by Charlie Spiering 8 Apr 2014
With President Obama under fire for paying his women staff less than his male staff despite a drive for "paycheck equality," White House Communications Director Jennifer Palmieri pushed back by noting the front row of the press corps in the White House Press Briefing was made up mostly of men.
“Love all these guys, but note that 6 of 7 news orgs in front row sent men to ask @pressec abt the problem of gender pay inequity,” she said on Twitter.
Palmieri was referring to the White House correspondents of major news networks such as Major Garrett from CBS News, Ed Henry from Fox News, Jonathan Karl of ABC News.
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney also pushed back after several reporters challenged his assertion, including Ed Henry of Fox News.
“Surely you are not contesting and I want to commend the men aligning here in the front row and the interest they are taking in the issue - surely you are not contesting the suggested that there is pay discrimination in this country,” Carney said sarcastically.
Reuters White House Correspondent Jeff Mason also challenged President Obama’s “77 cents” line, pointing out that outside economists suggested that it was wrong.
“That’s absolutely not the case,” Carney fired back. "There are some economists that have different views about what that means - but to say ‘economists’ - I mean from Reuters I would expect something a little more precise.”
Henry wasn't finished. After the briefing he jokingly responded to the Palmieri tweet pointing out that Jay Carney himself was a man.
"Yes, one who advocates for policies to reduce gender pay inequality and appreciates seriousness of problem," Palmieri shot back.
@edhenryTV @pressec yes, one who advocates for policies to reduce gender pay inequality and appreciates seriousness of problem.
— Jennifer Palmieri (@JPalm44) April 8, 2014