Campaigning for Authenticity in the Post-Truth Era

  • Richard Wallace
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Comedy book series (PSCOM)


Chapter  6 explores the ways in which the mockumentary form uses its inauthenticity in order to examine the performance of authenticity on display in US politics since the 1980s. The first half of the chapter analyses Tanner ’88 as an example of a ‘post-truth’ media artefact. I argue here that in the contemporary political environment a performance of authenticity is more important than having a genuinely authentic set of beliefs. Tanner ’88 addresses this issue through Jack Tanner’s (Michael Murphy) inability to transform his genuine political integrity into a compelling media image. This failure is rendered comic by the ambiguous mockumentary image which frequently rebels against its documentary pretentions and turns Tanner into a comic failure. In the second half of the chapter, I argue that Veep mirrors a modern turn towards ambiguity on the part of our politicians and that this is communicated through the contemporary mockumentary sitcom’s stylised aesthetic.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard Wallace
    • 1
  1. 1.University of WarwickCoventryUK

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