Bayam.2007.MTVs Coverage of the 2004 Presidential Election

At the conventions he assumes a posture of political

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Unformatted text preview: now how I do, I took my questions right to the top.’’ That is immediately followed by shots of Diddy sharing a faux kiss on the cheek with Hillary Clinton, talking with Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, and also actors Ben Affleck and John Cusack. As comfortable in the barber shop as he is alongside political powerbrokers and Hollywood stars, Diddy lays claim to a complex form of cultural authority , one that is grounded in his ability to represent ordinary people and authorized by his access to the halls of power and prestige. His celebrity persona encourages a form of ‘‘admiring identification’’; he becomes the hero whose actions ‘‘serve as exemplary models for a particular community’’ (Marshall, 1997, p. 187). Indeed, he labels himself ‘‘America’s dream . . . young, gifted, black, talented, powerful,’’ an assertion visually reinforced by a shot of him wearing a t-shirt proclaiming ‘‘I am the American dream.’’ He concludes that ‘‘I was one of the lucky ones,’’ and because of that, ‘‘I got a responsibility, whether it’s to educate, whether it’s to help, whether it’s to empower, whether it’s to hip my people to the hustle of what’s really going on.’’ Music celebrities often function as ‘‘the public representation of change’’ (Marshall, 1997, p. 196). In particular, minority celebrities give voice to ‘‘the various discourses of the excluded and marginal in the social world’’ and seek avenues to reintegrate them ‘‘into the social mainstream’’ (1997, pp. 140 Á 1). For Diddy, who leads the organization ‘‘Citizen Change,’’ an agenda of change defines his journalistic persona. At the conventions he assumes a posture of political neutrality (‘‘I’m not down with either party,’’ he says), but he rejects the paradigmatic distinction between fact and value. Both activist and reporter, he asserts that ‘‘we ain’t going nowhere, we got an agenda.’’ If Diddy’s status as cultural hero authorizes him to ‘‘hip’’ his...
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This note was uploaded on 01/20/2014 for the course ARTEDUC 2367.03 taught by Professor Tiffanylewis during the Spring '14 term at Ohio State.

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