Truth, Truthiness and the Shutdown

Jimmy Kimmel‘s on the street interviews: Obamacare versus The Affordable Care Act

Through onstreet interviews outside studios in Los Angeles, Jimmy Kimmmel’s crew took to the streets to reveal Truthiness at work following the shutdown of the U.S. government yesterday.

While most people questioned have problems with Obamacare, these same individuals like The Affordable Care Act. Trick is, they are one and the same program. So where did this info-snafu and branding confusion originate? Is this truthiness at work? How can Americans distrust Obamacare but accept The Affordable Care Act? Where is the shortfall in messaging a program effectively?

The Vlogbrothers take on the Government Shutdown:

And here’s Stephen Colbert’s take on “Truthiness” from 2005. Still so relevant.

“Anyone can read the news to you. I promise to feel the news at you.”


And for a refreshing look at the Facts of the Shutdown, here’s Senator Elizabeth Warren:

There are 3 comments

Add yours
  1. natashia t

    Truth VS Truthiness.

    My friend (a born and bred in Cincinnati, and very concerned of the shut down) said, “The reason: it’s in the press’ interest to maintain two EQUAL teams. Because more people tune in to a close neck-and-neck SuperBowl than a one-sided trouncing.”

    It was a comment to something I posted on my timeline, an Aljazeera commentary, Shutdown coverage fails Americans. (

    In it, Froomkin wrote, “We need journalists to hold politicians accountable for extremist actions, not to enable them.” He also noted that most of the journalists are taking the middle ground while reporting and by doing that, not being truthful. Political scientist, Thomas Mann, said that the reason why this is happening is because of the great divide between the Democrats and Republicans. He also said that “the news bureau are having difficulties trying to cope with asymmetry between the two parties’ agendas and connections to facts and truth.”

    I think this could be one of the reasons why most Americans are confused and can’t really discern what’s false and true anymore. This is really dangerous, as they form their opinions based on assumptions. A great example of this was the interview Jimmy Kimmel did on Obamacare and the Affordable Act. The people interviewed were quick to choose the Affordable Act, based on its name alone. The negativity surrounding Obamacare didn’t help its case, thus leading to the conclusion that it is different from the Affordable Act while in truth, they are both the same.

    More informed Americans however, turn to overseas news outlets for trusted news and information. I wonder, how is it and what happened that lead to this: with so many established news channels and newspapers, Americans still have to turn to overseas outlet to find truth.

    This (journalists staying on neutral ground thus not reporting the truth) could also be the reason why Senator Warren is so popular. The information network is so convoluted and confusing that people just crave for simple, clear terms that don’t confuse or twist the truth.

  2. Kathleen Sweeney

    Thanks for continuing the thread with such a great point about the role of news programs in creating info-tainment based on bipolarized “fights in the ring” games instead of fact-finding journalistic “truth.” While truth may always be an elusive absolute in any situation, the aspiration within the field has been skewed in favor of ratings. But the pernicious impact on the fuzzy math, fuzzy facts side of American perceptions of government programs, activities, laws and especially our constitutional rights has a very dangerous side effect.

    And this is why Al Jazeera has set up shop in the U.S. They see an audience expansion opportunity for those who tune out the major network screaming matches in search of real news analysis.

    And yes, your thoughts on Elizabeth Warren are so clear. Who knows? Her ability to nail the facts may just lead her to the White House…

  3. Walder Sinclair

    I would like to add that Jimmy Kimmel Live is a comedy show, with the ultimate goal of entertaining and getting ratings. This piece, while funny, and certainly representing a portion of the population, is heavily edited for the sake of making us laugh. This is “truthiness,” too.

    A recent Gallup poll showed the Republican Party’s approval rating is at an all-time low: 28%. Democrats are at 43%. Granted, polls can be misleading. They do not mention what areas of the country they surveyed. The point remains that the Republicans are not succeeding in their smear campaign, and the current shut down will likely force some of the fence-riders away from the elephant.

Post a new comment