Truthiness is defined as a quality characterizing a “truth” that a person intuitively knows “from the gut” or because it feels right. Truthiness is not based on evidence, logic, intellectual examination or facts.
Comedian Steven Colbert is credited as originating the word. He claims that he came up with the word by “pulling it right out of my keister”.
Not long ago, I had a case where my client’s recitation of the facts was completely different than the defendant’s version. It was a question of whether the defendnat had a green arrow or whether that driver simply ran a red light. Initially, it was one of those “He said/He said” cases. Fortunately, a traffic signal camera proved by video that the defendant had just “blown through” a red light.
In another case, a witness says that client was sitting in a parked car for somewhere between 15-30 minutes. Fortunately, a local gas station’s cameras captured the entire events, to include that the client was only at the location for approximately a minute.
In the first story, the defendant’s version of the events was what he wished the truth to be. Hence… not the truth! In the second story of the witness, there seems to be no motivation for the incorrect testimony. Maybe the false memory is simply Truthiness.
That leads me to the strange tale of of NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams. He has been caught telling a tale about being in a helicopter in 2003, and being forced down by enemy fire in Iraq. (story) He is now facing a full “Fact-Checking” review at NBC. (NY Times)
Now, there are other questionable stories being put forth, including a story involving Hurricane Katrina. Williams continues to dig himself deeper and has now removed himself from his Nightly News broadcast. That might be code for having his boss tell him to take a timeout. I’m guessing that his days as anchor may be coming to an end.
Williams claims that he was not accurate about his Iraq helicoper story because he was in “the fog of war”. That reminds me of Roger Clemens telling Congress, that testimony about him being injected with steroids and/or Human Growth Hormone was actually testimony that was misremembered. Another new word in our vocabulary regarding the question of what is the truth.
I could go on to describe the story of the Loch Ness Monster or Bigfoot. However, it almost seems as though the Brian Williams’ stories seem to be more of an urban legend than those. Will the SyFy channel soon be doing a series titled In Search of the Brian Williams Truth Maybe Brian Williams should wear a GoPro camera on his head. We live in strange times!
Did you know that that Avocado was originally known as the alligator pear. I promise… that’s not truthiness.
And for pic o’ day, some more on truth: