WaPo obscures Republicans’ role in eliminating equal pay
“Democrats are hitting a major political wall in their efforts to narrow the gender pay gap, raise the minimum wage,” said an Washington post title (6/9/21) yesterday.
The first paragraph of the article, by journalist Tony Romm, exposed the situation to readers:
President Biden and the Congressional Democrats suffered another setback in their efforts to raise the wages of millions of Americans, after the Senate on Tuesday chose not to pass a bill that his supporters said was aimed at securing that women in the workforce earn the same wages as their male counterparts.
Of course, Republicans have been mentioned in the subtitle and in the following paragraphs. But headlines and tracks frame the news – and are often all read about them. So the takeaways from the To postThe assassination version of equal pay for women is that the killer was… a “wall”. Or the Senate. Read as: Washington politics, in which no one and everyone is to blame for “choosing not to” get things done.
It is actually not that difficult to cover this properly, as most To postthe competitors have shown it. “Republican obstruction blocks the Senate pay equity bill,” said the New York Times (6/8/21). “Senate Republicans block bill targeting the gender pay gap,” wrote Politics (6/8/21). Even the the Wall Street newspaper (6/8/21) managed to pinpoint the culprit: “Gender pay gap legislation blocked by Senate Republicans”.
But Romm continued the rejection of blame euphemisms later in the play:
Democrats only have a knockout majority, not the 60 votes required to completely avoid political headwinds, forcing them to consider uncomfortable compromises to move their agenda forward.
In To postlandia, the political culprits are inanimate objects: a wall, a wind. The problem is, “only” Democrats have a knockout majority, and mysterious political headwinds in our democracy impose uncomfortable compromises on those with a knockout majority.
Alternatively, one could phrase this problem as being that our political system is highly undemocratic, and that Senate Republicans – who represent 43.5% of the population and have not represented a majority since 1996 – brazenly abuse this system to prevent the majority from doing a lot of anything.
If it were written that way, the solution would be obvious: change the system. This is exactly why the GOP undoubtedly chuckles with pleasure at such coverage, which deflects the blame from them and the undemocratic institutions they exploit, and thus supports this system.
Featured Image: The the Wall Street newspaper (6/8/21) illustrated his story of Senate Republicans blocking paycheck fairness law with a photo of Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell.