As I watched a news broadcast last night, I found my eyebrows lifting higher and higher and my jaw opening wider and wider as I listened and watched three experts debate Donald Trump’s appearance on The Tonight Show. One panellist argued vociferously that Jimmy Fallon, a comedian, was too soft on Donald Trump, a politician. He should have been more aggressive, leaving a great disservice behind.

Not sure who Jimmy may have let down. The public? The media? Or?

In any event, this young person wearing a proud shining image of journalistic truth on his sleeve obviously had not watched The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon over any period of time. If he had researched the background to The Tonight Show, he would have seen that Donald Trump supplied Jimmy with endless fodder for criticism, sarcasm, and humour. Donald Trump was not spared any mercy as the comedic talent of Jimmy Fallon thrived and flourished on Donald Trump’s missteps since he joined the race for the presidency of the United States. He has mimicked Trump’s appearance, his voice, his mannerisms and ridiculed most of his outrageous comments.

What I observed with Donald Trump’s appearance on this show was a toned-down and respectful, if not contrite, Jimmy Fallon, as Trump would have known all about Jimmy’s relentless pursuit of his campaign. That said, Jimmy still told Trump on this particular show, “There’s still time to back out of the race. You’re not really going to do this, are you?” Or something to that effect. That kind of says it all in a very funny but penetrating way.

The next point was his claim to journalistic truth that journalists somehow subscribe to a higher truth than, well, comedians. Hello!! What magazines and newspapers do you read, Mr. Distraught Panelist? Do you not know the full range of truths, half-truths, stretched truths, falsehoods, errors, omissions, scandal, and fraudulent claims that exist in the media both past and present? The current Democratic and Republican campaigns in the media both contain questionable research, dubious denials, and outright lies.

The third anomaly of the ruffled panellist’s feathers refers to the comedy profession. What claims do comedians make to absolute truth? Scientific truth? Statistical truth? Deductive truth? Intuitive truth? Spiritual truth?

Of course, the comedy profession does a pretty good job of arousing interest in questionable practices or reports from politicians and political parties by making fun of the reports and statements in order to encourage reflection as well as laughter. Sometimes a joke tells the best truth. As George Bernard Shaw once mentioned, “My way of joking is to tell the truth. It’s the funniest joke in the world.”

Finally, the young panellist needs to lighten up. Humour is just as important as serious, no fun, “just the facts, ma’am” journalism. He perhaps should take a course in philosophical truth and better understand the polemics and problematics of the many different types of truth that exist. In that kind of study, he may learn the difference between an opinion and truth.

From my limited knowledge, opinions have never been considered a truth. Opinions are often considered narrow-minded compared to the rigours of science and philosophy. In fact, a quick Google search reveals, “A fact is a statement that can be proven true or false. An opinion is an expression of a person’s feelings that cannot be proven. Opinions can be based on facts or emotions, and sometimes they are meant to deliberately mislead others.”

It’s time to let Jimmy Fallon makes us laugh and let journalists offer their opinions on politics.