CNN sided with MSNBC's Rachel Maddow on Monday, after the network investigated statements made by the MSNBC host and CNN contributor and Republican strategist Alex Castellanos.
Maddow and Castellanos clashed on Sunday's "Meet The Press" when the two disagreed on whether women make less money than men. Castellanos repeatedly interrupted Maddow, who fired back at Castellanos by calling him "condescending."
CNN's Wolf Blitzer reported on the testy exchange and asked his colleague Lisa Sylvester to fact check if women in the United States make less money than men for doing the same exact work. Sylvester said that, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, "the answer is yes."
CNN ran a package on the subject, and said that Castellanos' claims that men make more money because they work more hours per week, and work in professions that pay higher wages, was inconsistent with data from the Census Bureau. Sylvester quoted a report that stated, "In 2010, the earnings of women who worked full time, year-round were 77 percent of that for men working full time, year-round, not statistically different from the 2009 ratio."
Sylvester said that the "bottom line" was that there is a gender gap in pay. "That 70 cents on the dollar difference between men and women's earnings, that comes directly from the Census Bureau. Now it refers to full time workers but it is also true that many women choose to scale back hours more than men...and that's also reflected in the earnings," Sylvester said.
Blitzer asked, "If men and women have the exact same job, do women still only earn 77 cents on the dollar, if they're working the same amount of hours, have the same job, in the exact same field?"
"There is definitely a gap," Sylvester said, "but there are all other kinds of control factors."
Sylvester mentioned that CNN reached out to Castellanos but he was unavailable for comment. It's not every day that a competing news network takes such lengths to affirm what a host from another network says, especially when they're making one of their own contributors look bad in the process.
Castellanos doubled down on his Sunday remarks in a piece for The Daily Caller on Monday. Castellanos wrote that Maddow "restated an old and discredited liberal myth — that women are paid less than men, only 77%, for the same labor. The fact is women are paid less than men in America — but not for the same work. They are paid less, for other reasons. First, they take different jobs than men and secondly, as Kay Hymowitz sub-headed her recent Wall Street Journal article, women earn less because they work fewer hours.'"