by Brad Jacobson
Though the media did report this week that rap mogul P. Diddy changed his name back to Puff Daddy, its coverage was far too limited for such a newsworthy event.
To be fair, it was a busy news week. And we do commend the media for tackling the other stories that affect Americans and the world most: a pig wearing boots, foreigners trying to buy Budweiser’s brewer, Hulk Hogan’s wife dating a 19-year-old, a federal judge caught posting sexually explicit photos on his website, the sighting of a one-horned deer, how Preparation H shrinks love handles, why NYC is seeking more visas for hot foreign models, a pregnant male sea dragon, the scourge of “momnesia”, an eight-limbed girl, scientists gone wild, and the groundbreaking study that found women in bikinis make men more impulsive.
We also think the media deserves credit for wasting precious little airtime, ink or pixels on lightweight stories such as Congressman Dennis Kucinich’s introduction of 35 articles of impeachment against President Bush, the Senate’s intelligence report confirming the Bush White House “led the nation to war [in Iraq] on false premises,” the existence of the National Conference for Media Reform in Minneapolis, or why half a million South Koreans passionately protested against ending their country’s ban on US beef imports.
Yes, the media at least had the good sense to almost completely side-step these puff pieces (pardon the pun!). But we feel it’s also only fair to point out its lack of focus on Puff Daddy’s name reversal, a quintessential American move that, in contemporary fashion, once again turns F. Scott Fitzgerald’s famous statement on its head: “There are no second acts in American lives.”
Sean “Puff Daddy” Combs, who’s changed his name four to six times (depending on various sources), has once more proved his great contribution to music, America and the world. Just as John Lennon moved his generation to “Give Peace a Chance,” telling them “All You Need Is Love,” and encouraged people everywhere in “Power to the People” to join in solidarity against the corporate war machine, Puff Daddy inspired a generation to seek broader meaning, when he sang, “Young, black and famous, with money hangin’ out the anus.” Where Bob Dylan signaled the turning tide against stifling conformity and murderous hypocrisy with the lyrics, “You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows,” Puff Daddy charted a new course of enlightenment with the subtle and trenchant lyrics, “Now puff rule the world, even though I’m young/I make it my biz to see that all ladies come (yeah)/Get ’em all strung from the tip of my tongue/Lick ’em places niggaz wouldn’t dare put they faces (c’mon).”
And who can forget his wildly successful 2004 “Vote or Die” campaign?
Now, some may argue Puff Daddy’s business practices for his Sean John clothing line, including the use of Honduras sweatshops and fur from tortured dogs in China, are a blot on his otherwise impressive artistic and humanitarian achievements. But we believe such incidents only reinforce the power of the American Dream – that regardless of your background, race or religion, whatever the humbleness of your beginnings, or even if you’re a musician who can’t play a musical instrument – “If I learned to play an instrument, it would take away from what I do…” (Puff Daddy) – you, too, may one day amass over $350 million dollars on the backs of Third World sweatshops and the brutal treatment of animals.
Maybe if the news media took the time to better understand Puff Daddy, his most recent name change would’ve received the attention it deserved. If only reporters had dug a little deeper, they might have found what Sean “Puff Daddy” Combs, in his humility and wisdom, revealed about himself when he asked about his preference for dressing in white: “I feel safe in white because, deep down inside, I’m an angel.”
So we’re giving the media fair warning now: the next time Puff Daddy changes his name – and he will – please don’t make the same mistake twice. While we understand your need to cover other critical news stories, such as, say, a talking French goat that break dances, a baby who dispenses iced tea from his ear, a cross-dressing beaver named Todd, or a study finding most men enjoy fellatio, remember that Puff Daddy also weighs heavily on the lives of most Americans.
Cross-posted from The Wounded-Courier, the satirical news division of MediaBloodhound.