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The truthiness shall set you free...

In a previous post, I discussed the James Frey "memoir" scandal and the term 'emotional truth' and how that term seemed to relate well to the spin spouted by the Bush administration. I thought it was a good term to describe why anyone would continue to believe something regardless of the facts because of the 'emotional truth' behind the words.

But someone coined a much better (and dare I say catchier) phrase.

Stephen Colbert, on the premiere episode of his hit show The Colbert Report (pronounced coal-BEHR re-POR, it's French) last year used the term 'truthiness' during a segment of his program called The Wørd. He used the term to describe the rationale behind such decisions as President Bush's nomination of Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court and the decision to invade Iraq.

As Stephen put it:
Consider Harriet Miers. If you think about Harriet Miers, of course her nomination's absurd! But the President didn't say he thought about his selection, he said this:

Bush: I know her heart.

Notice how he said nothing about her brain? He didn't have to. He feels the truth about Harriet Miers. And what about Iraq? If you think about it, maybe there are a few missing pieces to the rationale for war. But doesn't taking Saddam out feel like the right thing...right here in the gut? Because that's where the truth comes from, ladies and gentlemen...the gut.

Truthiness has become so popular it was given it's own section on Wikipedia.com and was even selected by the American Dialect Society as the 2005 Word of the Year.

Props to Stephen, a fellow South Carolinian, for giving a name to the blind allegiance to a particular 'truth' regardless of the actual facts. Sadly I feel too many in this country are thinking with their hearts and not enough with their heads.

Update: A poster over at Martini Republic weighs in on how telling the truth may be on its way to becoming a crime. Sedition, as defined by the Right.