When the White House released its annual data on staff salaries in July, a gossip site called Gawker published a widely reproduced chart with a resentful headline "White House Staffers Got a Raise Last Year, And You Did Not." Gawker stated that 54 percent of White House staffers received pay raises, averaging 8 percent.
Given the pay freeze President Obama imposed in 2009 on his staffers earning $100,000 or more, the independent group FactCheck.org at the University of Pennsylvania was skeptical and did its own calculations.
The Gawker claim is "misleading," the self-styled media referees wrote on Aug. 4. "Salary increases for 19 of the 21 employees listed resulted from promotions. Average pay for White House staff actually declined."