Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Stephen Colbert Gets the Year's Top Word... and the Last Word

When the American Dialect Society made its annual selection of the top words of the year, the list included "podcast" and "Katrinagate."

But the word of the year was "truthiness," one introduced by Stephen Colbert on the premiere episode of
The Colbert Report. He used it as a way of "approximating" the truth without letting facts get in the way, in the "close enough" style of Bill O'Reilly that has become Colbert's trademark.

What was strange, especially to Colbert fans, was that the coverage of the story didn't mention Colbert at all. That's because everyone -- including CNN.com -- pretty much runs the same story: the one from AP.

The AP story had a gimmicky definition by an obscure lexicologist from North Carolina. Why? Who knows?

But when Stephen Colbert returned from vacation tonight he let it be known in no uncertain terms that he was "pissed" (comically so, of course) at the slight, and called out the reporter, Heather Clark, by name. As he has done with others who've displeased him, he pronounced her dead to him.

A Yahoo News story recounts Colbert's ire, and sticks up for him to the point of running Heather Clark's email address. And the video is up at the Colbert Report website, under the title "A Glaring Omission."

(Incidentally, while you're there, you might want to check out "Stephen Vs. Conan," which is Colbert's version of the O'Reilly vs. Letterman fracas.)


Sydelle Pearl said...

To further complicate things, the New York Times ran a story last year (via its TV Watch column) about the first episode of The Colbert Report, in which it reported that the word of the day was ‘trustiness’. (They later corrected the error.)

Michael Markowitz said...

Apparently it's the TV Sorta Watch column