By Jon Keller

BOSTON (CBS) – When I heard the news yesterday that Beyonce did, in fact, lip-synch the National Anthem at the inaugural ceremonies on Monday, the first thing that hit me was….nothing, really.

Who cares if she lip-synched it, and more importantly, why do they care?

Listen to Keller @ Large

There was nothing dishonest about what she did as far as I can see. It is no secret that sometimes performances at the inauguration are pre-recorded, so there will be a backup in case something, like weather conditions or equipment malfunction, interferes.

VOTE: Weigh in on the Beyonce controversy

Perhaps Beyonce was just too nervous. In any case, that was her own voice she lip-synched to. It wasn’t quite Whitney Houston at the Super Bowl, but she did a great job with it.

And in the absence of evidence that someone tried to pass it off as live singing, I don’t quite see the problem here.

It can’t be because of some widespread cultural objection to the enhancement of reality.

Our culture doesn’t approve of outright cheating, like those baseball players on steroids. And no one likes being lied to — right, Congressman Wiener?

But otherwise, we’re fine with all sorts of cosmetic improvements on the truth.

How many pop-music fans really object to auto-tuning? Cosmetic surgery carries no stigma. In politics, partisans of both sides happily repeat the sketchy spin they’re fed by their leaders.

Fakeness is fine, it seems, as long as what it produces really sells.

The line between fake and real has been hard to see for awhile now. Is that real sugar in your coffee, real seafood in your seafood salad, a real news story about a Harvard professor cloning a Neanderthal, or something else?

But there are certain things we all still want to be 100% real.

Love, for instance, and friendship.

Funny how, as long as we can buy it, authenticity doesn’t matter so much.

The things no money can buy, that’s a different story.


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