When the Oxford English Dictionary announced "post-truth" as its international word of the year earlier this week, we all just sort of nodded at each other and collectively thought, "Yeah, that sadly makes a lot of sense." Truth, it seems, has been overtaken by a concept the Oxford team describes as "relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief." But according to Stephen Colbert, this shit is "clearly"a rip-off of his classic Colbert Report term "truthiness."
"Personally I'm a little tired this Thursday from all the chance we've been giving him," Colbert said while discussing Donald Trump on Thursday's Late Show. Discussing the troubling developments surrounding the President-elect's transition team, Colbert theorized that we might not have to worry so much about living in a post-truth America, as the forthcoming administration's stance on climate change practically ensures our demise. "At least fans of Mad Max won't have to wait for a sequel," Colbert noted.
But the post-truth era isn't simply going to result in the potential destruction of all that we hold dear, it's also stepping all over Colbert's idea of truthiness. "The Oxford English Dictionary has named its word of the year for 2016 and it's post-truth," Colbert said. "And I am pre-enraged. First of all, 'post-truth' is not a word of the year, it's the two words of the year. Hyphens are for the weak. Second, post-truth is clearly just a ripoff of my 2006 word of the year: truthiness."
Acting like "truthiness" never even happened so that "post-truth' could have its moment, however, is arguably just additional proof that we really have entered a new era of nonsense. Truthiness indeed.