If you haven't heard about the James Guckert/Jeff Gannon mini scandal, you are officially out of it. Here's the official version, it must be official because it comes from a Real Journalist, with a press card and everything: [“Online Reporter Quits After Liberals' Expose (washingtonpost.com) By Howard Kurtz, February 10, 2005]
What gets me about it is not the Snob Journalism angle, which goes back to Matt Drudge's appearance before the National Press Club. Nor is it the Democratic Press Corps' shock and horror at the idea of a Republican being allowed to ask a "loaded question." Nor yet the gay angle.
No, it's the idea that, in America of all places, you can't change your name. If my name were Guckert, I'd run to the Office Of Name Changing to drop it. (Why he thought Jeff was better than James is a puzzle, of course.)
Seriously, immigrants and second generation-Americans changing their names to make them easier for normal people to spell is a traditional form of assimilation. and when Mississippi Congressman John Rankin made a 1947 speech about Hollywood pro-communists in which he listed their embarrassing birth names ("Another one here calls himself Melvyn Douglas, whose real name is Melvyn Hesselberg"), he was simply embarrassing the anti-Communist cause.
My Amex card still comes in the name of James Guckert, but I want to be called Jeff Gannon. That is who I am.
Or rather it is the pseudonym under which you gained access to White House press briefings for two years, until your identity was revealed. Why do you think they let you in?
German-Americans have frequently changed their names, because of the terrible problems people have pronouncing them or spelling them. Examples American Generals George Armstrong Küster, Black Jack Pfoershing, and Dwight David Eisenhauer.
Others have changed their names because they were simply embarrassing, in English. Authors Dean Koontz and Stephen Coonts are descended from German immigrants with the same last name, which, as you can infer, was as liability in an English speaking country.
(Michelle Malkin is different, she simply writes under her married name, but stupid leftists insist on calling her Magalang. I'm not clear if this is reverse racism, or reverse sexism, but it's highly annoying.)