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Late Night: Stephen Colbert launches Twitter attack on Rick Santorum

March 16, 2012 |  9:25 am

Stephen Colbert
As television's self-appointed guardian of "truthiness," Stephen Colbert frequently calls out politicians for taking egregious license with the facts. Last year, for instance, he launched a Twitter hashtag inspired by Arizona senator Jon Kyl, whose office defended his erroneous claim that "90 percent of what Planned Parenthood does is abortions" by saying he had "not intended to make a factual statement." 

The latest target of a Colbert Twitter campaign is presidential hopeful Rick Santorum. During a campaign stop last month, Santorum claimed that elderly people in the Netherlands have taken to wearing bracelets in order to avoid an epidemic of accidental euthanasia in state-run hospitals. 

"Shocking. And turns out, not true. Evidently Santorum’s comments about the Netherlands were yanked out of his nether parts," Colbert said. Even still, the candidate's press secretary defended his comments when pressed by a Dutch reporter, saying, "A lot of these things, it’s a matter of what’s in his heart."

Colbert took this weak line of defense to its absurd extreme: "Yes, it’s just a matter of what’s in his heart, and in Rick Santorum’s heart, Dutch doctors push old people in wheelchairs up to windmills and let the blades chop their heads off. And then grind them into a paste, and use that paste to plug cracks in the dykes and turn their skulls into wooden shoes. The point is as long as it’s in your heart, it’s true."

Inspired by Santorum, Colbert said he was going to tweet whatever was in his heart about the candidate, "regardless of whether or not it’s true." (Sample messages: "Rick Santorum has body hair in the exact shape of his sweater vest #InMyHeart,"  and "Rick Santorum was the basis for Haley Joel Osment's character in "The Sixth Sense" #InMyHeart.") 

Within minutes, #InMyHeart was trending on Twitter; no word yet on what's in Santorum's heart this morning. 

 

RELATED:

Late Night: Jonah Hill's mysterious new nocturnal habit

Late Night: Stephen Colbert opines on 'knowledge-free' GOP candidates

Late Night: Jon Stewart's take on the media response to "Kony 2012" video

-- Meredith Blake
twitter.com/MeredithBlake

Photo: Stephen Colbert Credit: Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times

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