, and be the best, if that’s what it takes. If you have to be extraordinary, then be extraordinary.”
Vieira argued that sometimes that isn’t enough. “I feel like we’re fighting an uphill battle. When you look at just the numbers, we make 78 cents for every dollar that a man makes,” she said. “At the rate we’re going, my daughter, who’s 22, will be 65 when there’s finally pay equality. There’s something wrong, something clearly wrong.”
Dash seemed to hesitate a moment before venturing, “I don’t know if that’s true.”
“That’s true, that’s documented,” Vieira replied.
No, it’s not.
The refutations of all five myths are worth reading, but here is what is said about the idea that women are paid less than men:
No matter how many times this wage gap claim is decisively refuted by economists, it always comes back. The bottom line: the 23-cent gender pay gap is simply the difference between the average earnings of all men and women working full-time. It does not account for differences in occupations, positions, education, job tenure or hours worked per week. When such relevant factors are considered, the wage gap narrows to the point of vanishing.
Wage gap activists say women with identical backgrounds and jobs as men still earn less. But they always fail to take into account critical variables. Activist groups like the National Organization for Women have a fallback position: that women’s education and career choices are not truly free—they are driven by powerful sexist stereotypes. In this view, women’s tendency to retreat from the workplace to raise children or to enter fields like early childhood education and psychology, rather than better paying professions like petroleum engineering, is evidence of continued social coercion. Here is the problem: American women are among the best informed and most self-determining human beings in the world. To say that they are manipulated into their life choices by forces beyond their control is divorced from reality and demeaning, to boot.
And, I can’t stop quoting from the Time piece without including the portion that is written as if it was predicting Meredith Vieira’s own ignorant and fatuous posturing.
Why do these reckless claims have so much appeal and staying power? For one thing, there is a lot of statistical illiteracy among journalists, feminist academics and political leaders. There is also an admirable human tendency to be protective of women—stories of female exploitation are readily believed, and vocal skeptics risk appearing indifferent to women’s suffering. Finally, armies of advocates depend on “killer stats” to galvanize their cause. But killer stats obliterate distinctions between more and less serious problems and send scarce resources in the wrong directions. They also promote bigotry.
Stacey Dash was not prepped for the situation, but she was the one defending the equality of men and women. Vieira was insisting that women should be put on a pedestal.