I guess I'm guilty of the vogue for authenticity, both the word and the quality. I started invoking it a few years ago when it became clear that a lot of young people were turning to the Daily Show for their news. There were all sorts of plausible reasons for that, but to me, the most plausible one was that Jon Stewart struck them as authentic in a way that conventional news anchors did not. And that's paradoxical. Stewart, the guy who's unquestionably doing shtik, seemed more real than the people actually reporting the news? But's that's a huge part of Stewart's shtik: what would a regular, unfiltered, non-handled person think of this news item? Would that person make any attempt to disguise his exasperation or amazement at the craziness of the news each day?
Authenticity has gotten all trendy. And can something trendy possibly remain authentic? Can even Stewart's authenticity stay fresh and real when it's a million dollar cash machine?
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