It seems that the “Internets” have generated a movement of sorts, calling upon the host of Comedy Central’s “The Colbert Report,” Stephen Colbert, to hold a “Restoring Truthiness” Rally in Washington D. C. sometime in the near future. The grass roots movement seems to have been born of an idea presented on Reddit to “see Stephen Colbert flip a mirror to the Tea Party and show them just how ridiculous they are.”
According to The News of Today, it has grown to include a website, mainstream media articles, a Facebook page, and a Twitter account, all pushing for Colbert to take to the steps of the Lincoln Memorial — a la Glenn Beck — and begin “restoring truthiness” to America.
For those unfamiliar with the term, comedian Stephen Colbert, faux-conservative news anchor, coined it during the pilot episode of “The Colbert Report” (2005) in the first of his popular “The Word” segments. It is a word with the general meaning of “gut feeling” without substantiated proof, a feeling one gets without evidence or intellectual investigation. In 2005, “truthiness” was the American Dialect Society’s “Word of the Year.” Merriam-Webster made it their “Word of the Year” in 2006. It is a word rich in satire and used to describe any number of decisions, situations, and pronouncements, especially those of a political bent that happen to fly in the face of facts and evidence (such as the justification for the invasion of Iraq due to the presence of WMDs, which were found later to not have existed as the Bush administration reported).
The Facebook page “100,000 Strong to Restore Truthiness to the US Capital” has pulled in nearly 20,000 followers thus far. The goal is to get Stephen Colbert to conduct a rally such as “Restoring Honor,” staged by the entertaining rodeo clown (his own descriptive words) Glenn Beck. Beck and his crowd of uber-right-wingers and fringe conservatives (some of whom are Tea Party advocates and members) held their rally on the anniversary of Martin Luther King’s “I Have A Dream” speech, attempting to assure themselves with the “truthiness” that the United States was either going in a Stalinist direction or a Nazi direction (they continually confuse and conflate the two when speaking about Democrats and the Obama administration).
Part of Beck’s truthiness, according to Newsopi, included the outright falsehood during his speech of holding the original copy of George Washington’s inaugural address from the National Archives in his hand. MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann called him out on it, since such historic documents are kept under lock and key. Beck’s response? It was easier to say that he held it himself than go through the details of what actually occurred.
He must have went with his “gut feeling.” So much for “restoring honor.” Apparently, truthiness won out.
ColbertRally.com is attempting to get the word out through “Operation Strike of Truthiness,” and the word to Stephen Colbert that it is imperative that he conduct a “Restoring Truthiness” rally in Washington. They are conducting an e-mail and Twitter campaign to make the rally an actuality. The website is also pushing the Facebook page “100,000 Strong.” On Sept. 7, the website called for members, fans, and those surfers to Google the term “Restoring Truthiness” until they developed carpal tunnel syndrome. It wasn’t long before “Restoring Truthiness” made it to the #1 position on Google Trends.
It is as yet unclear if Colbert will heed the call and climb the steps of the Lincoln Memorial and address the Colbert Nation (and the rest of the world) in a moment of extreme truthiness. But given the extremely negative and misleading political message that seems to have enveloped the political Right in the United States, a bit of neo-conservative humorous satire might show that most shouldn’t take Glenn Beck and his band of extremists seriously — just seriously enough to ensure that they do not gain too much political power.