Fox News Makes Stuff Up, Part 294

Ken AshfordRight Wing and Inept Media10 Comments

Fox News says:

President Obama has declared Aug. 26 — which marks the 91st anniversary of the constitutional amendment giving women the right to vote — to be "Women's Equality Day." 

Wrong.  Congress decided that August 26th is Women’s Equality Day.  In 1971.  Obama is merely following in the path of past presidents.

UPDATE:  Oh dear.  The ankle-biter over at Patterico is all in a tizzy over my post, apparently still obsessed with me while pretending not to be.  

He seems to think that *I* think the news story is slanderous of Obama.  Oy.

My point, which needs to be spelled out for some mouth breathers, is that Fox News got the story wrong.  President Obama did not declare Aug 26 to be Women's Equality Day.  That was done by Congress, a relevant fact that I assert Faux News omitted in order to make it look like this was Obama's doing.  (It's called red meat for the conservative masses).

Aaron would like to suggest that "declare" is synonymous with "proclaim".  However, they are NOT bilaterally synonymous.  When you declare something, you state it formally, for the first time.  As in "declaring bankruptcy" or "declaring war".  Proclaim CAN mean the same as "declare" in that sense, but "proclaim" can also mean a mere affirmation of something already existing.  "Declare", on the other hand, cannot.

It is incorrect to say that Obama formally "declared" something, unless that thing did not exist prior to his declaration.  Since Women's Equality Day had already been declared as August 26, Obama merely affirmed it by proclamation.

Other writers seem to understand the difference between "declare" and "proclaim", and can use them in a grammatically correct manner.  But the ankle-biter does not.  Then again, he has reading comprehension problems, so he gets a pass.

UPDATE #2:  On the other hand, another reader points out something obvious that I regrettably overlooked… i.e., that the story came from Reuters.  So Fox News didn't fashion the story in a way to make it red meat for its readers.  On the other hand, the story is poorly written and grammatically incorrect, and I can see why it appears that Fox, and ONLY Fox, seemed to pick it up.