Talk:The Colbert Report/Archive 3

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Colbert's Real-World Controveries?

We can probably think of a better name, but whenever I extol Colbert's virtues to friends, I like talking about all the various real-world / fan-interactive things he's done, some getting him in trouble, others perhaps not. While I realise some of these are already mentioned in the article, Wouldn't it be great if there was a separate section that mentioned...

  • Truthiness
  • Correspondent's Dinner
  • Green Screen Challenge
  • Wikiality
  • The Stephen Colbert Bridge
  • Any others I haven't though of yet.

It's pretty noteworthy the number of internet and real-world phenomena Colbert has spawned, and right now, there's no real way to isolate them all in one section. That's even what I came to this article looking for. - Darkhawk (15:43 EST 28 August 2006)

Where's the "Criticism" section?

While I'm a huge fan of both The Colbert Report and The Daily Show, The Daily Show Wikipedia entry seems to have a "criticism" section where The Colbert Report does not. Surely someone of note must have said something negative about The Colbert Report. I think it would add to the article to present why certain people may dislike The Colbert Report.

--Josh 02:34, 01 August 2006 (EDT)

Yeah, I was really surprised it didn't have one after all those morning shows did that thing on Wexler (which is covered here, but not in the context of it being a criticism of the show, probably because it was criticizing politicians who went on the show for being stupid for agreeing to be on it). You'd think a right-wing pundit somewhere would have criticized it, too, though O'Reilly's approval surprises me, considering what little I've seen of The O'Reilly Factor. Runa27 19:23, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

Fighting districts

I'm reasonably sure that for every congressional district piece, the district is referred to as the "fighting X", e.g. Colorado's second district, "the fighting second". Anyone else noticed this? And if it's true, could it be put in the congressional districts segment?--PIngp0NG 17:56, 17 November 2005 (UTC)

i am also somewhat certain that he refers to the districts as "fightin'" districts. i cannot speak positively on whether or not he has done it since the first, however.

Yes he's done it for every single one. Comedy gold. -- 03:30, 3 March 2006 (UTC)

Definitely does it consistently every time. --Dan428 20:56, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

He also called Ben Franklin "Battlin' Ben" in the Better Know a Founding Father segment. If I recall correctly. --JGGardiner 07:49, 7 March 2006 (UTC)

Colbert on Wikipedia?

This is already mentioned in the truthiness article. Is this section really necessary? 23:26, 2 March 2006 (UTC) - Nevermind, edited out 02:35, 3 March 2006 (UTC)

Religious content

After Ash Wednesday's show, perhaps it's time to add a section specifically on Colbert's spirituality. He frequently mentions that he is a practicing Catholic in interviews, does segments on religion, and hosts religious guests (not all of whom are Christian). Is this all that different from Jon Stewart's frequent references to Judaism? To me, those reference seem more ethnic than religious. At the very least, Colbert's easy invocations of Jesus and references to scripture set him apart from the great majority of television hosts (the exceptions being televangelists), and that seems notable. --Tysto 00:34, 4 March 2006 (UTC)

I think it has more to do with his character associating himself with the Christian right --FD

He exaggerates the religious practice of his character in the same way as his political views - though he also joked that Pope Benedict used to be a Nazi. - Reaverdrop 11:55, 6 May 2006 (UTC)

The Da Cobert Code

How did he predict all the oscars perfectly? Does anyone else think he might of had some inside knowledge? (Along with his ability to see into the future of course).Dapoloplayer 06:08, 7 March 2006 (UTC)

It was pretty eery that Stephen got the winners right for the oscars. Even "crash" though at that moment it appeared he was improvising because he got tongue tied. Or may be that was an act. However getting the winners right more likely proves how predictable award shows have gotten. No wonder no one watches. Does anyone know yet who watched the oscars ? I didn't watch and I agree with Stephen about all award shows.--Tjkphilosofe 11:15, 7 March 2006 (UTC)

Getting under the skin of mainstream

I read on the weekend Howard Kurtz did a response to a comment that Stephen made about Kurtz and CNN Reliable Sources.

Not only will Stephen pay attention to comments made about himself will come back swinging and attack. Stephen is getting under the skin of the mainstream pundits and journalists.--Tjkphilosofe 11:37, 7 March 2006 (UTC)

Tek Jansen - Alpha Squad 7 - Lady Nocturne - A Tek Jansen Adventure

The Parody of The O'Reilly Factor section lists the Tek Jansen book as a parody of Oriley's book Those Who Trespass, but the title and plot seem to more closely resemble the cheezy sci-fi thriller novels like tekwar or Alpha Squad. Tho he does try and sell it in an oriley paroding way, I think this should be edited. The text on the page [] seems to support this. is (at least appears to me) to be unlicensed. It may need to be marked as unofficial since, like Colbert Nation, the proof as to its ownership is difficult to determine with absolute certainty. 15:00, 3 May 2006 (UTC)

The book is being turned into a full-color comic book by the folks at Oni Press, some more info is onilne at (it was announced at the San Diego Comic Book Convention last weekend). They told me that they are working closely with the Colbert Report writers on the project, sounds pretty awesome. Avirocks 10:04, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

Big revision

I've done a big revision in which I've reorganized the sections and removed a lot of redundant material, trivia, and breathless "this one time..." anecdotes you would never find in a print encyclopedia. Find it at The Colbert Report/edit. I'm tempted to go further and, for example, strip out the whole section on TCR in Canada—lots of shows are seen in numerous countries. If there is a consensus that the edited version is an improvement, I'll move it over. --Tysto 20:19, 10 March 2006 (UTC)

  • Looks great to me. Lambertman 21:40, 10 March 2006 (UTC)
  • I've moved the big revision over to the main space. I chopped a lot out of the article and reorganized it somewhat. It was way too full of trivial bits and pieces. I also left out the recent revisions that added extensive detail to Colbert's Oscar predictions. He just got lucky with an educated guess. For future edits: please keep in mind that there are several other articles related to the show that may already have your detail in it. Stephen Colbert, Truthiness, List of The Colbert Report episodes, and the very extensive The Colbert Report recurring elements. --Tysto 01:23, 12 March 2006 (UTC)

Format of the Show

I am having a problem with this section and all the additions to it like The Word, Da Colbert Code, Better Know A District, etc. This stuff should belong on The Colbert Report recurring elements page and already do. Now I don't want to go ahead and delete it because it has become a big section and we would still need to keep the Format of the Show section itself. I just don't know how to revise it. What do you guys think? --Barinade2151 03:41, 19 March 2006 (UTC)

I think everything after the bulleted list can be removed and merged with reoccuring elements. --waffle iron 03:45, 19 March 2006 (UTC)
I removed them and added an invisible note to other editors to please not re-add them. --Tysto 04:56, 24 March 2006 (UTC)

I also was wondering if either in this section or the section on reoccuring elements we mention the other cast members, like "Bobby the stagehand" who's become a regular on the show. Could there be room to at leats mention him in the article somewhere? Skuzabut 11:41, 2 April 2006 (EST)

Colbert, not Stephen

I'd like to just remind editors that when referring to the host of this show by only one name, we should (almost) always use his last name, Colbert, not his first name. The only exceptions are when his first name is directly relevant to the aspect of the show being discussed (e.g., in segment titles, when he refers to himself on the show, etc.) - dcljr (talk) 06:06, 20 March 2006 (UTC)

Speaking of names, who is "stage manager bobby" really?-- 05:22, 29 April 2006 (UTC)
I read somewhere that "Bobby" is one of the producers from The Daily Show.--momo 05:48, 24 July 2006 (UTC)
bobby is eric drisdel, a writer for the show. he's the only daily show writer who joined stephen's writing team. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)
FYI, his name is spelled Eric Drysdale - after many years with Jon Stewart and Colbert on DS he asked to come over the Colbert Report. --Rendsburg 03:34, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

O'Reilly's O'Reaction

Did anyone confirm O'Reilly's quote in Newsweek? I thought Colbert made it up, but I don't have that Feb 2006 issue. -- 05:00, 21 March 2006 (UTC)

I found it on the web and added a link to the article. I used a cite tag for the first time, so perhaps I didn't get it quite right. The URL I gave is for the webpage (the second of three that constitute the article) that contains the quote. I didn't give a pagenumber or a publisher. I hope this is an improvement, though. Tim Ivorson 16:39, 25 March 2006 (UTC)
Oh, that's good enough for me. I don't know how to cite either.-- 20:48, 25 March 2006 (UTC)
Even so O'Reilly has said even on his program that he was going to go home, watch the Daily Show and Colbert and go to sleep. J. M. 07:42, 8 April 2006 (UTC)

Fan links?

An IP keeps adding "fan links". A fan petition is hardly notable or useful. Get a blog. savidan(talk) (e@) 15:27, 20 April 2006 (UTC)

If these are referenced or relevant I'd want them to be properly noted and stay. There was a site I saw on here that was critical of Stephen Colbert's analysis of current events that is no longer listed. For me "perspective" is what it's all about, and if not for the fans of Colbert, there would be no content on this page. 1:39, 6 June 2006 (PST)

Bald Eagle

Has a Bald Eagle really been named after him, or is just a running joke?

Yes, the San Francisco zoo has offered to name a baby Bald Eagle after him. Bob schwartz 17:23, 20 April 2006 (UTC)

Replaced right-wing with conservative

I believe most of colbert's views would more likely follow those of modern american conservatives as opposed to the more extreme right-wingers. As well he is based alot upon bill o'reilly who would likely be reffered to more as a conservative as opposed to someone who is 'right wing' as well someone like Joe scarbourough would very rarely be reffered to as a right-wing mdeia personality. -Brodey

Huh? Most people don't split hairs between right-wing and conservative, or liberal and left-wing. They're synonyms, particularly if you understand the origin of the terms. -- 02:21, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
I dunno, even William Safire got the origin of left- and right-wing wrong in his On Language column (which he acknowledged after I corrected him). - Reaverdrop 03:26, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
I might see a difference between right-wing and conservative, but I think an even bigger difference lies between those terms and republican. -JNighthawk 12:23, 1 July 2006 (UTC)

Tek Jansen

There was some heated discussion some months back about this, but neither side was willing to put forth any reasonable proof in either direction as to why this site may or may not be authorized by Stephen Colbert, The Colbert Report, or Busboy Productions. It is pretty clearly a commercial site and has been online for at least 6-8 months. It sells memberships, advertising and at least appears to have a full-time administrator. If we need to renew the discussion of legitimacy, we should do that, but retaining old discussions that were emotionally charged does not serve the community to any benefit.


why isnt there any critism of his show here?

  • Is there really a significant criticism of Colbert other than "not funny"? If so, we should be adding very long criticism sections to a lot of comedians. Carlos Mencia comes readily to mind. --Trafton 03:36, 11 May 2006 (UTC)
Right. Crossfire's criticism of John Stewart as rebutting the "hurting America" quote. If we're going to add "critism" section to comedians' entries, we could add "critism" section on artists, musicians, really anyone I suppose ("...though others complain of the banality of Shakespeare...")MotherFunctor 05:32, 19 July 2006 (UTC)
I'll retract this statement, to an extent, since I've seen the Correspondence dinner routine. I loved it, I'll say, but can't deny he's entered himself into the political arena. Still any criticism of him would probably have to come from THE GUT, not much else to criticize from.MotherFunctor 03:09, 24 July 2006 (UTC)

The Word WP Ref today

Is it notable that he used Wikipedia on air? -- Tawker 06:43, 10 May 2006 (UTC)

  • "Even the accurate parts", eh? No, not really. He just mentioned us in a single joke (even if it did make me laugh) – ClockworkSoul 06:50, 10 May 2006 (UTC)
  • Wikipedia was also mentioned January 31st [1][2]. While it's fun that it's received some attention on the show, I don't think we should inflate the importance of items relevant to the encyclopedia (i.e., the fact that anything else was mentioned twice on the show, would not be worth including in the article). Therefore it's my opinion that we shouldn't include the Wikipedia references in the article. FAL 22:53, 10 May 2006 (UTC)
  • Just noticed the addition of the Wikipedia reference in the trivia section. It's not a big deal, but I stand by what I said above. There are many potential trivia items that would be more notable or equally notable to the non-Wikipedian, and I don't think we should give Wiki-relevant facts priority, as it makes the encyclopedia look less professional. If we are going to keep it in the trivia section though, perhaps the prior mention of Wikipedia (see my comment above) should be included. FAL 01:29, 11 May 2006 (UTC)
    • I agree. It's a little insular, but there's no real harm. --Trafton 03:36, 11 May 2006 (UTC)

I'd say he has reason to question the accuracy of wikipedia, at least in articles about him/ the report. For example, the article on the report claims he is deaf in his right ear, however his personal article claims that is not so! Cite sources for that sort of thing maybe? otherwise don't cry about your reputation. Basschron 06:41, 14 May 2006 (UTC)

  • "Colbert is forty-one, a native of South Carolina, one of eleven children, the father of three, a suburban guy, and deaf in one ear. 'I had this weird tumor as a kid, and they scooped it out with a melon baller.' " -The New Yorker, July 25, 2005[3] The bit about the melon baller is obviously a joke. And the tumor was mentioned on the show once. He told the audience, as his character, that he did not have a tumor. But Stephen Colbert, the actor, apparently did have a tumor. Curious enough. The New Yorker did report, however, that he was deaf in one ear. Basschron is right: we need verification of the facts, and this article, or the Stephen Colbert article needs to be fixed. Finally, as far as crying about the mention...I think that most everyone here can laugh at what he said. Most of us are here because we're fans, and it was pretty funny.--Ryan! 07:43, 14 May 2006 (UTC)
I think the reference to Wikipedia should stay in the article. I've seen every one of the shows, but I am also heavily into Wikipedia (my edit count is over 4,000, as you can see from one of my user boxes about wasting too much time on Wikipedia). I laughed hard at the metion of Wikipedia. Let's face it - there is a lot of plain nonsense on Wikipedia. Bubba73 (talk), 03:38, 15 May 2006 (UTC)
Which we should try to eliminate. I say take it out, as it says nothing important about COLBERT. --JChap 07:20, 26 May 2006 (UTC)

Political slant to show?

There seems to be little to no political slant on the show, and when it comes up, it is conservative, and I suppose he is mocking these views with his demeanor. Nevertheless, the show itself, despite Colbert's personal leanings, seems rather apolitical, and if not apolitical, then lacking in a viewpoint, to me. The article doesn't help me clear up any of these thoughts, which I have no basis for making rather than suspicion and the feeling I get from watching The Colbert Report.

Could someone clarify and perhaps change the article to make it clearer in these respects?

The intro needs to be cleaned up as well. It should mention he satirized right-wing or republican views but to mention specific shows such as the o'reily factor and lou dobbs as right-wing/republican shows is POV. Even on the pages of such shows no mention is made to categorize them as republican right-wing shows. Duhon, 16 May 2006 (UTC)

On the May 4, 2005 All Things Considered interview with Robert Siegel [4], Colbert described his show by saying this: "As The Daily Show is to headline-driven news, this will be to O’Reilly, or Hannity, or Scarborough Country." And, on the December 2005 Fresh Air [5], he said that he also patterns his character on Stone Phillips, Geraldo Rivera, Anderson Cooper, and Lou Dobbs (he loves how Dobbs can spin a metaphor).
There seems to be little to no political slant on the show, and when it comes up, it is conservative, and I suppose he is mocking these views with his demeanor.
errrr, are you joking? The show is all about mocking conservative media, and mocking implies criticism. Of course there is a slant. Its a show made for liberals, just like Fox news is tailored for conservatives. Brentt 07:54, 13 July 2006 (UTC)

Seriously the show is obviously biast. Which I find irresponsible but none the less the show is definately biast. Also id like to point out that all of Fox news is not tailored for conservatives, only the opinion shows are.

Yeah. Too bad that's all Fox News shows. Its all biased very conservatively, which is what the Colbert report parodies. Titanium Dragon 07:30, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

Criticism of Wikipedia

I found this in the "Trivia" section of the article. It is interesting to Wikipedians, but really does not do anything for outsiders using Wikipedia as a reference. For discussion, I'm moving it here: 23:38, 28 May 2006 (UTC)

  • On May 9, 2006, Colbert implicitly criticized the veracity of Wikipedia during his segment, The Wørd, in which Colbert's nightly monologue is accompanied by humorous bullet points on-screen.
    • Colbert: "Who the hell does Sigmund Freud think he is?!" (Bullet point: Carl Jung?)
    • Colbert: "I, for one, had no idea who he is, so I did a thorough study. Read the entire Wikipedia entry." (Bullet point: Even the Accurate Parts.)
Hmm, you may have a point. It is already in the list of celebreties who have mentioned Wikipedia; however, it could be useful in this article as the... articlee (?) mentioned the articler. Master of Puppets FREE BIRD! 23:43, 28 May 2006 (UTC)
I agree this portion of the article should be deleted as it does not tell the reader anything important about the subject. --JChap 23:48, 28 May 2006 (UTC)
I think it should stay; I happen to love self-referential humor.--Ryan! 04:33, 29 May 2006 (UTC)
I see that somebody put it back in. Ryan, I can see your point. However, if you were writing a normal encyclopedia, would you put "self-referential humor" into it? And what does the statement tell besides that certain Wikipedians are chauvinists? I don't see the point of putting "trivia" in a respectable encyclopedia, so with that in mind, I say take it out! 23:47, 7 June 2006 (UTC)
But Wikipedia is not a respectable encyclopedia. - 06:26, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
My vote is clear. But I respect democratic will. If it is ultimately removed, then please at least record it in Bad Jokes and Other Deleted Nonsense. It's a great one-off. Thank you.--Ryan! 04:13, 8 June 2006 (UTC)
Ryan!, I agree with you that this does deserve to be moved somewhere. However, this is already in Wikimedia in popular culture, and it doesn't seem to be BJAODN material. Wikipedia is generally referenced more in its own articles than it really should be. If you think that Wikimedia in Popular Culture is inadequate or inappropriate for things like this, please make another page to put things like this. 01:53, 10 June 2006 (UTC)
I think it should be kept. Truth, accuracy, reference and the distortion thereof are essential themes of The Colbert Report. That Colbert should claim ignorance of an intellectual pursuit and diminish his source is perfectly in-keeping with the show and worthy of a small note in the article. Al001 20:05, 10 June 2006 (UTC)

The Eagle's Nest?

From the Trivia section - ""The Eagle's Nest" was a code name for the Kehlsteinhaus, Hitler's home in the German Alps near Berchtesgaden.", doesn't provide a point of reference within the sentence. Looking back, one of the categories is described as "The set ("The Eagle's Nest")", however with the parenthesis around the Eagle portion leads one to believe this is an unofficial name. I'd propose changing the title of the category to reflect that the Eagle's Nest is the official name (if it is) and to add a mentioning of the set in the trivia sentence. Zarcath 09:29, 13 June 2006 (UTC)

On Notice-Trivia

"Mort Zuckerman is now on Notice. The Sea was taken off." is in the trivia section. Should that really be there? It's already on

A Host Hypocritically

I just thought I'd mention this because I find it funny. On what I think was the June 27, 2006 episode, Stephen discusses A Scanner Darkly in his "Movies that are Destroying America" segment, and criticizes it for using the adverb "darkly" to incorrectly modify the noun "scanner". The part I find funny is that the phrase "a scanner darkly" is based on the phrase "a mirror darkly", that appears in the Bible (Corinthians 13:12), which Stephen finds infallible and wound never criticize for its grammar. VolatileChemical 13:56, 28 June 2006 (UTC)

The phrase appears in the Bible in a complete sentence, where it modifies the verb "see", just as an adverb should:
13:12 For now we see in a mirror, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know fully even as also I was fully known.
With no such verb in the title A Scanner Darkly, the usage doesn't make sense unless you realize it's a biblical allusion. -- Coneslayer 15:28, 24 July 2006 (UTC)

Hi, I'm a killjoy

I'm removing this:

  • On May 9, 2006, Colbert made fun of the veracity of Wikipedia during his segment The Wørd in which Colbert's nightly monologue is accompanied by humorous bullet points on-screen.
    • Colbert: "Who the hell does Sigmund Freud think he is?!" (Bullet point: Carl Jung?)
    • Colbert: "I, for one, had no idea who he is, so I did a thorough study. Read the entire Wikipedia entry." (Bullet point: Even the Accurate Parts.)

Maybe we should put it up at the top of the talk page; wouldn't bother me. But it's an inconsequential factoid for the article, unless if you have a particularly strong interest in Wikipedia -- an audience for which, in the spirit of WP:SELF, we should not be writing. —Bunchofgrapes (talk) 02:32, 12 July 2006 (UTC)

Good cut. --Tysto 03:17, 12 July 2006 (UTC)

Wilford Brimley, Russ Lieber, 'black friend' Alan

These three recurring 'guests' should be mentioned in some capacity, should they not? Does anyone know who actually provides the Brimley voice on those phone calls [assuming it's not Wilford himself], and if that 'Alan' guy is also an actor, or just a member of the staff?

Brass Eye?

Someone added a link to Brass Eye, this seems pointless. I took the liberty of deleting it, but it seemed like I should put that here. J Arn 00:10, 15 July 2006 (UTC)


In my opinion, there has been a noticeable change in the persona of the Stephen Colbert character over the last few months. When the show started, Stephen would sound completely serious about all of his "convictions," but lately he has been breaking character a lot more and using wholly different types of humor. Has anyone else noticed this?--Mikejoyce 05:56, 25 July 2006 (UTC)


Just thinking -- does the "Gaysrael" discussion really belong under the topic of "Influence on the English language"? Colbert has coined many words on the show, but not all of them have taken off like "truthiness". Has the term "gaysrael" been used significantly outside of the Report? -- (Lee)Bailey(talk) 00:54, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

  • I haven't heard of it being mentioned once. --TheTruthiness 02:48, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
  • I think to say "Influence on the English language" is giving the Colbert Report way too much credit, this title should be chaged.


See Talk:The Colbert Report/Wikiality

Weasel words and sources

Sorry to interupt the Colbert love-in, but this article needs some work. This, for example:

As word of the DeLay site error spread through the internet and news outlets, especially Democratic-leaning blogs, the video clip began to malfunction on the Legal Defense Trust website. It is believed but not proven that the site's creators, put in the embarrassing situation of not realizing the satire until far too late, decided the best way to save face was by deliberately sabotaging the video clip.

Is an intersting collection of speculation and inuendo, but without any credible source, it's just that. Can we remove it? -Harmil 05:03, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

Is the source the show itself? I don't remember that episode. --mitrebox 05:05, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

Also, no source for this:

  • The Colbert Report is being followed up by a second spin-off of The Daily Show, a show called Red State Diaries to be hosted by Lewis Black and slated to debut in 2006.
  • One reviewer identified Colbert's on-the-spot ad libbing in character during the studio interviews as the one aspect of the show that was funniest and most indicative of (the actor) Colbert's true talent.
  • Gaysrael and Wikiality have no citation to support the idea that they have had any affect on the language (and given that Wikiality is less than a day old as a word, there's no possible support).
  • Much of the trivia section also needs citation.
-Harmil 05:06, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
Here's a source that the Red State Diaries article links to: - Tanman 05:13, 1 August 2006 (UTC)


I am creating a transcript of the wiki segment here: The Colbert Report/wikiality. -Ravedave 05:51, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

Well, Interiot (talkcontribs) didn't like that. We all know what Interiot wants, he gets, so I'll just leave that alone then. However there is a video of this located on youtube here -Ravedave 06:06, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

Vandalism predating Colbert airing

If you look at contributions of Stephencolbert (talk · contribs), you'll find that someone edited Wikipedia in the ways Colbert claimed to-- stating that George Washington did not have slaves and to liken Oregon to Portugal. They did so at 7:36 PM EST-- nearly four hours before the show aired. At least one source says that the Report starts taping around 7:30ish (on one occasion at least). I wonder if we're looking at someone from the show doing this, or just a very quick audience member with an excellent memory? (the George Washington reference was exceedingly brief). --Alecmconroy 05:54, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

Or possibly Colbert himself? Master of Puppets Giant Enemy Crab! 06:00, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
yeah, he may have done it during the taping of the show. Deathregis 06:43, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
Not on-screen when he claims to actually do it. Not nearly enough keystrokes. Not to mention interfering with comedic timing. --Alecmconroy 06:49, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
I seriously doubt that this was done during the taping of the show. But I also do not doubt this is either Colbert or one of his producers/writers. There is no way they would want their IP address made public. --Nick Catalano contrib talk 07:25, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
I think it _has_ to be someone from the show. The George Washington reference was quite brief-- I didn't catch it until a second viewing, I doubt an audience member could have caught it and remebered to add it. Furthermore, the timing is such that I would be surprised if an audience member could get to a computer in time to add it at 7:36PM. If the show tapes at 7:30ish, give or take, they probably would have had to leave the taping mid-show in order to make it to machine in time. A particularly ingenius audience member could have used a cell phone or similar decide to communicate the change, but it seems improbable.
But most of all, there's this. These two edits were made a 7:30ish, but the elephant article vandalisms didn't occur until after the show aired. What are the odds that an audience member would have the memory and the enthusiasm to make these two subtle edits, but be able to resist the temptation to make the urged elephant edits? I think we've got to be looking at someone in the show-- and for my money, even though it was vandalism, it was a stroke of comedic GENIUS.
--Alecmconroy 08:09, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

Actually, the script for that segment was likely ready for several weeks. In comedy, when the subject isn't time-oriented, segment scripts are prepared well in advance, not created on the spur of a moment as is with 'current events'. They don't wait until the last moment and hope that an hour-old script will be amusing. These are professionals.

It's coincidence, and not connection with the staffers themselves. The whole G Washington issue mentioned is not pops up quite often here on Wikipedia.

-- That Guy, From That Show! 08:37, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
Bah.. Someone with the username Stephencolbert posts to the G Washington page exactly what he says the real Stephen Colbert claims to post on the same day that he claims to post it? can't be coincidence. Has to be the staffers. And yes, certainly the script for that segment was probably days or even weeks old-- but who outside the staff of the show would have access to the script? --Alecmconroy 09:58, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
Double creepy. The first news stories about this are starting to trickle in. A Stamford Advocate story confirms that taping began around 7:15 PM last night. This would mean the Stephencolbert edits occured during or almost IMMEDIATELY after the taping. --Alecmconroy 10:12, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
I'm thinking more "Audience Member" than "Staffer or Colbert himself". SAMAS 10:41, 1 August 2006 (UTC)


Why was the 'Wikiality' entry removed? Viewers of the show who rarely visit the site or have never visited may come here to see just what it's all about. Besides looking at the 'Elephant' listing they'll probably look at this entry. What's wrong about detailing the jokes on the show, especially when they involve Wikipedia? And what is with the attack, Mr. Sean Black?

Colbert fans seems to have become the more cerebral cousins of Howard Stern fans. --Bobak
I think the Wikiality concept points up the central non-trivial flaw of a project like Wikipedia. Has it now become the policy of Wikipedia to remove any references to criticism of itself? That itself is an example of Wikiality -- facts being upheld by nothing but mob rule. --Boradis 06:50, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
Just because it has to do with this project does not make it notable. Where the criticism is notable, it certainly has a place here. See John Seigenthaler Sr. Wikipedia biography controversy. But this isn't really that notable a bit in the run of the Colbert Report. He does a "Word" every night. They're not all notable. JDoorjam Talk 07:07, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
I submit it is not the place of the criticized organization to determine which criticism of it is "notable." Concurrently, if this "Word" segment had been popular and determined by fans of the show to be noteworthy but was not a criticism of the Wiki concept, would you or others be bothered by its addition to this article? A quick glance at the pages about other TV shows where new information is added willy-nilly as new episodes debut indicates not. --Boradis 07:14, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
I can say I would absolutely object to funnier-than-normal-but-otherwise-non-notable content being added to this article. I object to it when I find it elsewhere, as well. I'm completely bothered by cruft in all its forms. If you have an example of another tv show article where content is being added unevenly, or is simply devolving into an indiscriminate list of information, by all means let me know and I'll take a look. I can't make any promises, of course, but I'll take a look at it. JDoorjam Talk 07:42, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
If "wikiality" actually becomes a fairly widespread phenomenon in the next few days or weeks, then it might be worthy of its own article. Until then, I'd say not.--~e.o.t.d~ 07:47, 1 August 2006 (UTC)


I'd like to see a discussion on the addition a note about the reference to Wikiality. I believe it should be added to the trivia section, being, frankly, trivial in nature (but nonetheless interesting and amusing).

More importantly however, I think there should be a discussion and debate and (hopefully) consensus (the criticism of it being irrelevant 'naval-gazing' is not without merit), rather than the revert war at the moment. Seems to me, this is how it's supposed to work.

So, here’s my take; Yes it leans towards ‘naval-gazing’, but that’s a reason to put it in the ‘Trivia’ section. I believe the audience of article readers would find that tidbit amusing and interesting (and accurate) and that those reasons are sufficient to merit it’s inclusion.

Does anyone know the present disposition of articles about TV shows (and news programs in particular) that have mentioned Wikipedia? Precedence would not be an unreasonable argument for or against.

-- Robbins 06:53, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

I agree that the reference should be placed under trivia. Surely a one or two sentence reference couldn't hurt the integrity of the article. And hopefully it would be a compromise that could end this disagreement. --Omaryak 06:11, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
I have been blogging extensively about the incident's appearance in media and in the blogosphere. I will continue to scan the aggregators and post all relevant blogs and articles as the incidents occur. It's already hit CNET and Newsvine. And my hits have more than quadrupled since the incident occurred, and a large amount of those hits are from peole looking for Wikiality on the Wikipedia site and finding the link to my site on th External Link section. People are looking for information about this word, of that I can be sure. ( Nofactzone 16:46, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

Who keeps removing any mentioning of Colbert's wikipedia segment on July 31? This seems like an Orwellian attempt to pretend it didn't happen. It is a significant current event which ought to be documented on the page, especially considering the frenzy it caused over on the elephant page. What justification is there not to mention Colbert's recent segement, since it is verifiable, the fact that it happened constitutes a neutral point of view, and it adds the the body of knowledge that wikipedia provides. Since this event is being covered by the external media, it is shameful that the wikipedia isn't keeping up with it, just because it is somewhat self-referential. Again, these attempts at controling knowlege get Orwellian at times. I strongly dissent from current actions. Ivymike21 16:54, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

I too dissent from the current actions. If something is mentioned on a national TV show that has already provided profound wiki entries into American Pop Culture, it is notable, even more so if it reflects criticism of our AfD process, which is faulty! Although the process itself is faulty, at least it contains the ability to correct itself and most importantly criticize itself. I just found my entries for the episode in question (sorry- i had my date wrong) in the trivia section deleted. That is pretty absurd. As a side note, I have been working on a p roject that can actually help the AfD process a bit here, and I look forward to the day when this process can be refined. Wikipedia is still the most amazing site on the internet, and we have to include pop culture criticisms as notable just as wikipedia itself is notable. User:Tumbleman 1 August 2006 (UTC)

Standard operating practice for Wikipedia for a few people to deny vehemently that actually witnessed events happened in an event to protect themselves from having their personal interests humiliated. But then again, people on Wikipedia are not known for their senses of humor. KansaiKitsune 13:45, 2 August 2006 (UTC)


- evidently I'm a retard and thought more recent posts were at the top, rather than reading down to the bottom. Sorry for the preachyness (perhaps that should be a wØrd

Robbins 06:56, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

Don't blame the error on yourself so hastily, it was actually Microsoft that tried to change the default ordering of comments to top-newest instead of top-oldest. This has caused many problems since that time.
-- That Guy, From That Show! 07:28, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

It isn't navel gazing if it is someone else, namely Colbert, doing the gazing. It should be noted on this page simply because it is standard practice to add something you find interesting to a TV show's page if you feel like it and it is accurate. It is accurate to note he has held Wikipedia up to a critical light. I for one look forward to seeing how Wikipedia fares as public awareness of it grows. --Boradis 07:30, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
Our criteria for inclusion don't include "something you find interesting". Editors should consider a topic's importance before covering the topic in an article. In this instance, it seems like the only reason people want to cover "wikiality" is because it involves Wikipedia. Rhobite 13:32, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
The entire blogosphere has noted it already. It deserves a stubby article. --Tomsintown 12:06, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
Exactly. This article is for important things like whether Colbert uses UPS or FedEx and how his name is written in the credits. -- Rei 15:44, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

This has happened before

It is important to note that Stephen Colbert and his staff have stated that they have edited Wikipedia in the past. In July 2006 Wired it is specifically mentioned how he "improves how he looks" (or something like that) and other edits... if the Stephencolbert username is true, I think it is pretty easy to say he/his staff has a few other sockpuppets. How the admins handle that will be VERY interesting --Nick Catalano contrib talk 07:40, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

Or, more likely, this will simply be another Slashdotted article, in its own way, and everyone outside the project will forget it happened inside a week. Personally, I hope Jimbo goes on the Colbert Report to push this to a climax and then we can get this all over and done with. JDoorjam Talk 07:44, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
I mentioned Jimbo do that that on User talk:Jimbo Wales a few minutes ago --Nick Catalano contrib talk 08:03, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
Reply to Nick's comment: It's a comedy show. Stephen is quite well aware of what happens when people edit Wikipedia to make someone look better...that was part of the joke (the inside-inside joke is about the government officials who earlier this year were found out to be socking articles)
-- That Guy, From That Show! 07:47, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
(I should add that another joke was the 15-minute one. If not Colbert himself, at least one of his geek staffers will be looking at this page in the morning, that is certain /me waves at Colbert writers)
-- That Guy, From That Show! 07:52, 1 August 2006 (UTC)


I added a new "wikiality" section to this article. Please consider it's value and discuss or attempt to clean it up before patently deleting it. Also, the main article for "wikiality" is perm locked. I believe this is an important concept that should be discussed as it seems spin-meisters for some time now have tried to created debate, change perceptions, or alter/create facts for quite some time now. This has had an impact (the amount of which is debatable) on the real world, as well as wikipedia. Colbert's mocking of the situation in my opinion is important because it succinctly demonstrated the problem, and did so on a very public platform bringing the problem to the front of the stage.

I could create a huge laundry list of all the "wikiality" I have personally noted over recent years, but it would very likely devolve into a match of people accusing each other of distorting the facts. This is precisely the point of problem. I fully admit that I am not an expert wordsmith, using the best possible words, tone, and examples here to make my point. Maybe some others can step in and expand on what I have said. Sysrpl 10:36, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

I'm not deleting it now, but I think we are covering Colbert's segment in far too much detail, simply because it involves Wikipedia. Yeah, it's fun to cover our own site but please don't do it disproportionately. Rhobite 13:30, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
I don't think it has anything to do with, "Oh my gosh, he mentioned Wikipedia! Quick, to the keyboards, Batman!" Colbert's influence was widely felt through the entire "truthiness" episode and the fact that in just a few months the word and its new meaning became part of the modern American-English lexicon. As soon as I heard/read "Wikiality" last night I thought, "Uh-oh. This can't be good." How can you not recognize that the same thing will happen with Wikiality? Colbert has the ability to capture problems in politics and society that America/the world can usually see, but can't always put into words; he puts it into one word that defines everything. Its inclusion here is very relevant and I can see the section becoming bigger with time. Sections about Colbert saying, "F*** Wikipedia!" for example, are superfluous and only exist to mention Wikipedia itself. If even I, a huge CR fan, have to say, "Who cares??" then it probably shouldn't be a part of the article. Sections/articles on words that influence our languange and way of defining our society, in record time no less, definitely deserve mention. Surely there is an obvious difference. If anything needs to be cut, it's fluff about the show itself; its influence on American society is anything but "fluffy." --ScreaminEagle 14:52, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
Colbert has run an awful lot of "Wørd" segments, many of them with made-up words, and obviously we don't report on all of them. "Truthiness" has clearly stood up to the test of time, notable in its own right, and thus it's appropriate for WP to cover it. But "wikiality"? It just got invented last night, and wouldn't have a chance to be verifiably notable even if it does turn out to be notable. Wikipedians are a little too close to this, and I don't think we can accurately gauge this words eventual notability (perhaps notoriety ;) until we start seeing it in MSM outlets. I think the paragraph on it should at least be pared down to something much shorter, but preferably, it should be removed for now. Once "wikiality" hits the big time, I'd be the first to try to put it back. /blahedo (t) 15:00, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
As you said yourself Eagle, truthiness became part of the modern American-English lexicon a few months after he said it, after it was covered extensively in a variety of other media outlets, then included in the WP article, instead of immediately after the show aired, as is the case with wikiality. Questions like "How can you not recognize that the same thing will happen with Wikiality?" is blatant crystalballing and original research and not sufficient grounds for inclusion. The Report makes up lots of neologisms and not all make it into the article, nor should they. The section on wikiality shouldn't be there until it's clear that that the term is on, or close to being on equal footing with truthiness in my opinion. --TM 15:07, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
Seconded. If this turns out to be an important incident, we'll hear about it from a reliable source soon enough. When New York Times columninsts start using the term "wikiality" as they have "truthiness", we'll know for certain that this little fiasco mattered to people besides us. -- (Lee)Bailey(talk) 15:13, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
It already has mattered to people besides "us" (whoever the hell we are). Have you read a blog since yesterday? To not properly mention Wikiality is an ironic manifestation of the wikiality of the situation itself. --Tomsintown 12:18, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

Maybe we should let this stay for just a little longer before we delete it? Sysrpl 15:31, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

Nah. Let's wait until it's notable before including it, like anything and everything else on Wikipedia. JDoorjam Talk 15:35, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

As much as it's fun to keep the section in, I am voting to REMOVE the section until it is proven notable, and end this silly revert war.Ashwinr 15:41, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

Agreed, there's absolutely nothing notable about this one-off joke. He makes hundreds of jokes like this over the course of a week's worth of shows. We shouldn't be making such a big deal out of it just because it happens to be about us; that's unprofessional. Remember how Stephen Colbert made fun of ABC for such self-masturbatory reporting on the "quality and excellence" of their own news reporting? --Cyde↔Weys 15:45, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

Also, in response to Sysrpl - I understand that you are not arguing that the Wikiality segment was significant simply because it involves Wikipedia. Rather, you argue that the segment reflects an important viewpoint of the show; in particular, that the subjectivity of the truth is so great that - especially in the modern era of Wikipedia type information sources - mass agreement upon a point a priori marks it as fact. However, even if this viewpoint is a fundamental part of The Colbert Report, it is still unessential and against wiki guidelines to inculde Wikiality in the article before it is externally established as notable. Not only is it against guidelines, but the argument can be explicitly mentioned elsewhere - I would argue that it moreover already is implicit in other sections of the article, including "truthiness." Ashwinr 15:55, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

Then let's add a Wikiality subsection under truthiness! I don't see how it needs to remain implicit when Colbert's analysis of Wikipedia gives additional meaning to the term. --Omaryak 01:20, 4 August 2006 (UTC)
    • In response to the above.Ashwinr Look at it this way. If three days ago I coined the term 'wikiality' and posted it on a few blogs, and then let's say it caught on in a moderate sense with 10 or so more blogs, it would not be notable. However, if one or two nights later, it then caught on a national television show with immense popularity, that would make it notable, right? We have to give credit where credit is due, the Colbert Report IS notable for creating notablility, due to it's popularity alone in the cultural sense. Wikipedia is getting more attention from the Colbert Report lately than any other news medium, that's notable. He just injected a new lexicon to millions, that's notable. Wikipedia's AfD system he is commenting on, is ALSO notable. Thus I argue that wikiality is notable for two reasons, The Colbert Report is notable, and Wikipedia is notable. We are arguing this as if it appeared on a single blog somewhere about something few know about and we are not including that a few million people are now exposed to this 'meme' and that in itself is certainly relevant in the objective sense. User:Tumbleman

I do understand that posting the word "Wikiality" does entail a bit of navel gazing on our part. However, significant changes in the Colbertniverse (as it were) have been posted on an extremely prompt basis in the past. The precident has been set for allowing changes in the Colbertniverse to be posted on Wiki before they inflitrate the pop culture zeitgeist. Nofactzone 16:38, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

Who keeps removing any mentioning of Colbert's wikipedia segment on July 31? This seems like an Orwellian attempt to pretend it didn't happen. It is a significant current event which ought to be documented on the page, especially considering the frenzy it caused over on the elephant page. What justification is there not to mention Colbert's recent segement, since it is verifiable, the fact that it happened constitutes a neutral point of view, and it adds the the body of knowledge that wikipedia provides. Since this event is being covered by the external media, it is shameful that the wikipedia isn't keeping up with it, just because it is somewhat self-referential. Again, these attempts at controling knowlege get Orwellian at times. I strongly dissent from current actions. Ivymike21 17:00, 1 August 2006 (UTC) (reposted from above) Also please note, "wikiality" redirects to Colbert Report, but the Colbert Report doesn't even mention the word on the page. What is the justification for denying the existance of this term. For comparision I suggest that someone take a look at the page on the Simpsons, including the ancillary page regardin all the one-off words that TV show has created over the years. Do any of you think "wikiality" is less signifcant than these terms? Come on people. Ivymike21 17:00, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

Hey Im a huge fan of Colbert but honestly I think hes gone to far, now as we know were fightiong a war against vandals, the War With ISV and I think Stephen may be in ISV as a vandal. Mr. Vacatour 17:07, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

Does anyone else find it ironic that we are engaging in Wikiality here? People are keeping the word off the page, essentially because so far a slight majority of people have "voted" that it isn't important. Importance is pretty subjective, especially if you look at all the very trivial matters that get mention on the various pages for TV shows in wikipedia. Who would it hurt of the term was mentioned? I "vote" to mention Wikiality and the elephant comments. Tmkyle3 17:14, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

We have semi-objective standards... if reliable sources comment on it as important, then we certainly include it. (eg. if New York Times mentioned it) If the only people discussing it are on forums or Digg, we don't. --Interiot 17:22, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

That's a pretty lousy standard. The New York Times is the epitome of a traditional gatekeeper, and that's who we rely on to deem an event "worthy" or "significant" enough for mention on a free and open enclylopedia? It's pretty sad to see Wikipedia go the route of relying on outside professionals as a source of worthiness. I might also point out how this so-called "semi-objective standard" is hardly applied universally on wikipedia, as evidenced on practically every page about a popular TV show where the tiniest minutia of details are often mentioned. I think what we're seeing here is a flurry of editors coming to this particular page, applying their desired "standard" because they specifically do NOT want wikiality to be mentioned, since the term is disparaging to wikipedia and is linked to various attempts at vandalism. The people who have written additions to this page on wikiality, or the elephant trivia, have been pretty reasonable in sticking to the facts. This is a true test (which we are so far failing) of wikipedia's open nature to see the wikipedia establishment rally around blocking this term, until "The New York Times" makes mention of it - as if the fact that it happened on national television isn't already enough. Tmkyle3 17:42, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

Yes, put it all back, along with my Gaysrael entry. Not notable outside his show? So what? This article is about the show, not an article about just the word itself. --Kalmia 17:54, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
  • I saw the segment, and I think Colbert was on the nose with his Wikiality assesment. I think it certainly should be included in this article, if not a seperate Wikiality article, noting Colbert as the coiner of the phrase. Speaking as a conservative editor, while most WP editors take great pains to have a NPOV, WP is overwhelmingly left leaning in it's membership, and it is sometimes very frustrating to have to go through a painstaking and subjective consensus process to get something that is clearly biased and irrelevant changed, and in many cases, fail at it. I am very tempted to click on the red Wikiality link, and start a new article. Crockspot 18:32, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
  • I just noticed the link is not red. I guess I'll check it out.Crockspot 18:33, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
  • D'oh, it's a redirect back to this article. Oh well, I think it should be its own article.Crockspot 18:37, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

Attention Colbert vandals: the joke's on you

Dear everyone vandalizing at the behest of Stephen Colbert: the joke's on you. You're being played for fools. Dr. Colbert purposefully chose something really absurd to see how many mindless drones would go out and add nonsense, each thinking it was really cool and original to do so. This is meta-humor at its finest. All Stephen Colbert has to do is mention something really absurd, hint that it should be added to Wikipedia, and then laugh all the way to the comedy bank as people who can't think of anything funny on their own repeatedly try to insert the same rubbish into articles. --Cyde↔Weys 17:19, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

I know what you mean. You definitely wrong and certainly retarded, but I know what you're trying to say. --Macarion 23:29, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
Yeah, if there's one thing that vandals aren't aware of, it's that the people getting them to vandalise something actually want them to vandalise it. --Schizophrenic Twin(s) 05:16, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

Hey dont make fun of Stephen, for christ sake hes a celebrity! Besides i will ask him to join ISV shortly. We will merge with wikia, also where the hell is a article on 1998 Mountain Climbing Accidents in Longs Peak Colorado! It was on the freakin news and google has it even yahoo and were better then yahoo so get the article! Or they will make fun of us for not having it. Mr. Vacatour 17:42, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

Can someone explain this last statement to me? --TransNique 23:48, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
You know, by that logic, CC's own South Park shouldn't have even aired. However, I actually agree with Cyde on this matter. Will (Take me down to the Paradise City) 14:35, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

Dr. Colbert is a master of comedic Aikido. His show, his act, indeed much of his career is based on this skill. Anyone of reasonable intelligence who watches it is aware of this fundemental truthiness. So who are the bigger fools here; those who choose to play along with the joke, or those who take it far too seriously and overreact?--R.D.H. (Ghost In The Machine) 22:11, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

Although Colbert probaly thinks it's silly, I don't think he's manipulating his loyal viewers or making them look like idiots. The people who edited the Elephant article are simply playing along, not being played. ThexPhilosopherx 23:27, 19 August 2006 (UTC)

Tally of editors who do/do not want to include "wikiality"

Those for wikiality are in a very slim majority, in term of the talk page's "consensus". Tmkyle3 18:45, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

For "wikiality" Bobak Boradis Robbins Nofactzone IvyMike21 sysrpl ScreamingEagle Tmkyle3 Mr.Vacatour RoyBoy Kalmia Crockspot Phoenix9 Sir Vicious Omaryak User:Tumbleman Bp28 Dstanfor Against it:

JDoorjam eotd (not spelled right...) Rhobite blahedo TM Bailey Ashwinr Cyde (arrows) Ways Interiot Samic OPaul JChap

You can't override our fundamental policies like WP:RS or WP:V by playing a numbers game. --Cyde↔Weys 18:03, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

What a bureaucratic argument. I was originally neutral, but I feel I need to weigh in here. The source is the show itself. How is that unreliable or unverifiable? For the record, I am in favor of a mention of Wikiality somewhere, whether in the article itself or in a separate article. Our qualms about whatever media attenntion the word is receiving should not cause a misguided campaign of censorship. It was a satirical dressdown of Wikipedia and deserves its own cataloguing and, perhaps, discussion page to work out how it should be treated. --Omaryak 06:01, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

The reason being cited by editors who revert the page is "see consensus on talk page". I'm demonstrating that there is no consensus. As for your reference to the policies, verifiablility is 100% obvious. The link to the clip is on this talk page and anyone can see what took place and verify it. As for "published" sources - very few current events are going to be "published" before mentioning on wikipedia, and a search on Google News will show that this even HAS been mentioned already in several sources. Tmkyle3 18:06, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

Here is the link to the primary source: [6]

Here's my argument for adding the entry. I feel what needs to be acknowledged is the wikiality of the entire Wikiality episode, as it were. Last week, Colbert did a bit in his show that featured morning newscasters talking about Colbert's interview with Robert Wexler. He stated essentally that not only was he reporting news, but now he WAS the news. The same principal is true of adding Wikiality to the pages of Wikipedia. Even though the word Wikiality has not had the time to filter through the pop culture zeitgeist, it is still relevant because its own creation has fostered the necessity for its definition into Wikipedia. To not mention Wikiality is an ironic manefestation of the wikiality of the situation itself. Not mentioning the word does not make it irrelevant - in fact quite the opposite. The clamouring of the blogosphere for Wikiality to be included into Wikipedia both creates its existance and justifies its existance at the same time. Nofactzone 18:20, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
"Its own creation has fostered the necessity for its definition into Wikipedia". Wow, just wow. --Cyde↔Weys 18:27, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
The irony of my own prose has not escaped me. It did make my head hurt a little to write it. But you have to admit that the way the logic reverts back upon itself like a mobius strip is quite a thing of beauty - Nofactzone 18:57, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
I'm willing to bet Nofactzone is either Mr. Colbert himself or one of his staffers/production assistants. --Sporkot 18:32, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
Either way, he doesn't seem to understand at all that Wikipedia is about reporting on important stuff, not making stuff important and then reporting on it. --Cyde↔Weys 18:34, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
Although I agree that "wikiality" does not belong in the article on the sole basis of being featured on "The WØRD" once, if someone wants to discuss it, I see no problem with writing an essay in the meta or Wikipedia namespaces. JChap (talkcontribs) 18:44, 1 August 2006


I'm flattered (I think) that you might consider me a member of Colbert's staff. But I promise you, I'm simply a lowly eGeek with a web site and a passion for comedy, specifically Colbert's brand of comedy as presented on The Colbert Report. And I still feel a defintion of Wikiality should be listed at the very least in the "Trivia" section of this site, but more appropriately defined in a brief passage in the "Influence on the English Language" part of this site. The desire for learning about this word is there, and this seems the most logical place to host that information. Nofactzone 18:53, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
There is no influence on the English language; this word was just made up yesterday! It's nice that you have a passion for comedy and what not, but Wikipedia is not a comedy site, it's an encyclopedia. Just because you find something funny does not mean its inclusion in the encyclopedia is justified. And frankly, I've seen a lot funnier stuff by Dr. Colbert, and the only reason people are even thinking of including this little one-off joke in the article is because of the self-reference bias. --Cyde↔Weys 19:00, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
While the word itself has not yet had time to implant itself in the English language, the existance of the word necessitates its representation in Wikipedia because it is in fact a reflection on the influence of Wikipedia in the mainstream. The Colbert Report is a comedy show with a growing reputation of both influencing and reflecting the opinions of much of the cutting edge of popular opinion. To not acknowledge the topical nature of a segment of the show that directly references Wikipedia is to negate the influence of Wikipedia in pop culture. Most importantly, this page documents the important milestones in The Colbert Report. The people defining these milestones are the fans themselves, just like the fans who maintain the site. And here we go back again, full circle, if enough fans say it is a moment of historical documentable significance, its wikiality has been established, and should be published on this page. The fact that the argument has been made for it is evidence enough that it should be on this page. Am I using circular logic? You bet. But that's the beauty of wikiality. That's the reason it needs to be on this page - at least in my humble opinion. To go against the wishes of the fans of the show who have clamored for this word to be put on Wikipedia is to deny the importance of this particular Wikipedia article itself. Plus it would be good to set the record straight on why the word came into existance in the first place. To validate the existance of a separate Wikiality article, I have no doubt that changes in the database could be found as examples of the word. - Nofactzone 19:12, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
That would be incorrect. As I've stated above I wanted Wikiality included because I do feel it will become notable, and because it is closely related to Truthiness. It extends Truthiness to the encyclopedic realm. - RoyBoy 800 04:44, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

When this term is notable in its own right, and not just a neologism made up in school on TV one day, I'd support inclusion. That particular time isn't yet, so I think we're ok to leave it out. More importantly, though, we don't determine notability by voting. ++Lar: t/c 21:28, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

Consensus on "Wikiality"

There have been repeated mentions of a supposed consensus on this Talk page.. I have scanned the some 4-6 sections regarding "wikiality" and have found no such consensus.. The current revision as of this writing ([7]) is currently clearly against any consensus. There are several reasons that I believe there should be a mention of the incident, the most important reason I see is that there is a protected redirect at Wikiality, it is ridiculous to have a redditect to a page that doesn't even mention the topic being redirected (this is also not the only instance of such an thing). Now to establish a REAL consensus... Here are the points I think can be agreed should be included:

  • Colbert mentioned wikipedia on his July 31st show
  • He coined the term "wikiality" to reffer to the making of a majority opinion to be true
  • He made comments about doing a couple edits, the one about Oregon and George Washington being slaves (these edits may or may not have been done by User:Stephencolbert , see Special:Contributions/Stephencolbert )
  • His mention about and "directions" to edit Elephant caused an upturn in vandalism

What shouldn't be included (by consensus I've seen):

  • Stephen "causing" server and database failures, these are mostly reported by admins to be an unrelated issue, even though it was very likely complicated by the upturn in traffic

Any one feel free to add too or strike points in the list above and add discussion --Phoenix9 18:48, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

Agreed on all counts. See running tally of editors above. Tmkyle3 18:51, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

Agreed as well. There is a Truthiness article, so why not a Wikiality article? The redirect should either be unredirected, or point to a Wikiality section in this article. Otherwise it makes no sense.Crockspot 18:52, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
Wikiality should get it's own dedicated section. There will definitely be plenty of people who will search for 'Wikiality' and it does not need to be overly notable, as long as people want to read about it. No good reason to not include a short Wikiality article in Wikipedia and maybe protect it until there are further developments concerning the word as well as mentions throughout the internet. --Dan428 21:10, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
"Truthiness" was the 2005 word of the year and was featured in a bunch of newspaper stories. Wikiality, by contrast, was just made up yesterday and its heyday has already passed. It will never be nearly as notable as "Truthiness". You're trying to compare the two but there is really no comparison to be made. --Cyde↔Weys 19:01, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
How can you possibly claim to know how important this word will become? How can you claim that "its heyday has already passed". I bet that Wikiality will only snowball into something bigger at this point.--Milicz 19:19, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
If the reason to include it in the article is that "I bet it will snowball into something bigger" it shouldn't be included. If it in fact does "snowball," include it then, but not until. "Truthiness" was important to Colbert. "Wikiality" may have importance to Wikipedia, but not to Colbert. Note the distinction. JChap (talkcontribs) 19:30, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
The reaosn you include the word now is so you can capitalize on the free advertising Colbert gave Wikipedia yesterday. The word is already becoming a phenomenon with articles being written about it, but I guess we can have articles about random minutiae, but not Wikiality. I don't get it.--Milicz 19:39, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

Mr. Cyde Weys, it seems to me you just don't like the word or what it stands for. It is you who come acrossed as biased - I noted your edit in the history that this is not a "current event". Why the smarmy attitude? I reiterate that you and some other administrators are against the word, and trying to excise it, simply because it is a pejorative term whose etemology is obviously derived from "Wikipedia" Ivymike21 19:18, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

Riiight. Only evil rouge admins (also known as "rogue admins") would invoke considerations like WP:V, WP:RS and relevance. JChap (talkcontribs) 19:33, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
This is the exact kind of thing that Colbert talked about, if you pretend it doesn't exists or if you choose not to acknowledge it, it doesn't exist and your version of the story becomes the truth. Evidently Cyde still can't see it. The truth is Colbert did coined the term Wikiality and if wikipedia is to be seen as a "reliable" encyclopedia then it should not censor what happened. Sir Vicious 19:39, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

Watch the actual clip from the Colbert Report if you want reliablity and a verifiable source. If the facts Phoneix9 have listed are not confirmed for you by your watching the clip, I don't know what planet you are coming from. I'm not calling anyone a rouge admin. I'm merely saying that there is an agenda at work here, which ought not to be.

I'll tell you what - I'll vote in favor of NOT mentioning "wikiality" after all the admins who are getting so steamed up about this simple word first do a thorough review of List of neologisms on The Simpsons and remove the countless terms that are lacking in "relevance". Ivymike21 19:39, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

So, your proposal is to drag all articles down to the level of the worst you can find? -- Coneslayer 19:44, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
No, my contention is that while administrators are excising the term "wikiality" because it is "not notable", really they are doing so because they are biased against it. Wikiality is no less notable than the countless other words (for example, that simpsons page) that are on here, but the admins are going after this particular term because they don't like the pejorative nature of its etemology. With the vast wealth of information wikipedia is able to provide people, I say always err on the side of inclusiveness.Ivymike21 19:52, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
While I want Wikiality included (because there is a fair chance it will become notable), the Simpsons analogy doesn't quite hold. If there was an article on Stephen's neologisms, it would go there, not on the main article. Likewise for the Simpsons... unless it's verifiably notable of course. :"D - RoyBoy 800 04:41, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

I believe Stephens remarks on select elitists creating doubt where none existed before hits the nail on the head. Previously I did not give any example for fear of turning the discussion political, but let's face facts. Colbert mocks the political on his show, particularly the far right wing. Having said that here are a few clear (or maybe not so clear) real examples of elitists doing the same:

Repeat each of the following until they become the truth, or at the very least introduce doubt where none existed before

  • We aren't fighting insurgents in the mid-east, we are fighting militia death squads.
  • Iran passed a law requiring Jews to wear holocaust style yellow stars.
  • There is no scientific consensus on the existence or cause of global warming within the scientific community.
  • Iraq had weapons of mass destruction and ties to al Qaeda.
  • John Kerry lied to gain his purple hearts.
  • We are in the long war.
  • We are fighting them over there, so we don't have to fight them over here.
  • They hate us because they hate freedom.

and on and on and on ... Sysrpl 19:51, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

I don't understand what you're fighting about. "Wikiality" clearly cannot be said to have had any impact on the English language yet, it's not more than 24 hours old. But why has ever mention of the episode from which it originated and the following events on Wikipedia being excised? Doesn't make sense to me. I would consider notable events in the show's history to be appropriate for the show's article.... Y2kcrazyjoker4 20:44, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

I agree that less than 24 hours is a wee bit less than necessary to argue that a word should be given its own article. Maybe a trivia point here, definitely an addition to that article that documents mainstream media article/pieces on Wikipedia. Won't someone think of the elephants? To just throw out one of the funnier "powerpoint" quotes after rewatching the speech on YouTube: "The Revolution will not be Verified". --Bobak 20:47, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

Please see my proposed edit here and discuss it. --Phoenix9 21:39, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

I think Dr. Colbert's point is; consensus is not's Truthiness.--R.D.H. (Ghost In The Machine) 22:38, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

And Dr. Colbert's mistake is that we're not interested in truthiness or The TruthTM; we start with facts and reach a consensus about how best to arrange them. But we don't get to make the facts up. JDoorjam Talk 22:58, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
Um actually, we ARE NOT interested in the truth, or "fact". See Wikipedia:Verifiability. As long as something is published in some form of media, we pretty much pass it along. Like a parrot. Pacific Coast Highway (blahI'm a hot toe picker) 23:14, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
Yeah, I meant facts as "verifiable observations" — in our case, the observations of others. We're in agreement, though you said it better than I. JDoorjam Talk 23:31, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

Outside mentions of the Colbert incident

  • Wired News - Colbert: How to be an expert on everything (oblique reference to Wikiality in third paragraph)

Update: Wikiality has more Google hits than truthiness - Wikiality: 956,000; truthiness: 895,000.

The truthiness Wikiality shall set you free.

A lot of those blog entries even have the basic facts wrong ... so much for reliable sources. --Cyde↔Weys 19:05, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

A lot of all blog entries have all basic facts wrong. --mitrebox 03:44, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
None of these are print, television or radio media. -- Zanimum 14:43, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
So everything in Wikipedia, an Internet publication, has to have an old media source before we will include it? I call BS on that. Wikiality, "a word made up yesterday...[whose] heyday has already passed" according to one editor, has 189,000 hits on Google. Yet no mention on Wikipedia? Seems fishy to me. --Omaryak 06:06, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
Wikipedia isn't some grand experiment in faster news coverage. It is an online encyclopedia and encyclopedias need to be checked for facts. We do that by requiring citations to verifiable sources. If you have a problem with that take it up on the guideline talk page, not here. About Wikiality though, there is a mention on the list of episodes or something and I'm sure an entry will be made here if the word continues being popular, just be patient and see if it is actually another truthiness or the same as the rest of his words. Konman72 06:09, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
And by now it is a well-known fact that Colbert used the word "Wikiality" on his show. We don't need to wait for it to become a pop culture phenomenon for it to appear, say, in the trivia section. There have been several outside references to the show in addition to the word's appearance on the show itself (and last time I checked, this is an article about the show). It's not the "reliable source" requirement I take exception to; it's the abuse of the requirement I'm seeing in this discussion in the form of an overly strict, bull-headed manner. --Omaryak 06:40, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

It is also a well known fact that he has used thousands of words, should we make an entry on all of them? In the end, I think this will be put in the article but there is no reason to rush it. At the moment it is a hot topic and so why don't we excercise some patience and see if the word expands beyond the normal range in order to make it noteworthy. At the moment there is already an entry at the list of Colbert episodes, so I see little reason for it here until it becomes noteworthy. Konman72 06:57, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

If it is not noteworthy then it can go in the trivia section. We can wait and see if it develops beyond a passing mention in the trivia section. What makes this word different is that it is a criticism of Wikipedia, and we should be able to defend ourselves. --Omaryak 19:12, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
No, that's exactly why it doesn't warrant special treatment. Wikipedia doesn't get special treatment on Wikipedia! -- Coneslayer 19:16, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
Coneslayer is completely right. Criticisms of Wikipedia are addressed in much greater detail elsewhere. This isn't the place. --TM 19:19, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
But what about criticisms of Wikipedia made on a specific show? --Omaryak 01:12, 4 August 2006 (UTC)

Relocking of the article

I've locked the main article again because of the number of ardent sleeper accounts that seem tickled by Dr. Colbert's attention here but fail to heed the notability guidelines. Ramming "wikiality" into the article has become disruptive. No one's noticed, apparently, that the guest last night, and even Colbert's mockery of Mel Gibson, have actually gotten more media attention than "Wikiality", and yet no one's clamoring for the inclusion in the article (nor should they). In fact, I'd be willing to mention that, in one nook or another, Colbert's guests and schticks are frequently mentioned in the media. That doesn't make them worth including in the article about the show. JDoorjam Talk 19:49, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

Please cite the "notability guidelines" and their location in the Wikipedia policies that justify your action. Ivymike21 20:59, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

Edit as a result of Talk:The Colbert Report#Consensus on "Wikiality"


To reflect what is general consensus that I see here, I tried to edit the "Trivia" section to read as follows:

* On July 31, 2006, Colbert, during his normal introductions, introduced 
a segment on Wikipedia by describing it as "a segment you can read about on 
Wikipedia in about 15 minutes" (in actuality, coverage of the segment was added to 
Wikipedia in less than three minutes). He began the discussion by commenting about 
Oregon and his opinion of it as either California's Canada or Washington's Mexico, 
which he couldn't remember. To rectify this lack of knowledge, he referred to this 
article. After reading that he had done both, however, he changed his opinion to call 
it Idaho's Portugal and this article to reflect that (there is evidence he 
actually made this edit 
[8]).  After a short 
explanation of how Wikipedia worked (which may be incorrect as he implied a voting 
process that exists only with article deletion, not with normal edits), he introduced 
his "WØRD" for the night,"Wikiality", which he defined as "bringing democracy to 
knowledge", the idea that if a majority of the world can be convinced of a statement, 
it becomes a fact. To illustrate the point, Colbert quoted the "factoid" that "the 
number of elephants in Africa has tripled in the last six months" and, at the 
end of segment, asked his viewers to make an edit on the elephant page to say as 
such. In a foreseeable turn of events, this quickly resulted with the vandalism of 
the aforementioned article and several on related topics (as well as several articles 
about him and his show) and may have compounded database errors already occurring on 
Wikipedia servers. [1] [2][3][4]

By the time I finished, however, full protection had been restored. As such, I request that the text I wrote above be inserted into the article by an admin. --Phoenix9 20:04, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

You've got three blogs and a YouTube link as references. Are you saying you believe that should be the bar for inclusion of content on this page? If so, four paragraphs would be added to this article every day the show airs. JDoorjam Talk 20:08, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
I added the YouTube link.. the other three were already present when I started editing. I am not saying that there is no need for better sources, I have not, however, been seeing a lack of references as the comment on reverted edits, I have seen a (see consensus). I couldn't even find such consensus, hence why I made that section and after observing it for awhile made that edit. As I see it, however, the sources provided (even just the video) provide WP:V and WP:NOR. The only logical complaint I see is WP:NN, but a point of non-notability is "Non-notable topics do not attract editors" ... and that certainly isn't true in this case. Really, my main complaint is that the redirect at Wikiality exists, so this article NEEDS to contain some reference. --Phoenix9
Since the events cited in Phoneix9's text above ARE verifiable (disparging the clip as coming from YouTube does not mean that is not the actual footage that aired on comedy central), please cite the wikipedia policies whicy you think empower you to remove the text and to protect it from further revision. I will point out, for the record, that "notability" is not an official policy of Wikipedia. It is only a set of ideas about how Wikipedia should work, which argueably the above text does not violate. Moreover, the above text violates none of the clauses in the policy "Wikipedia is not an indiscriminate collection of information". Please cite an OFFICIAL reason to block our editing access as a means to keep out our desired addition.Ivymike21 20:23, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
Wikipedia is not an indiscriminate collection of information. By lowering the bar to include a neologism that has had no traction in the real world, simply because navel-gazing is fun, you are arguing that any information that is mentioned in any form of notable media has the strength to be mentioned in Wikipedia. This is not true. Please explain why Wikiality is notable in a way that, for this article, Colbert's mockery of Mel Gibson is not, or Ned Lamont's appearance on the show is not. Do you think that either of those is worth inclusion? What about William Donohue's appearance? Or any "Word" that got any blog traction? How are those different from Wikiality? TV show articles tend to collect meaningless trivia like barnacles. To avoid their becoming indiscriminate collections of information, standards have to be maintained. JDoorjam Talk 20:33, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
In fact, almost all of those topics ARE included in List of The Colbert Report episodes. My rationale for inclusion of "Wikiality" in the main article is the existence of the Wikiality redirect. If it were redirected to List of The Colbert Report episodes (where it is already mentioned) instead, that would also work. After Colbert's mention, however, most people un-familiar with WP will look for this article and very possibly such a mention as mine. --Phoenix9 21:21, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

WP:NN is NOT an official policy of WikipediaIvymike21 20:25, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

I believe the text written by Phoenix9 should be spun off onto a new entry page with a title such as "Colbert Report Wikiality Segment", linked to from the main Colbert Report page.

  • The text more properly belongs in Wikipedia space, not article space. I have created a project page using the text at Wikipedia:Wikiality. JChap (talkcontribs) 20:33, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
That is sort of pointless then. It's about as significant as keeping wikiality here on the talk pages - it remains something esoteric that only heavy users of wikipedia will ever see. The point is to get it onto the main page so that people will come across it when reading about the Colbert Report.Ivymike21 20:37, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
And why is that so important? To C&P from above, please explain why Wikiality is notable in a way that, for this article, Colbert's mockery of Mel Gibson is not, or Ned Lamont's appearance on the show is not. Do you think that either of those is worth inclusion? What about William Donohue's appearance? Or any "Word" that got any blog traction? How are those different from Wikiality? JDoorjam Talk 20:45, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
I completely agree. The ban on the word 'Wikiality' from entering the article is completely bewildering. It makes total sense to add an entry on Wikiality into the Trivia section. Preventing these edits are doing nothing but hurting Wikipedia's voice. --Dan428 21:23, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
As I have already stated to you on your own talk page, any of those examples you cite could be included, if people were interested in including them. The difference between Mel Gibson and Wikiality is that you have a whole slew of editors that wanted to add Wikiality, and none that have expressed an interest in adding Mel Gibson. Again, when we have a bunch of editors who want to include it, who are you to be the arbitor of whether or not it is notable. I reiterate, also, that notability is NOT a wikipedia policy and that you have still not explained your reasoning for putting protection on this page. Who can one appeal to around here?! Ivymike21 20:57, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
Including information because somebody felt like including information simply isn't how Wikipedia works. You're advocating for the collection of indiscriminate information. It's a policy to avoid such accumulation. Having "a whole slew of editors" who want to add something to the encyclopedia anyone can edit does not make it worth including. If you believe that information should be included not because it matters but because a group of people shouted about it, then you completely misunderstand the way this project works. If you'd like to appeal, I'd suggest posting at the administrator's notice board, though I imagine the admins there will come to similar conclusions: this is navel-gazing, lowering the bar for inclusion to this level would allow for the indiscriminate collection of information (which apparently you're an advocate of), and having a group of people who think that something's worth putting on Wikipedia does not mean it should be here, or every after-school basketball club would have its own article. JDoorjam Talk 21:04, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
Nevermind, I've done it myself. JDoorjam Talk 21:11, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

You are making some disingenous comparisons here. CNET isn't saying anything about after-school basketball clubs; they are however writing about last night's episode. Mentioning of this whole wikiality/elephant thing does not in fact violate the "indiscriminate information policy" see: Wikipedia:What_Wikipedia_is_not#Wikipedia_is_not_an_indiscriminate_collection_of_information. The information people are trying to add is about an event, viewed by millions of people on television, which then had a clear effect off-air which is demonstrable, verifiable, proveable, and is cited externally. Only a very slanted view point could claim that this is "indiscriminate information". I am not advocating for the inclusion of random or indiscriminate information in the wikipedia, personal annecdotes, self-aggrandizing entries, or any of the proscribed entry types on the list of what Wikipedia is not. This event is none of those things. What is the arguement that this is NOT notable, and why is that for you alone to decide.

If you need further reasoning to include it, it is this. Colbert is a satire program watched by many people, hosted by an internationally recognizeable personality. Last night, he outlined an idea about how information is diseminated, with a somewhat editorial position. The fact that he did so can and should be mentioned, with a neutral point of view on the matter maintained. The irony here is that this term is being kept off the entry in a way that demonstrates the implications of "wikiality". Tragic. Ivymike21 21:18, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

So now you're saying that anything done on national television is notable enough to appear on Wikipedia? JDoorjam Talk 21:22, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
When the event on national television pertains to the Wikipedia entry in question: YES, absolutely. --Dan428 21:34, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
The statement you think I am making is overly-inclusive; I would not say that. I'm not going to try to draw the line here for all of Wikipedia as to what should and should not be included as far as national television goes, except to point out that a quick purusal of various entries on television shows will reveal numerous plot summaries, episode guides, annecdotes, and character descriptions that one might not consider to be notable. I continue to submit that you are holding this one segment to a different standard that all the other TV show entries (as I've noted the Simpsons, but plenty of shows on TV have a full episode guide with the plot of every episode of the series - take a look at the depth on Star Trek). If someone wanted to start an episode guide with a summary of every episode of The Colbert Report, would you stop them? Why not all those other shows? Where is your outrage?
However, because this incident has had a demonstrable impact BEYOND TV, (mentioning in the blogs you so disparage, CNET, and the actual vandalism that occurred to wikipedia), I think that this "wikiality" thing far EXCEEDS the very minimum standard other TV shows are being held to with respect to their entries. Ivymike21 21:36, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
So, again, anything on any tv show that's blogged about should be included in the main article on that subject? That there was vandalism here doesn't really sway me that much. There are no metrics for how much vandalism to Wikipedia constitutes notability (and I hope you would understand why there shouldn't be). JDoorjam Talk 21:53, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

I'm sorry, I just discovered there IS in fact such an episode guide for the Colber Report. I defer to Phoenix9's comments above as to why Wikiality deserves mention. Ivymike21 21:39, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

Excellent! Perusing the guide, I see that the entry for last night's episode has a summary of the Wikiality issue, right where it belongs, in the ep guide! Fantastic. Wikiality has found its proper home, and we can put this all to bed, right? ..... right? JDoorjam Talk 21:53, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
LOL, No! I think the onus is on you to explain why NOT to include it in the main article when clearly a number of us think it is significant. Is there no administrator out there that sees the signficance and implications? I'm getting tired of rehashing all my arguments for inclusion.Ivymike21 22:06, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
It isn't any more important than the content of any other episode. It's now where it belongs: amongst the content of every other episode. Other bits on other episodes have been blogged about, too, and while they haven't landed on the main Colbert Report page, they've ended up on the episode list. That this particular entry led people to some vandalism of Wikipedia doesn't make it notable. Is that the only thing left that we're arguing about, whether vandalism to the 'pedia makes this worth putting in the article? JDoorjam Talk 22:10, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
I have removed the {Editprotected}, consensus wasn't crystal clear and anyhow, big changes can wait until the article is unprotected.--Commander Keane 04:58, 5 August 2006 (UTC)

Colbert is fundamentally wrong

Colbert said that wikipedia works on a democratic basis. this is not true. we do not take a vote on what the correct truth. there has to be a consensus for amost all wikipedians before something is labeled as fact, with evidence to back it up, hopefully coming from multiple sources. --Greg.loutsenko 21:04, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

You are wrong. We do take a vote on what we accept into major Wikipedia edits. That is what this page is for. Also there are admins who have more power than other users, like presidents, who are able to control the rules and prevent people from changing the story. --Dan428 21:19, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
Don't forget that Colbert is a comedian. Just about everything he says is not the truth. dposse 21:20, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
No, we don't. -- Coneslayer 21:24, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
"Its primary method of finding consensus is discussion". Wikipedia might not consider itself a democracy, but it does operate like one. --Dan428 21:27, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
There's a huge difference between "discussion" and "voting." You're conflating the two, while the whole point of the WP:NOT section is to make the distinction. -- Coneslayer 21:29, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

Heh, a democractic Wikipedia... Just look at the Brian Peppers fiasco to see how our "democracy" works. It's more of a benevolant dictatorship --albeit one a bit bloated by bureacracy. --Bobak 00:35, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia is neither an Autocracy, nor a Democracy, nor an Oligarchy, nor an Anarchy. Wikipedia is an encyclopedia not a government... --Cat out 02:02, 4 August 2006 (UTC)

Wikiality redirect

Okay, so wikiality redirects here, but isn't mentioned here. What's up with that? Deco 21:20, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

You might notice that there's been some discussion of the topic above. -- Coneslayer 21:26, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
You're right, it doesn't make much sense at all. --Dan428 21:28, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

i'm confused.

I've been on wikipedia for a while now. Why can't i edit this page? dposse 21:23, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

The template says semi-protected, not fully protected, so what is up? --G VOLTT 21:24, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
Looks like the person who protected it didn't do it correctly. And we can't fix it because.. we can't edit it. --Dan428 21:29, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
Someone needs to get a Admin over here and fix it. dposse 21:32, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
Give it ten minutes. There's already a request for input on this page over at the admin noticeboard. -- (Lee)Bailey(talk) 21:34, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
Even regular Wikipedians may fall for Stephen's trap and I think the administrator wants only admins to edit any "Wikiality" related article until the issue is resolved. Minutiaman 22:01, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
That could be for a very long time! Comedy Central repeats it alot. Then there is the DVDs!! dposse 22:07, 1 August 2006 (UTC)


JDoorjam, here's a link for the citation needed tag you put in at 20:55 server time. I would put it in, but the article's protected - Tanman 22:19, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

Awesome, thanks. JDoorjam Talk 22:30, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

Colbert takes on the morning news shows

Under the "Mistaken for non-satirical journalism" section (existing text in strikeout, proposed change in bold):

On July 25, 2006, Colbert came out against television networks, specifically NBC's The Today Show and ABC's Good Morning America for taking his interview with Florida Congressman Robert Wexler out of context when he stated on the show "I enjoy cocaine's a fun thing to do" and "I enjoy the company of prostitutes...because it's a fun thing to do. If you combine the two [prostitutes and cocaine] together, it's probably even more fun." In response to the question as to why Congressmen keep appearing on his program, Colbert cited that the show was "very complex and demanded a lot of the viewers." He explained that Congressmen keep on appearing on his show since segments from The Colbert Report were apparently newsworthy enough to be alongside segments such as tanning addictions and poker playing monkeys that were recently featured on the The Today Show and Good Morning America. He suggested that he should be asking questions about those topics instead of asking questions that held Congressmen accountable for laws they were sponsoring. Colbert closed by offering a mea culpa and telling people to vote Wexler citing that "he has a sense of humor, unlike most journalists".

On July 25, 2006, Colbert took to task some television network morning news shows, specifically NBC's Today show and ABC's Good Morning America, for taking out of context comments made by Florida Congressman Robert Wexler on his show (e.g. "I love cocaine because it's a fun thing to do"). Wexler had made the comments in response to a suggestion by Colbert to "say some things that would really lose the election for you if you were contested." As of the show's airing, Wexler was running for re-election unopposed. In a rare moment, Colbert broke character to say that Wexler "didn't mean a thing he was saying. He knew it was a joke, and he was confident enough to play along."

This edit is needed for simplification and accuracy. I've compared the quotes with a recording of the episode I have through the iTunes service, and the quotes in the original version are rough approximations. The original version tries to convey the whole segment, and it was certainly entertaining, but I think instead we need to capture the pithy moment that sticks to the section's topic about his show being mistaken for non-satirical journalism. The fact that he had to explain it was a joke on his own show is revealing.

--Omaryak 23:25, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

Results of today

I've reduced the article to sprotected status, as multiple editors have wanted to make changes to the article that don't have anything to do with the content dispute at hand. As of now, wikiality redirects to and is mentioned in the List of Colbert Report episodes, and the episode is referenced at truthiness. Google News gives a grand total of three blog entries as the media impact wikiality" had, which is about on par with or less than any other bit Colbert does (try searching for "Colbert 'Mel Gibson' " or "Colbert Lamont" in Google News -- they both got waaaaaay more attention). I've got my fingers crossed we can lower the DefCon on this and the elephant-related articles by tomorrow; hopefully Dr. Colbert will give the citizens of his Colbert Nation some other fool's errand that will keep them occupied. JDoorjam Talk 00:14, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

(Comment from "kizzle 02:17, 2 August 2006 (UTC) " Removed and added to BJAODN --Nick Catalano contrib talk 04:14, 2 August 2006 (UTC))

Youtube video link

I was thinking of including this video link in the external links section. It is the video of last nights Word that started the chaos on wikipedia. dposse 01:11, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

Even if the whole topic were a significant topic for the subject of the article (which it isn't), doesn't it strike you as a bad idea to link to a video of someone encouraging people to vandalise articles? JChap (talkcontribs) 01:23, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
Ah. I suppose so. sorry. dposse 01:43, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
We host a picture that encourages people to do so: Image:Penny Arcade comic-20051216h.jpg. --Interiot 01:55, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
Hahahahaha. XD wow. dposse 01:59, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

NPOV in editing?

Wikipedia seems to NPOV everything, everything. An article entitled reading is fundamental would be full of criticisms stating that TV is quicker and some words are really big and difficult. However when it comes to any mention of trying to include Wikiality in this or any other article the forced consensus of some seems to shoutout all discussion. A perfect example of wikiality if there ever was one.--mitrebox 03:57, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

Anyone who thinks a segment that was aired 2 days ago is "noteworthy" needs a serious reality check. Wait a week or two and see if the whole thing caught on in any way and then begin the editting. Actually, the many reverted vandalisms and "Wikiality" entries is proof that Colbert was categorically wrong in what he said. Konman72 04:08, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
Wrong or not, it is a commonly held criticism of Wikipedia, and if we included information about how the edits were reverted, it might restore people's confidence in Wikipedia. I don't see any reason to keep it hidden from public view. And a mention in the list of episodes does not communicate the sequence of events that occurred. Why not make a separate article addressing this debate and what happened as an educational lesson for the public? --Omaryak 19:51, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
Wikipedia has a great tradition of capturing events as they happen. If we were to wait a week or two to see if events were note worthy we would not have an article about the 2006 Qara shelling attack. If petty events such as that can be recorded in real-time, surely events as important as this can. --mitrebox 05:30, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
"As important as this"? Well, I have no real problem with it, I'm just wanting to minimize the Colbert vandalism so I think it would be best to keep it off for a while. But I really have no problem with it. Read this and see if it fits pretty well and I won't revert it, but make sure it is worded neutrally etc. Konman72 05:34, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
Wow, are you trying to make the implication that a made-up word is it all as important as an airstrike in a heated war in a heated region of the world that killed dozens of people? Get a sense of perspective! Wikiality was just a "The W0RD", he does them every show. --Cyde↔Weys 13:50, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
WP has never not included content simply to prevent vandalism. Even overtly contentous topics are covered in depth, NPOV and are activly protected from vandalism. --mitrebox 05:43, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

I know, as I said I have no real reason I don't want it included. But ask yourself why it is so important? He does a "Word" every day, do you want to add all of them or just this one? This one doesn't seem to be any more noteworthy than the rest to me. I'm watching Colbert right now and Wikiality hasn't been mentioned at all, truthiness is mentioned all the time, thus it is mentioned here. Konman72 05:53, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

We have a policy on this: WP:V. In order to justify inclusion, one would have to have a reliable reference to support the incident being important enough. I don't think anyone has provided that and I don't think individual incidents on Wikipedia and individual mentions in shows warrant inclusion unless they rise to the level of wide media coverage and have the reference to back up their importance as I said. - Taxman Talk 14:46, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
The verifiability policy doesn't say that you need to verify if it's important; it says that you need to verify if something exists. isn't a reputable enough source to verify that Colbert said something on-air? The only requirement of high "importance" is being ascribed by those who don't want to see the word included in the article. Seems a bit arbitrary to me. --Omaryak 19:55, 3 August 2006 (UTC)


We seem to be using both cases throughout: The Wørd and The WØRD. Not sure which is more correct, but we should stick to one and change the others to match. Turnstep 15:36, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

Wikiality in the News

The wikiality segment was referred to on today's On Point show and interview with Jimmy Wales, Wikipedia: Open Intelligence, including the follow up vandalism to African elephant articles. I think that qualifies it definitely for inclusion in the trivia section, with the above link as a citation. --Robbins 15:56, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

Agreed. dposse 16:06, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
Because the founder of Wikipedia was asked about a recent event regarding Wikipedia? Does that mean that Ned Lamont should also be mentioned in the main article? He got a little more attention than wikiality has. Should Joe Quesada be mentioned on the main page? He got a bunch of hits too. What separates Wikiality from other Colbert Report bits? JDoorjam Talk 17:03, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
Besides the fact that it caused a meltdown on wikipedia? dposse 17:14, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
First of all, it didn't cause a "meltdown", it caused a small juvenile vandalism spree that was quickly squashed. And even if something did cause some problems, who cares? Would you expect to read an encyclopedia entry in Encyclopedia Britannica about a string of automobile vandalisms in the Encyclopedia Britannica car parking lot? Yeah, it'd be a big deal to them just like this seems to be a big deal to us, but in the grand picture, it's nothing. Willy on Wheels alone has caused at least one hundred times as much damage as all of this Colbert stuff ever will, but he certainly doesn't get an article. --Cyde↔Weys 17:19, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
It also caused wikipedias servers to crash for a short while. It couldn't handle the traffic. Believe me, i was there, as well as anyone else who was up that night. Editing pages was impossible. Then the database was locked for at least 10 minutes. Now, two days after the show aired, the pages Colbert mentioned are still locked and people are still talking about it. Proof of that is the brand new Fark sign at the top of this page. That to me is very notable. dposse 17:33, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
Exactly -- to you it's very notable. And to me. But I've found a total of one blog entry that mentions the server trouble we had (in an unconfirmed, post hoc sort of way). We don't have notability guidelines based on our server trouble, and for good reason -- it's hardly a reliable secondary source. I think Cyde's example of vandalism in the Britannica parking lot is quite appropriate. Just because it was felt around here does not mean it's notable in the history of The Colbert Report. JDoorjam Talk 17:43, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
That server thing has been happening a lot lately, it's been frequent days before the Colbert incident. And having some link on Fark isn't notable- are we going to create an entry for "Poo with a view - Irish toilet attracts $380,000 bid"??? --TheTruthiness 17:46, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
Yeah, I was here alright when the servers went down, but it didn't have anything to do with Stephen Colbert. Remember our processes of WP:RS and WP:V please. And if getting a mention in a Fark link actually made something "very notable" then we'd have another million articles to write. Get real. You have to have a very overinflated sense of importance on Internet-related things. --Cyde↔Weys 17:48, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
I think it is noteworthy enough to include. It was featured on Slashdot [9], Ars Technica [10], Cnet [11]. Today it was the most watched video on youtube [12] with 180,000 hits. It's not exactly Star Wars kid, but it certainly has been getting a lot of attention. Cacophony 02:01, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

For all the complaints, be glad he was so specific. Could you imagine the mess if he'd instructed all his viewers to hit "Random article" and then insert something about elephants? --Bobak 02:15, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

Do mind the beans, Bobak. JDoorjam Talk 02:16, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
Ah... well then, good to know. That's why I'd make a bad covert agent. I'd make my way into some terrorist cell and end up saying "Oh c'mon, that'd never work...if we want get serious, this is what we do." --Bobak 02:39, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
Don't worry about that; the actual wiki holocaust will be when an angry editor unleashes a distributed network of zombie bots to automatically register accounts which then edit random pages on Wikipedia in addition to their usual task of spamming. Human-generated vandalism will pale by comparison. The "beans" thing is dumb, btw; see Security through obscurity. Tempshill 06:29, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

I don't intend to sound uncivil, but the problem with Cyde's example of vandalism in the Britannica parking lot is that the only people affected by that vandalism are the Britannica employees. Likewise, I really don't believe that a vandalism spree in the Britannica parking lot would make it on the news, into newspapers, and onto blog space. It certainly seems as though there is some importance to this event--After all, quite a few people seem to have been involved. The Steven Colbert article as well as the Elephant article are not the appropriate places to to doccument this event. The topic has been concidered on the discussion pages of each, and the same conclusion reached as well: The Colbert Report page is the proper place to document this event. Yet why is it that so many Wikipedians wish to censor this event? Yes, we were caught with our pants down, and yes, there will be more to come, but why deny this? Also, I hate to categorize people, but why is it the admins seem to be fighting off the average users' concerns? Somnabot 03:35, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

Has wikiality even been mentioned in newspapers yet? Making it into blogs isn't particularly noteworthy as anyone can make a blog, including fans of Colbert, and Wikipedia editors, who would have an interest in something like this. Simply because an event involves quite a few people doesn't mean it needs to be included in an article, lots of things fall in this category but aren't included. No clear conclusion of having it mentioned here has been reached at either talk page you mentioned. Not to be uncivil but I'm tired of people always crying censorship when something isn't going their way; this obviously isn't censorship, this is carrying out routine policy and procedure. Actually, we were not caught with our pants down: vandalism is routine here and the situation was handled very quickly. Noone is denying it never happened, it simply isn't notable and wikipedia has a policy against self-reference. Should we also include a mention on Dubya's page that his article has been vandalized countless times? That has involved lots more people than this event. From my observation the split seems to be between people who have been editors for a long time and those who are relatively new and unfamiliar with general policies. As has been recommended before, just relax and give it time, if the term becomes notable that will become self-evident and unignorable, as with truthiness, and it will be included. --TM 12:12, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
Certainly, it's a very delicate point. If we decline to discuss Colbert's Wikiality segment, are we declining because it's non-notable, or because we're ashamed of criticism?
To those who are bristling at the page protection and who think some mention of Wikiality really, really needs to be inserted: like TM said, be patient. Making the right decision will take a little time.
But to those who insist that any mention of Wikiality really needs not to be included, do be aware that your thinking might be unduly influenced by a fear of criticism. And make no bones about it: the false notion of "truth" by consensus or popularity, and especially at an encyclopedic site that heretically throws itself open to anyone to edit, this is a very real problem. Don't say, "that's not a problem; our verifiability policies and vandalism-detection mechanisms fix it." The fact that we need verifiability policies and vandalism-detection mechanisms prove that there's a potential problem here, and the amount of attention that the verifiability policy receives proves that it's a potentially very big problem.
And please, don't anyone hate Colbert for pointing these truths out or for "damaging the site" -- that's just blaming the messenger.
Steve Summit (talk) 13:26, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
I continue to submit, as Steve Summit has suggested, that the unusually strong desire among some administrators to keep the neologism "wikiality", and the surrounding "elephant incident" off the pages, as compared with other neologisms and niche incidents that are covered in other wikipedia entries, is indeed unduly influenced by a fear of criticism.
Do note however that (a) I'm at least as worried about overly-definsive editors as administrators ("do you think Stephen and the Report dislike this whole site?"), and (b) just because someone wants to omit something for the wrong reason, doesn't necessarily mean that the something must therefore be included. Steve Summit (talk) 22:08, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
Orwell pointed out the power and danger of being able to censor and/or control the past. What we have here is an attempt to deny an event some of us don't like. This event is far more noteable than a lot of the esoteric information offered, but you don't see administrators clamoring to remove "Adultivity" from the page List of neologisms on The Simpsons. There's no one out there blogging about adultivity, yet that term stays, but Wikiality, which is being actively blogged and discussed on internet news sites, is ignored. As someone else pointed out, over 200,000 people have now watched the wikiality segement on youtube. That's not far from the 300,000 or so viewing of Matrix ping pong. Ivymike21 14:44, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
Again I must disagree and cite an example of newer users lacking perspective or experience with Wikipedia. Wikipedia has never avoided criticism, see Criticism of Wikipedia, Wikipedia:Criticisms and Wikipedia:Why Wikipedia is not so great for examples of this tendency; the flaws mentioned by Colbert are nothing new and have been discussed long before in much greater deatil. Second, you seem to think that this incident in particular would somehow be detrimental to WP's reputation but that's incorrect: WP's response was quick and effective and prevented further vandalism immediately. Personally I liked the segment, I think it's funny, and I'm not an admin nor will I be, but I really don't think wikiality belongs to sit along side truthiness simply because I and others on the internet find it amusing. And as a sidenote, if popularity on youtube dictated encyclopedic merit we'd have serious problems here (my guess is matrix ping pong will be deleted in the next month or so). The Wikiality segment was just a joke like any other, and since we don't include every joke Colbert tells (and others are much more notable, having actual relevance outside WP) I don't see why we should make an exception in this case. Also, crying conspiracy or censorship does nothing constructive, rest assured there's no Illuminati in Wikipedia. Just relax, give it time, if the term is notable it will become self-evident. I really don't understand what is so disagreeable to some of you about waiting a few weeks for reliable sources to surface. --TM 16:10, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
I would add that we do cover Wikiality on the list of Colbert Report episodes, alongside show topics of similar importance (or lack thereof) outside of Wikipedia. There is no coverup. There Is No Cabal. -- Coneslayer 18:00, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

More Elephants references on the show

On today (Aug 2nd) show, Colbert had a "caller" "phone in" to complain about Colbert's instructions to tamper with the Elephant article. Beware of more edits to this article and the Elephants article - Tanman 03:50, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

And in case someone was wondering there was no mention of wikiality (at least so far). --TM 03:53, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

For those curious, here is the clip YouTube. It actually talks about how all the pages were locked (and Beltsander is curiously close to my childhood home in Bakersfield... heh). --Bobak 18:55, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

Page protected?

The "edit page" link has change to "view source" yet no appropriate template has been applied to state the kind of protection. Calwatch 04:06, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

Hold your horses; it's up now. JDoorjam Talk 04:08, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

Archive Time?

Given that this page has now greatly exceeded the length of Archive 1 is it time to archive and/or prune this page, or at least pre-7/31 discussion? --Phoenix9 04:28, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

It definitely needs an archiving. The truth is there are so few legitimate discussions going on I wouldn't be opposed to a full archive, no one would really notice or care in my opinion. Konman72 04:32, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
Except LORD would I hate to have these conversations all over again. I say we archive everything up until "the incident", and then this weekend (look at how optimistic JDoorjam is), once the kerfuffle dies down, we do another archive that captures all of the Colberrorism and puts it all in one place. JDoorjam Talk 04:50, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
I also support post-kerfuffle archiving. -- (Lee)Bailey(talk) 04:54, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
I support archiving the pre-Colbert/Wikipedia craziness. Bp28 20:06, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
I think once this commotion is over, there can be a archive solely devoted to this. MrMurph101 20:17, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

Unprotect Already

I think the time has come to unprotect the article, or at least only semi protect it. Let me know if there is something going on (such as a debate) that I am missing... But if not, unprotect already! aido2002 12:01, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

Um, there is a debate. (Look up.) --TM 12:13, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

Colbert Report Fan Wiki

The Colbert Report Fans have created as a possible unofficial wiki. Perhaps a link there from the main page would move some of the fans along? --Nick Catalano contrib talk 12:22, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

why it's not time to cover "Wikiality" here *yet*

The reason not to cover Wikiality is not that it's non-notable, or that it is navel-gazing. The reason not to cover it is that it's too soon to tell these things yet. Furthermore, precisely because the subject is so near and dear to our hearts, and because Colbert has so precisely skewered several of the fundamental internal tensions within the Wikipedia model, we here are all impossibly biased and utterly unqualified to decide what is and isn't notable, what is or isn't worthy of inclusion. Here, more than ever, we need to vigorously apply the principle of using verifiable outside sources, and that's a process that takes time.

Now, some will say that there already are verifiable outside sources, but none of those can yet distinguish between the statements "this incident and the word 'Wikiality' are notable", and, "this incident and the word 'Wikiality' were a flash in the pan that were forgotten within a week." Ergo, we've simply got to wait at least a week before deciding (and in the article asserting) that this stuff is notable, and at least a month before making the stronger implication that it's anything other than "...flash in the pan that was forgotten within a month."

(Actually, of course, there's an additional complication, in that whether it's still considered notable in a week or a month will depend on how intensely it's been reported and debated in the interim, and that will depend to some extent on how vigorously the question is debated right here on Wikipedia. So that old principle from Anthropology very definitely applies, namely that it's nearly impossible to neutrally observe something that you're a part of.)

Steve Summit (talk) 13:00, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

Here's the thing though: For the next couple days (at least) it will be noteworthy enough that people will want to write and read about it in the article. So is it better to forcefully keep it out for that period of time, or is it better when things calm down for it to be re-evaluated and removed then? A lot of new editors get understandably riled up when their edits are banned. If it is just a flash in the pan, certainly no one would stop the removal of it in a few weeks, especially if the new editors don't stick around. This isn't vandalism, it's an argument on noteworthiness. Dstanfor 17:15, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
(edit conflict) You're muddling two separate issues, which many people on this page have done.
    1. Is it notable enough to merit mention on Wikipedia? The answer is yes, and it already has been given a thorough description at List of Colbert Report episodes.
    2. Is it so much more notable than every other sketch Colbert has done that it deserves explicit mention on the main page of the article, when only one other "Word" entry, and very few other bits done on the show are mentioned (and even then only to support coverage of a larger article theme? The answer is almost certainly no so far, as you've said above. These two issues are clearly of the same ilk, but because the thresholds for both are so different, they really need to be considered separately.
We should never compromise the standards of Wikipedia to appease editors who do not respect our policies and methods. We need to politely but firmly explain how things are done. Should the first experience of new editors be to imply that they can bully a piece of information into an article, not because it fits our guidelines, but simply because they felt like it? No. That's a bad first lesson about editing Wikipedia. JDoorjam Talk 17:19, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
What I don't understand is why the word can't be mentioned under trivia, at the very least. Leaving it relegated to a generic list of episodes seems a bit weak given the controversy mention of the word has caused. I don't see what guideline it would violate to add information about a TV show to the show's article. Why even have a trivia section if people can't add to it? Far less important facts are in the trivia section, yet this huge hullaballoo somehow doesn't merit mention in the article. It's mind-boggling. --Omaryak 19:44, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
Because it's only a "controversy" and "huge hullaballoo" if you're particularly interested in Wikipedia, and Wikipedia doesn't merit special attention on Wikipedia. -- Coneslayer 19:52, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
I would also add that a mention if "Wikiality" is not only needed for the definition of the word, but the actual sequence of events that happened on Wikipedia afterward. If I'm not mistaken I do believe it is the first time a television personality has instructed viewers to take an active part in altering Wikipedia's content. --Omaryak 19:48, 3 August 2006 (UTC) top link is to a page on wikipedia that doesn't even have the word wikiality. Perhaps the redirect for wikiality should point somewhere where it's actually mentioned? Dstanfor 20:55, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

How notable is Wikiality?

The main reason for not mentioning 'wikiality' here seems to be people that think it's not notable. Well, check out htis google search: 189,000 hits. I googled the word on the day that it was coined by Colbert: 0 hits.

189,000 is a *lot* of hits. Adding in "Colbert" only pares it down to 187,000, so they're essentially all on-topic. It's far more relevant than many things already on the page, such as the "UPS" vs "FedEx" issue. The "John Seigenthaler, Sr" issue was extensively covered by Wikipedia, yet "John Siegenthaler" only merits 140,000 hits, despite having much longer to stew on the net.

The net seems to like Wikiality. A blog covered it[13]. Techdirt covered it[14]. Fark covered it (already linked). Etc. It's everywhere. It deserves one sentence.

Just my two cents. -- Rei 18:09, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

Although it should be noted that "wikiality" only has 165 unique google hits which is really quite small [15]. --TM 18:17, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
Oh? The Wexler thing only gets 242 "unique" hits, has had more time to stew in the net, and gets its own entire paragraph. Justify that. -- Rei 20:21, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
He is causing a bit of a fuss. If this keeps up, then maybe a short mention isn't entirely inappropriate. – ClockworkSoul 18:19, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
There already is a short mention at List of Colbert Report episodes. I'm not completely against having a short mention in the trivia section here, but putting it in the same league as "truthiness", as many are proposing, still seems premature/inappropriate to me. --TM 18:33, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
I figure we wait and see to how he responds to the hubbub. Who knows, maybe he'll put us... wait for it... on notice. – ClockworkSoul 18:36, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
The Google test is a crappy way of measuring the notability of a thing. "Lance Bass" gets four times as many hits as "Napoleon Bonaparte", for instance. Is Lance Bass four times as important? The issue is not "have people noticed its existence?" but whether Wikiality is so much more notable than every other bit Colbert has ever done that it deserves its own section. What is your metric for inclusion? Rei, should Colbert's mockery of Mel Gibson be put into the main article? There are a number of postings -- including some in actual bona fide print media -- about Colbert's handling of Gibson. Three days ago there were far more news stories about Ned Lamont being on the show than there were about Wikiality. If news stories get written about a guest, should it be included in the main article? What's your threshold for inclusion, Rei? JDoorjam Talk 18:42, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
Ok, it's hardly a flawless test. However, note that "JDoorjam" has 617 hits, "ClockworkSoul" has 759, "TheMidnighers" has 3440 (but part of that is for a community), etc. It measures how much people want to refer to a given subject on the web. That's hardly the only measure of how important something is, but it is *a* measure.
Just as a comparison, I would like you to defend some things already in the article (given that we're talking about relevance here, and only requesting one sentence):
1) This method of fake interviews was first used by "Weird Al" Yankovic[2], and was also done on The Daily Show where Jon Stewart hosted a hoax-debate between the current President, George W. Bush, and George W. Bush from the year 2000. In this "interview" they also took various clips from different interviews to respond to the questions given, and it showed how the then-current president had completely different points of view on foreign policy than he formerly did in 2000. (Two long sentences describing the *method* of interview used, mostly actually about the Daily Show)
2) On July 25, 2006, Colbert took to task some television network morning news shows – specifically NBC's The Today Show and ABC's Good Morning America – for taking out of context comments made by Florida Congressman Robert Wexler on his show (e.g. "I enjoy cocaine because it's a fun thing to do"). Wexler had made the comments in response to a suggestion by Colbert to "say some things that would really lose the election for you if you were contested." As of the show's airing, Wexler was running for re-election unopposed. In a rare moment, Colbert broke character to say that Wexler "didn't mean a thing he was saying. He knew it was a joke, and he was confident enough to play along." (one whole paragraph, yet it barely gets more unique hits than wikiality despite having much longer on the net)
3) On March 2, 2006, Colbert used his "The Da Colbert Code" (a parody of Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code), a series of bizarrely random word associations, to accurately predict the Oscar winners for five major awards, including the underdog Crash for Best Picture (although based on the pattern, it should have been Brokeback Mountain, but Colbert drew a blank after saying "Space Mountain" and chose Crash instead). The following show, on March 6, 2006, was marked by Colbert's proclamation that "I called it!" as balloons rained down from the ceiling. (one paragraph for a two-show bit)
4) Stephen Colbert's right ear pokes out slightly further than the left, a fact he has acknowledged and made fun of on the show. He is also deaf in that ear.[16] (two sentences about something mostly about Colbert, not the Colbert Report, that has generated no buzz)
5) Colbert uses FedEx instead of UPS on his show in several episodes, contrary to a Threat Down segment where he listed FedEx founder Fred Smith as being one of the top threats to America. (one sentence for a hardly noticable, no buzz issue of who Colbert uses for his mail)
6) In recent episodes, Colbert has made frequent references to Gregory House from the Fox show, House. He views him as a "hero who is larger than life, and who shapes the United States." He puts him in the same hero category consisting of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney. A framed photograph of House can be seen on his desk to the stage left of the set. (one paragraph for a small handful of no-buzz mentions of the show "House")
7) On June 15, 2006, Stephen Colbert disclosed that he is part Chickasaw Indian, and on July 25, 2006, commented to William Donohue that he was indeed "1/13" Chickasaw. (one sentence for a seldom-used, absolutely no "buzz" joke: 94 non-unique hits for "colbert report" and chickasaw, and 161 for "stephen colbert" and chickasaw)
8) After Colbert received an honorary doctorate in fine arts from Knox College, his credit as producer has been listed since that time as "Dr. Stephen T. Colbert, D.F.A.," perhaps as a reference to Bill Cosby, who is credited as an actor in his shows by his given name but as a producer as "William H. Cosby Jr., Ed.D."[17] (A paragraph for how he lists his name on the credits and a possible, but unconfirmed, link to Bill Cosby?)
Really, it seems like the only reason that you're not wanting to list Wikiality is because it was about Wikipedia. -- Rei 20:21, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
Actually, it looks to me like you've just made an excellent point for removing a bunch of non-notable Colbert cruft! – ClockworkSoul 21:28, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
I agree: the article could use quite a scrubbing; I don't see how allowing more material that shouldn't be in the article is going to address that issue. And you still haven't answered my question. JDoorjam Talk 22:32, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
Which question? There's a lot of question marks in that post, and I'm not sure which were meant to be rhetorical. Are you referring to the "what's your metric for inclusion" related ones? That's simple: whether people care about it, and how much they care about it. People care about Wikiality (and not just Wikipedia editors). It has generated a buzz well beyond Wikipedia itself, and it's been referred to multiple times on The Colbert Report, so it should be included. That's my logic.
I mean, heck, both Colbert and his guests have been joking about this whole Wikipedia edit war that he spawned. What else could you want? -- Rei 15:59, 4 August 2006 (UTC)
I've never even seen this show, but found out about the Wikiality thing because a blog I read linked to a Time Magazine blog[16] with the YouTube clip. It's ridiculous that the incident is not mentioned at all in the article, especially considering all the virtual ink it's getting on this Talk page. There is something to be said for the idea that it may not be notable a year from now, but in early August, 2006 it certainly is notable, and should be referenced briefly. Karen | Talk | contribs 05:24, 8 August 2006 (UTC)
  • FWIW, Wikiality was Urban Dictionary's word of the day for August 8. Not trying to assert this as an added measure of notability... just wanted to throw it out there for the record. Czj 08:24, 9 August 2006 (UTC)
For context, here's the list of recent words of the day.–RHolton– 11:04, 9 August 2006 (UTC)


My God, I have never seen so much editing in such a such short period of time, nor I have I seen a page be locked and unlocked or have upgrading and downgrading in protection so dramatically. Damn you, Stephen Colbert. --Adamv88 01:04, 5 August 2006 (UTC)

ClockworkSoul 18:35, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

    • I haven't seen the history of those pages but I wouldn't be surprised. Still it is pretty ridiculous to see so much editing in such a short period of time. --Adamv88 01:04, 5 August 2006 (UTC)

Maybe a way to vent this movement?

Somebody created a new wiki, Have at it? --Bobak 18:42, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

I actually had a similar thought yesterday. Maybe it's time someone made a Colbert Nation wiki. And if that gets traction, which I'm sure it will, then it should probably be mentioned in this article. JDoorjam Talk 18:44, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
I have to admit now, after seeing the second mention on Colbert Report, I am leaning a little more towards inclusion of the incident at least somewhere (if not Criticism of Wikipedia). --Bobak 18:57, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
Interestingly, wikiality is mentioned already in one sentence on Criticism of Wikipedia. Which of course then redirects you to the episode guide. I am not one of these people advocating for inclusion alongside Truthiness, which has its own article, and I'm not sure who on here is, but at least it belongs in Trivia.Ivymike21 20:02, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
There is also this recently-created article highlighting the incident, which should probably somehow be merged into The Colbert Report. Bp28 20:09, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
Except he didn't mention Wikiality, just elephants. Again, if catches on (which will go nuts if he mentions it on-air), I'm sure there will be no question as to whether this should be included. JDoorjam Talk 19:02, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
Not just elephants. He mentioned the Wikipedia article on Latchkey Kid based on the concept of Wikiality, inserting his own opinion into the article. It is at the very least a running theme of the show. --Omaryak 19:39, 3 August 2006 (UTC) looks like another spoof of wikipedia. I wonder what uncyclopedia has done about this? MrMurph101 19:44, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

In-progress TV show template


Add somewhere in artcle if deemed appropriate:

Template:Future tvshow information

Saw this used on The Boondocks (TV series) article and thought it might be appropriate here. --Omaryak 19:37, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

I believe that's for something with a running plot that might be speculated on or spoiled. -- Viewdrix 20:32, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
Agreed. We don't need this template here, if we need it at all. CP/M comm |Wikipedia Neutrality Project| 16:09, 4 August 2006 (UTC)
I removed the {Editprotected}, given the lack of consensus.--Commander Keane 04:41, 5 August 2006 (UTC)

WARNING! Please do not panic.

So can someone please summerise the issue? --Cat out 20:29, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

Moved from Colbert vandalism (common sense)

On July 31, 2006, Stephen Colbert of The Colbert Report, a popular television show on Comedy Central, jokingly encouraged his viewers to post false information on Wikipedia's "Elephant" article. This action immediately led to the locking of said article, in the interest of protecting it from such vandalism. Two days later, Colbert made reference to false statistics on Wikipedia's "Latchkey Kids" and "Serial Killer" articles; again, this resulted in cautionary measures by Wikipedia.
When looking at the histories of such pages, the term "Colbert Vandalism" can be seen in reference to the corrective actions, thus giving rise to a spectacular new term in pop culture. When will the next "Colbert Vandalism" take place? Only the truth(iness) will tell.

This can be harnested into the article if its notable (really is a one line trivia). And why is the page not semiprotected?

--Cat out 20:32, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

ATTENTION: The Trivia Section

Okay. I deleted the Wikiality section the other day right before it was locked-down, and one of the admins/general consensus agreed. I still stand by my opposition to Wikiality having its own section here, although as the number of google hits for Wikiality goes up by the hour I increasingly think it may even be notable enough for that.

However, I think it is ABSOLUTELY ridiculous that someone removed the trivia entry for his mention of Wikipedia/Wikiality on the episode. Someone removed that section, and I put it back in because other mentions of Wikipedia in pop culture are frequently added to other pages in Trivia section - not to mention a number of other seemingly "non-notable" factoids about a variety of topics. This is legitimate because - obviously - it is the trivia section. To categorically ban any mention of Colbert's Word segment on Wikiality is oppressive and ridiculous. I request that an admin re-insert that piece into the triva section ASAP. Ashwinr 20:43, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

Well said. — a thing 23:12, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
Agreed - while the world doesn't revolve around Wikipedia, removing mentions of WP on sight is also inappropriate. And Wikiality already scores 1,820,000 on google. From the first 100 hits (I didn't check further) there wasn't a single Wikipedia entry, though there was a site So, it seems that Colbert+Wikipedia produced a term, an idea and implementation notable on their own. CP/M comm |Wikipedia Neutrality Project| 16:15, 4 August 2006 (UTC)
The google hits are wildly overstated. Provide reliable references mentioning the term and we're in the ballgame. Without that, it should not be mentioned. - Taxman Talk 18:58, 4 August 2006 (UTC)
The google hits aren't even that impressive, there are only 301 unique google hits. --TM 20:39, 4 August 2006 (UTC)
So what? Extensive filtering will drop anything by a few orders of magnitude. The total number is 1,850,000. For comparison, Wikinews brings 7 million, just 4 times more; widely accepted term SLBM has only 193,000; "Colbert Report" brings 4,430,000. So this neologism and the associated idea became notable. At least deserving a mention in appropriate article. CP/M comm |Wikipedia Neutrality Project| 21:01, 4 August 2006 (UTC)
Do you have trustworthy secondary sources that not only specifically discuss the widespread nature of the term and its notability, but put it in an echelon higher than any other media report on a Colbert Report bit? JDoorjam Talk 21:12, 4 August 2006 (UTC)
Unfortunately, I became aware of The Colbert Report just two days ago, and have never seen it. It's just that such cleansing of the article looks unjustified to me. The term became used; it deserves a mention, after all. CP/M comm |Wikipedia Neutrality Project| 21:25, 4 August 2006 (UTC)

Dissolved the trivia section

Much the same as what occurred a few months ago on The Daily Show article, I moved all the content in the trivia section worth mentioning into the various sections they should be in (mostly the O'Reilly stuff), created new sections for important collections of information that were homeless (the interviews), and everything else is covered in other articles (his ears don't really have to do with the show and are mentioned in his bio anyway; the FedEx thing doesn't seem to have gotten any media traction as being notable and was uncited anyway, etc.). There are enough sub-pages and sub-sub-pages and whatnot of the Colbert canon that this one can be kept tidy. JDoorjam Talk 23:48, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

This seems to be going against the spirit of Wikipedia and will deter people from contributing in the future (which may be a good thing, seeing the opinions of some involved in this discussion). I'd at least like to know what the Colbert sub-pages are. Perhaps include a TOC in the main show page? --Omaryak 01:35, 4 August 2006 (UTC)
I agree -- there used to be a nav template, and I would certainly support the creation of one to put the Colbereality all in one easy-to-navigate place. It looks like the bits and pieces have fallen to the bottom in the "See also" section. JDoorjam Talk 03:18, 4 August 2006 (UTC)

You are implementing far too much unilateral control over this page. Ivymike21 06:51, 4 August 2006 (UTC)

If you disagree with what he has done then state how and ho wit may be improved. The only power he has is the power you give him by not acting. Konman72 07:07, 4 August 2006 (UTC)
No, he has a point... JDoorjam, as I assume you are reffering to, is, I think, trying to do too much, without any notice. What he does is not nessecerily bad or good, except that he gives no warning. aido2002 08:31, 4 August 2006 (UTC)
Then revert it and ask for explanations on the talk page. I'm just saying that complaining here is doing nothing. Revert his edits, ask for explanation or discussion and maybe leave a note on his user page saying that he might want to slow down or something. This all may sound more harsh than I am intending though lol. Konman72 08:36, 4 August 2006 (UTC)
I would revert it, but any of my previous attempts to change anything on this page have brought me to the verge of the 3 revert rule, or have led JDoorjam to put this page on full protection mode, rendering change impossible for us lowly regular editors. Essentially, when he doesn't like the changes that are taking place, his response is to revert and protect and refer us to "the talk pages" as if somehow there is a justification for these actions here because a few administrators have agreed so. It's as if he sees himself as the personal guardian of this page - he's George Bush and this is his Iraq.Ivymike21 14:08, 4 August 2006 (UTC)
Respectfully, it's not doing nothing -- I hear what you're saying. There has been significant clamor that there were a number of points in the trivia section that didn't seem terribly important, so I put them all into the context in which they seemed to belong. I actually did it in a series of edits instead of one massive edit so that the process was completely transparent, and it was possible to see what became of what content. I don't think I'll be making any other such significant structural changes to the article in the foreseeable future (though the section on "guests" and on Colbert's character could definitely use thorough expansion). JDoorjam Talk 09:09, 4 August 2006 (UTC)

He did absolutely the right thing. Trivia sections represent a failure to write a proper encyclopedia article. The content that gets put in them either is not important enough to cover in the article at all or should be covered in the more appropriate sections of the article. That can be hard to do, but that's not an excuse, nobody ever said writing an encyclopedia article is easy. Those opposing the improvement should demonstrate how they could improve the article. For facts to be included in the article they not only need to be verifiable, but they need to be of verifiable importance. If they're not more important then other facts that aren't in the article, then they shouldn't be covered. Anything less represents a poorly balanced and POV article. - Taxman Talk 14:14, 4 August 2006 (UTC)

There has been significant clamor that there were a number of points in the trivia section that didn't seem terribly important... Um, isn't that what the word "trivia" means? :-) As for such sections representing a failure to write the article properly, I respectfully disagree. There's nothing wrong with such miscellaneous facts, especially in articles pertaining to pop culture, which often capitalizes on such things, especially in the case of works of satire, which make heavy use of pop culture references. Nightscream 21:44, 4 August 2006 (UTC)
Are you saying that we should add anything we want, willy-nilly, to the article? What is your threshold for the inclusion of new information? JDoorjam Talk 00:28, 5 August 2006 (UTC)
Most TV show articles have a section like this. IMDB has it. Why not us? --Omaryak 06:41, 5 August 2006 (UTC)
If you do reinstate the trivia section, you might want to edit the item that states that Colbert is "actually" 1/13 Native American (this was based on his saying this on The Colbert Report). However, no one is, or can be, 1/13 anything. You can be 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, 1/16, 1/32 ... hopefully, you see my point; you can't even be 2/26. Colbert may "actually" be part Native American, but not that part. So the Trivia section (to which I'm not really opposed but seems silly on the main page) should have attention paid. It would be especially difficult, I'd think, to nail down facts that aren't simply truthy-feeling when dealing with a satirist.--Ayoung1111 19:19, 6 August 2006 (UTC)
FYI Ayoung1111, I am 5/32 Cherokee Indian. The percentage of Indian blood claimed by descendants, at least in the case of Cherokee Indians, is based on the geneological information contained in the Dawes Commission Lands rolls of the early 1900's and the process is extremely complicated. It is quite possible, and even probable, that a person can be a very odd percentage of Indian blood when the process of calculating that percentage is better understood. Nofactzone 22:01, 7 August 2006 (UTC)
Not to belabor the point, and I do understand, at least vaguely, that issues of Native heritage are extremely complex and politically motivated by organizations like the BIA and all that, but the point is that you can be 5/32, or 7/32, or 13/32, because you have 32 great-great-great-grandparents, 5 of which (or 7 or 13 or 32) are Cherokee. But you can't divide your ancestors into an odd number (and a prime to boot). You have (and everyone else has) 2 parents, 4 grandparents, 8 great-grandparents, 16 great-great-grandparents, and 32 g-g-g-grandparents. You can't have 13 great-and-a-half-grandparents. Unless, of course, the American government did work that out somehow for the benefit of deciding tribal affiliation. (Of course there are cultural differences about what constitutes parentage and all that, but if we're claiming blood relations in a way that Americans do, then it's impossible to be 1/13, 2/13, 5/13, etc. of anything.)--Ayoung1111 02:52, 8 August 2006 (UTC)

Concerns about the "Mistaken for non-satirical journalism" section

Nothing in that section appears to have mistaken the Report for non-satirical journalism. The first one was a tongue-in-cheek response to a tongue-in-cheek show; the second was criticizing an interviewee but didn't necessarily think Colbert was serious; and the third, similarly, was simply calling attention to comments by the interviewee. While the latter two are criticizing the person Colbert is interviewing, it's not because they necessarily think Colbert himself is serious. Is there a better way of describing what holds these three things together? Does the first item even belong in this section? JDoorjam Talk 00:40, 4 August 2006 (UTC)

I think the problem that you're seeing is that the title is in passive voice – it doesn't explain who is doing the mistaking. In one case the mistake is made by the audience of a blog, in another it was made by a political campaign, and in the third it was made by the news networks for taking Wexler's comments seriously. As it stands I think the passive voice is appropriate given the range of these incidents. If anyone can think of a better title, though, I'm open to it. --Omaryak 01:31, 4 August 2006 (UTC)

How about changing "non-satirical" to "serious." It's a more straight-forward term. MrMurph101 03:49, 4 August 2006 (UTC)
I don't know if we can exactly say, without a reliable source, whether the 'audience' in any of these incidents did actually mistake the Colbert Report for non-satirical journalism. I think we can say that in all three cases, though, the Report was "presented as non-satirical journalism" by various sources -- that's the commonality I see. -- (Lee)Bailey(talk) 03:58, 4 August 2006 (UTC)
There we go. I like that language. NPOV, accurate, gets the point across. JDoorjam Talk 04:04, 4 August 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia as a recurring element?

Let me get this out of the way first: Frank Ahrens looks for reasons to bash Wikipedia whenever he can, and the column that he's written is both condescending and inaccurate. With that said, the Wikiality thing has been mentioned by Frank Ahrens] of the Washington Post. The article is more about Wikipedia than Colbert (it's a web column, not an entertainment column) but this does bring up the issue of whether Wikipedia may warrant reference on The Colbert Report recurring elements, as I can think of at least three mentions by Colbert of Wikipedia on the show itself. A discussion has started on that talk page; I thought people over here might be interested in that ongoing discussion. JDoorjam Talk 21:00, 5 August 2006 (UTC)

Yet another reference by outside sources: The Onion [17]. Quote: "Shutting down Wikipedia, one elephant at a time." This thing has really taken off. -- Rei 23:24, 5 August 2006 (UTC)
What is that page? It doesn't appear to be an article — how do you navigate to that from the main page? JDoorjam Talk 00:21, 6 August 2006 (UTC)
I went to the browse recent issues button, picked one, noticed a "Read More" button in the upper left, and clicked it. I'm not sure what the page is, but the reference is still there.  :) -- Rei 04:33, 6 August 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia debate on this article mentioned in Toronto Star 8/8

Notability, verifiability, anything else I'm missing?—Preceding unsigned comment added by Liu Bei (talkcontribs)

We've always had those; that's never been the issue. The question is one of where to put the content. If it's a one-off and gets a bit of press attention, as it has been so far, it probably belongs in the List of Colbert Report episodes (where it's now mentioned). There's been some discussion about whether Wikipedia should be listed in The Colbert Report recurring themes, a discussion clearly related to this one. Finally, there's the question of what the threshold for inclusion is to put something into the main article. There has been far more press coverage, for instance, about Ned Lamont's appearance on the show than there has been about Wikiality, but no clamor to give his interview of Lamont its own section (a consensus which, unless something else becomes of it, is probably appropriate). What's "missing" is a decided-upon metric, using trustworthy secondary sources, as to when something becomes so important in the history of The Colbert Report (as opposed to the history of the other subject(s) involved) that it should be given its own section in the 'pedia. JDoorjam Talk 16:28, 8 August 2006 (UTC)
The difference between a one-off interview and Wikiality is that it is a development of the show's main theme of Truthiness. Even if it is not a recurring theme per se, it is an application of the show's main theme with its own implications. After looking at the articles related to the show, I think the best place to explain the concept of Wikiality would be as a subsection of the Truthiness article. --Omaryak 13:21, 9 August 2006 (UTC)
Omaryak, while I've stated previously that I don't see discussion of "wikiality" as being necessary to the article, you raise the best point I've heard so far in favor of including it. This brings me, basically, back to neutral. One thing I've never been 100% sure about in Wikipedia is how talking about themes and motifs is supposed to handled. If it's considered ok to say that the relationship between truth and truthiness is an ongoing theme of the show using just the show as a source, then yes, I think wikiality would fit nicely into a section discussing that theme. But I don't know if that's considered a non-controversial observation of the original material, or original research. A strict reading of verifiability seems like it would prohibit talking about theme unless a published critic has made these observations; in that case, the same would probably go for talking about whether wikiality is an expression of the truthiness theme, although I do clearly see it as being related to that. Maybe who has a better idea of how policy would be applied here can can clear this up? -- (Lee)Bailey(talk) 17:37, 9 August 2006 (UTC)
"Far More"? Google News shows only twice as many hits -- and yes, Lamont was probably his biggest profile guest (given what's currently in the news) for a long time. On a general web search, Lamont+"Colbert report" gets only 3/5ths the hits as wikipedia+"colbert report". Furthermore, when exposed to the test of time, do you think anyone will remember that Lamont was on the Colbert report? Far more will remember Wikiality. Lamont is "the moment". Wikiality is a ongoing issue.
But most importantly, lets discuss another thing introduced by The Word: Truthiness. Same introduction, it created a buzz in the same manner. What sort of treatment does truthiness get?
* A sizable paragraph in the main article
* Its own article, which has...
* 46 paragraphs
* 5 pictures
* 36 references links
And you won't give Wikiality *one sentence*? Sure, Truthiness has a bigger history, but for God's sake, Wikiality doesn't get *one sentence* in this article and/or a short article of its own? Lets compare the two. Despite Truthiness having, what, five times as long of a run...
1.07 million web hits to web 782,000 hits for "truthiness" vs "wikiality"
805 unique web hits to 360 unique web hits for "truthiness" vs "wikiality"
49 news hits to 14 news hits for "truthiness" vs "wikiality"
362,000 web hits to 3.5 million web hits for "colbert truthiness" vs "colbert wikipedia"
674 unique web hits to 509 unique web hits for "colbert truthiness" vs "colbert wikipedia"
33 news hits to 33 news hits for "colbert truthiness" vs "colbert wikipedia"
To sum up the searchable buzz: despite having a far longer run, wikiality as a term is not that far behind truthiness in terms of buzz, and Colbert's relation to truthiness is weaker than his relationship to wikipedia in terms of buzz. The news media prefers truthiness as a term over wikiality, but not by *that* much. Now, given that, take a look at my summary of the sort of treatment that Truthiness has gotten here on Wikipedia, and try to tell me that this is fair.
Lastly, I should add, are there *any* people left around here apart you who are insistant that Wikiality not get a single sentence of comment? Because I keep seing plenty who think it should be mentioned. Can we have a poll? -- Rei 21:16, 9 August 2006 (UTC)
I still haven't seen a defined threshold. The google test is weak because it's a metric, not a secondary source. Lamont's appearance got waaaaaayyy more than twice as many actual news media references than did Wikiality. Incidentally, while we're on the topic, "Lamont 'Colbert Report' " might get fewer hits than "'Colbert Report' Wikipedia", but the string "Lamont Wikipedia" also gets more hits than "Lamont 'Colbert Report'". Wikipedia is simply widely mirrored and is associated with a wide range of different words, which -- again -- makes such tests woefully meaningless. Wikiality is limping in in press coverage as compared to truthiness which is still getting written about in the main body of newspapers and journals, where Wikiality's blipped in on two web columns and an MTV news break. It's also unfair to compare Wikiality now to truthiness at its peak, especially in simple searches for media reports on the subject. You'll notice that the news hits for truthiness only go back to the middle of July, but a peak during the Frey uproar, so obviously it's a bogus comparison to stand them up side by side. What you've successfully demonstrated is the speed at which pop culture fades -- clearly truthiness has some serious staying power as pop culture goes, but now, less than a year out, it's really fading from it's glory days.
Incidentally, the "unique web hits" thing is silliness for searches that return more than a few thousand hits, as Google simply takes the top 1,000 and then removes the identical entries. It's simply not that valuable a metric. God may be able to make a stone so large that even He could not lift it, and then lift it anyway, but even He cannot break 900 unique Google hits. I'm sure it measures something but, apart from being simply a derivative metric of raw Google hits, I'm not sure what.
I think wikiality is probably relevant in the article on truthiness, especially because this would take the article off of the current taxonomic angle of simply documenting references to the term over and over and over again. It is, after all, a derivative concept of truthiness, and the episode in which it's mentioned is already referenced at truthiness; why not start there and see whether an "expansions on truthiness" would fit? Again, the article is a rather droll collection of a lot of citations and not a lot of meaning or real value right now. Why not try putting Wikiality there, where it seems to belong? JDoorjam Talk 05:26, 10 August 2006 (UTC)
You'll note that I did not do *one* comparison search, but six. I did this to counter accusations that one search is inherently biased. So you don't like unique hits? I only presented them because someone said that comparing non-unique hits wasn't fair. I compared unique hits, total hits, and news hits, all for two different search terms. They both show the wikipedia controversy to be in the same ballpark as truthiness. Yet truthiness gets a *massive* article and a whole paragraph in this article, and wikiality gets none of that. So I'll ask again: Why is this fair?
How many people do you think named "Lamont" have an association with "The Colbert Report"? Because I can assure you, there are hundreds of different "Lamont"s on Wikipedia. Your search is thus not really a fair one. Now, the same could be said about comparing "colbert truthiness" to "colbert wikipedia"; however, you have to at least admit that comparing "truthiness" to "wikiality" is fair. Also, the news searches of "colbert wikipedia" and "colbert lamont" are not going to be biased by that effect, and they both get the same number of hits, *despite* the fact that Lamont is currently one of the highest profile political figures in the US (something that will fade quickly after the election).
What I ask for is one sentence, perhaps tucked into the "truthiness" section, and a brief article (with see also: Truthiness, and vice versa). How is this unfair, given truthiness's paragraph in this article and its own article with 46 paragraphs, 5 pictures, and 36 reference links? -- Rei 17:12, 10 August 2006 (UTC)
You still have not given an objective threshold for inclusion. And you talk about "fairness" as though this is a matter of justice; it's simply a matter of appropriateness. What I'm suggesting is that Wikiality is a concept derived from truthiness and may deserve a space over there. There currently is a blurb there about The Colbert Report and truthiness, except it's not written very well, doesn't mention Wikiality, and is rather POV. So why not take a crack at fixing that? If Wikiality is so notable, why not start by putting it into the article that seems most appropriate for it? JDoorjam Talk 00:27, 11 August 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia in popular culture

The above page and Wikipedia:Wikipedia on TV and radio are the only places where Colbert's mentions of this site should be listed. -MrBlondNYC 16:14, 9 August 2006 (UTC)

Especially after the CBS blog roundup that mentioned Wikiality (and misrepresented User:Tawker as the "guardian" of Wikipedia). It irks me how the facts on this are increasingly distorted or just plain wrong in news accounts... but I suppose that's one for accuracy in the media. JDoorjam Talk 19:59, 9 August 2006 (UTC)

New Section for the article???

Perhaps a section on sites mentioned on the show that were taken down? There have been a few... kittenwars, colbertnation, wikipedias elephant page (I know they say it went down for other reasons.... but dont believe it), so... just a brainstorm Surfacing 731 04:17, 10 August 2006 (UTC)

New special section about the Hungarian M0 Bridge story

I just added another special section to the end called Special 'Hungarian campaign', explaining the whole story behind SC's victory in the M0 Bridge naming campaign...Szlevi 05:28, 23 August 2006 (UTC)

The Official Stephen Colbert Star Wars Video Challenge

I added the Official Stephen Colbert Star Wars Video Challenge [18] to the external links. If someone wants to create an article section for it, that would be super. Sysrpl 18:50, 11 August 2006 (UTC)

And I removed it as spam. The "official" challenge wasn't put out by The Colbert Report, it was posted on by you (unless it's some other "Sysrpl"). It appears posting the URL are in your interests, and not necessarily the encyclopedia's. JDoorjam Talk 21:24, 11 August 2006 (UTC)

I put the link back in as it was featured on the first segment of the August 21 2006 show. Sysrpl 03:53, 22 August 2006 (UTC)

Except that that page has nothing to do with Colbert's challenge, it's a seperate contest run by people not associated with Colbert. -- Viewdrix 19:51, 22 August 2006 (UTC)
If you watched the video from the show closely [19] you would see that indeed the challenge site linked to was referenced by the August 21 show, and also that he mentioned it as a reference in inspiring the segment. Sysrpl 01:17, 23 August 2006 (UTC)

I edited the link to say the official title of the contest, the "Stephen Colbert Green Screen Challenge", and added a description. It was the codebot site that originated the contest, and they are the only site that has a good collection of submitted videos. However, my only hesitation in adding this link is that it is not "officially" tied with the Colbert Report or the contest, and it has no official collection of videos that have been submitted to (although I have a good feeling it has links to a large amount of the official submissions). Nofactzone 22:11, 24 August 2006 (UTC)

I created the site and posted it to on the same night the original green screen clip aired. The google cache of the converation is here [20]. Also, the challenge site (at is now linked all over the place including the New York Times, as it was picked up by the AP. [21] The reason it's the Official Challenge website is because it was the first, and the idea wouldn't have taken off unless someone created a repository for the green screen fan videos. Sysrpl 00:28, 25 August 2006 (UTC)
The fact that was the originator is not in doubt at all (proof of the original context of the contest can even be found at my blog if anyone needs it - I blogged about it the day it started, I believe). The only concern I had is the fact that the mods of this page are super sticklers about putting links up on this site that aren't official (i.e. from That being said, I think it has a right to be on this page, or at the very least on the Recurring Elements page. And btw, Sysrpl, after that AP article, you seriously won't need any redirect traffic from here. Your site will stay mighty busy as it is. :) Nofactzone 04:46, 25 August 2006 (UTC)
I hear you on the stickler for links part. By the way, I am a fan of if that is you. Sysrpl 04:59, 25 August 2006 (UTC)
Yes, is mine, and thank you for the compliment. FYI: Sysrpl, your site's been hacked. I'd e-mail you but I don't have your e-mail address. Nofactzone 17:39, 26 August 2006 (UTC)

Cold Beer Report

Whenever I see this show advertised, the above title always springs to mind. But I'm not quite sure why. Perhaps it's some subconscious association? Fssk... :-) — RJH (talk) 19:28, 17 August 2006 (UTC)

The Cold Beer Report sounds like a good meme to me :) Mathiastck 16:26, 27 August 2006 (UTC)

Edit: Feckless

I used TiVo to slow down the words that appear behind Stephen Colbert in the beginning graphics and discovered that one of the words is "Feckless" which means "not fit to assume responsibility and/or generally incompetent and ineffectual". I edited this into the "Format of the Program" area where it describes how words describing Colbert surround him in the beginning. I added this because I think it shows some humorous irony that helps reveal the intent of the show.

This is exactly what i edited in : "Interestingly, one of the words behind Colbert is "feckless" which can be defined as "generally incompetent and ineffective" or "not fit to assume responsibility". This appears to be an inside joke of the show, revealing it's intentions to mock those unworthy to be in positions of authority."

ThexPhilosopherx 00:24, 20 August 2006 (UTC)

  1. ^ Wikipedia article on the [ The Colbert Report] dated 11:31 Eastern Time
  2. ^ Web article on Colbert's wikipedia segment. [22]
  3. ^ CNet article on "Wikiality" segment of The Colbert Report[23]
  4. ^ Video of the Wikipedia-related segment [24]