Tuesday, December 23, 2014

The Colbert Report Is Gone But Truthiness Lives On

Ken O‘Brien

I used to say that you are entitled to your own opinion, but not your own facts.

I have come to realize, however, that such an observation is no longer valid.

Whether on a national or local level, what pass for facts are entirely a function of the purveyor of information and the decibel level provided by their supporters.

We live in the age of truthiness, a concept introduced by Stephen Colbert in the first episode of his show “The Colbert Report”.

I won’t bother to launch into a litany of the numerous ways in which this concept has been put into play. I will simply note that the concept was enshrined as part of the language when it was named Word of the Year for 2005 by the American Dialect Society. It is defined as “the quality of preferring concepts or facts one wishes to be true, rather than concepts or facts known to be true".

Now that the program has reached its end, I will replay the segment from Colbert’s pilot episode that defined so appropriately our current age of irrationality.

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