Wednesday, May 07, 2008


Apparently the joys of Google bombing have rendered Steven Colbert the "greatest living American." This brought to mind one of his favorite neologisms:

1. truthiness (noun)
1. "truth that comes from the gut, not books" (Stephen Colbert, Comedy Central's "The Colbert Report," October 2005)2 : "the quality of preferring concepts or facts one wishes to be true, rather than concepts or facts known to be true" (American Dialect Society, January 2006)

Colbert applied this to George W. Bush, but this could just as easily refer to the attitudes of his political opponents, like Dan Rather, who believed that his story about Bush's National Guard service was true, even if the evidence he relied on was made up.

In the political silly season, it might also equate to the impassioned beliefs of people who don't vote as I do. Okay, really quick: imagine that a Republican senator with two years of experience in that body and a history of voting the straight Republican/conservative line wanted to run for president. What would the media be saying about him? Or imagine that the wife of a former Republican president, with no experience in elected office but eight years as First Lady, declared herself "ready on day one" to be president. The jokes in the news rooms would be told for decades. However, change the (R) after the names of these two hypotheticals to a (D), and we have unquestioned belief, seriousness, and praise. Unbefrickingly believeable.

No comments: