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  • 2 months later...

Stephen Colbert Fights Back About 'Truthiness'

Comedian Calls The Associated Press 'Biggest Threat Facing America'



NEW YORK (Jan. 12) - Stung by a recent Associated Press article that didn't credit him for coining the word "truthiness," Comedy Central's Stephen Colbert has struck back.

The world's oldest news organization, Colbert says, is the "No. 1 threat facing America."

On Wednesday evening, Colbert placed the AP atop the Threat Down segment of "The Colbert Report" show. What was No. 2?


In October, on Colbert's debut episode of the "Daily Show" spinoff, the comedian defined "truthiness" as truth that wouldn't stand to be held back by facts. The word caught on, and last week the American Dialect Society named "truthiness" the word of the year.

When an AP story about the designation sent coast to coast failed to mention Colbert, he began a tongue-in-cheek crusade, not unlike the kind his muse Bill O'Reilly might lead in all seriousness.

"It's a sin of omission, is what it is," Colbert told The AP on Thursday. "You're not giving people the whole story about truthiness."

"It's like Shakespeare still being alive and not asking him what `Hamlet' is about," he said.

The Oxford English Dictionary has a definition for "truthy" dating back to the 1800s. It's defined as "characterized by truth" and includes the derivation "truthiness."

Michael Adams, a visiting associate professor at North Carolina State University who specializes in lexicology, pointed to that definition and has said Colbert's claim to inventing the word is "untrue." (Adams served as the expert opinion in the initial AP story.)

"The fact that they looked it up in a book just shows that they don't get the idea of truthiness at all," Colbert said Thursday. "You don't look up truthiness in a book, you look it up in your gut."

Though slight, the difference of Colbert's definition and the OED's is essential. It's not your typical truth, but, as The New York Times wrote, "a summation of what (Colbert) sees as the guiding ethos of the loudest commentators on Fox News, MSNBC and CNN."

Colbert, who referred on his program to the AP omission as a "journalistic travesty," said Thursday that it was similar to the much-criticized weapons of mass destruction reporting leading up to the Iraq War.

"Except," he said, "people got hurt this time."

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  • 2 months later...


Anchor Colbert Pens 'Book Report'

by Steven Zeitchik


Stephen Colbert

Call it the "Book Report." With his show a ratings smash, Stephen Colbert is putting pen to paper for a comedy tome. The book will be published in September 2007 by Warner Books, the same imprint that released "America (The Book)," the bestseller by "The Daily Show" scribes.

Colbert garnered a solid seven figures for the deal, insiders said. The still-untitled book will feature many Colbert riffs but is not expected to feature an illustrated component like that of "America," which memorably included a collage of naked Supreme Court justices.

And unlike that title, Colbert will primarily write this book himself instead of collaborating with his writing team, insiders said. Colbert was a contributor to "America" but not a lead writer. "This book will have the same noble goal as my television show: to change the world one factual error at a time," Colbert deadpanned.


Stephen Colbert

The deal was made with Trident Media Group agent Dan Strone and Colbert manager James Dixon. "'America' broke the ice in a big way for this category (of political humor)," Strone said. "But I don't think you'll see this book mirror 'America.'"

"The Colbert Report," based on an absurdist fake-news ethos similar to that of its "Daily Show" lead-in, has been a strong ratings performer since it launched last year, often retaining nearly the entire audience of "The Daily Show." The series has been picked up for a full 42-week run. Colbert also stars in upcoming ThinkFilm picture, "Strangers With Candy."

After Colbert broke out with his own program, a book was perhaps inevitable. While many TV series don't translate to the page, "America (The Book)" was a monster hit when it came out in 2004, its textbook format a perfect satirical gun in a hot-button election year. Title sold millions of copies and spent many months on bestseller lists.

The paperback edition of "America," which will include new material, is due out in September and will be presented as a "Teacher's Edition," complete with corrections and cross-outs.

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  • 1 year later...


Stephen Colbert Breaks Wrist on Set


Stephen Colbert

NEW YORK CITY, New York -- Stephen Colbert's disdain for all things left is growing. The host of "The Colbert Report" revealed on Thursday night's show that he broke his left wrist while running around the New York studio before taping a recent episode. Colbert removed a large "No. 1" foam hand to unmask a small cast.

"I didn't want to draw attention to it. I didn't want to play on your sympathy," Colbert said before dramatically grimacing. The fall happened June 27, before the show went on a two-week hiatus, a spokesman for Comedy Central said Friday. Colbert, 43, was only recently fitted with a cast.

"To be honest, I'm not entirely sure how it happened," the mock right-wing talk-show host told his audience. "My director Jimmy is suggesting I might have broken my wrist . . . before the show."

Slow-motion footage was then shown of Colbert running around the set to "pump up" the crowd. Beyonce Knowles' "Ring the Alarm" was played over the footage, alluding to the singer's fall while performing the song during a concert Tuesday in Orlando, Florida.

As Colbert rounded his "C"-shaped desk and headed to high-five his audience, he slipped and fell backward. "Yeah, that might have been it," he deadpanned.

Colbert and his cast stopped by the White House on Friday to spread the drama a little further. He and his crew staged a mock briefing in the White House briefing room, where Colbert sat in the front row, raised his wounded limb and was called on by presidential press secretary Tony Snow.

Snow also signed the cast and engaged in a few minutes of banter with Colbert as the cameras rolled. The cast was to be auctioned off later to raise money for military families.

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Colbert Downed by Left Wrist Conspiracy

by Gina Serpe


Stephen Colbert

NEW YORK CITY, New York -- My, how the high and mighty have fallen. "The Colbert Report's" Stephen Colbert proved during Thursday's broadcast that bringing the truthiness can be a dangerous gig, revealing a broken wrist he suffered while "jacking up the crowd" before the previous night's show.

The pseudo conservative pundit broke the news to the Colbert Nation during the open of the show. He sat at his desk with an oversized foam "#1" finger on his left hand. After vainly attempting to carry on as usual, Colbert whipped off his fashion accessory to reveal his cast.

"I didn't want to draw attention to it, that's not my style. I didn't want to play on your sympathy," he said, clutching his wrist and writhing in mock pain. The newly limp-wristed commentator also did his best to put a stop to any conspiracy theories that no doubt would

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  • 3 months later...


Stephen Colbert Drops Presidential Bid


Stephen Colbert

NEW YORK CITY, New York -- Stephen Colbert has dropped his bid for the White House. Colbert, who poses as a conservative talk-show host on the Comedy Central show, made his announcement after the South Carolina Democratic Executive Council voted last week to keep the comedian off the state's primary ballot. The vote was 13-3.

"Although I lost by the slimmest margin in presidential election history

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  • 4 months later...

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