Justin Bieber’s new song “Life Is Worth Living,” teased on his Instagram late Saturday is something of a relief.
Young Canada wasn’t looking too happy during the very selective but nonetheless authentic deposition video clips edited and posted to viral heaven by TMZ last Monday.
And if the 20-year-old singer wasn’t psyched to be deposed by attorney Mark DiCowden — the lawyer for photographer Jeffrey Binion alleging he was assaulted by Bieber’s security on the star’s orders last June after taking photos outside a recording studio — it’s a safe bet he wasn’t amused by the usual off and online ‘Bieber beatdown’ that followed the video release.
We really want to see the whole four-and-a-half hour deposition to see exactly how long it took for Bieber to dial up to a Spinal Tap 11, and how DiCowden’s Chinese water torture queries developed. Lets face it, the man wouldn’t be out of place in an army interrogation unit.
If TMZ’s initial video edits of Bieber really were selections only after four hours of grilling as his legal team told Page Six, criticisms should be tempered with understanding. A youngster who doesn’t know the difference between “detrimental” and “instrumental” was never going to handle a court hearing that put him under the kind of filmed pressure that took place.
It’s noticeable that the gossip website repeatedly posted the segment where Bieber dropped an F-bomb on a female court reporter who sweetly asked him to speak up. Bieber’s apology, in which he told the clerk — “Um, I’m sorry for letting this man [DiCowden] get to me before. My bad,” still hasn’t been published by the site.
Tellingly, other clips that showed Bieber expressing humility or politely expressing frustration in the deposition were published mainly by foreign media outlets. US sites preferred to revel in an orgy of over-the-top comment damning the pop star’s snarky responses as if he should be happy about the fact he’s being sued for unspecified damages.
[Video: Scroll to 2:51 minutes for Bieber’s apology.]
Of course Bieber bashing has been going on for years, long before a Defcon 5 police raid showed up at his door.
Arguments that the Bieber backlash is motivated by the singer’s allegedly legality-challenging behavior don’t hold water after rewinding back to to boos at the New York Knicks Vs. Dallas Mavericks play-off at Madison Square Garden on February 2, 2011, jeers at Canada’s 100th Grey Cup game in November 2012, and boos at the Billboard Music Awards in May 2013.
Back then, Bieber hadn’t started his global graffiti campaign. His incendiary trail through the South America and Australasia legs of his Believe world tour was still months ahead, and the current criminal charges and civil lawsuits he faces were still an event horizon.
The anti-Bieber climate of today is said to have begun as a push back to his ubiquitousness and likely a fair amount of jealousy, but it is fed across entertainment media outlets and by a press that knows negative Bieber coverage plays well to the gallery.
Canadian motivational and educational speaker Saidat agrees.
Her anti-bullying/self-esteem program “Music, Motivation and Movement” has been taught in over 800 schools and community centers and uses Bieber as a prime example of sanctioned bullying. At one point in the video below Saidat holds up a photo of Bieber to booing children telling them:
“This person has done nothing to you personally.”
Just got sent this video. Watch the whole thing. How would u react? Could you keep your head held high? https://t.co/HaGgIm7UsX
— Scooter Braun (@scooterbraun) March 16, 2014
But don’t just take my word for it. Google statistics reveal 131 outlets had jumped all over the recent Seth Rogen story by March 14, 10: 20 ET, in which he yet again compared Bieber to excrement. By contrast, two media outlets including this one, reported retired astronaut Chris Hadfield’s supportive Bieber comments by the same time frame.
Irrational – and at times, fabricated – reporting on Bieber has seen Radar Online run with a purported graphic text story in January which allegedly detailed abusive texts sent by Bieber to his then ex-girlfriend Selena Gomez. TMZ called the story out as fake even before it was published and it was emphatically denied by both star’s reps.
Similarly, News.com.au did not update a story which claimed Bieber called an Australian fan a beached whale on the last day of his tour despite inexplicably conflicting witnesses, and an independent witness who told Hollyscoop the singer did not interact with any females fitting the description in the story.
It’s believed the claim originated with an angry female fan prevented from talking to Bieber at the hotel by his bodyguards.
Claims that Bieber is a sizzurp addict were refuted by a toxicology report conducted after his DUI arrest. It revealed no trace of opiates — the family of drugs that codeine based sizzurp belongs to — but confirmed Xanax and marijuana were present in the singer’s system at the time of his arrest.
Despite this, tabloid reports linking Bieber and sizzurp based on nothing more than the usual unnamed ‘sources’ continues.
In Rolling Stone’s recent cover story, a source close to the singer told the magazine,
“There’s certain things he’s doing that aren’t right. But then a lot of [accusations] out there just aren’t true. That makes it harder for him easier for him to recognize his behavior.”
“It’s easy for someone who is acting out to counter claims that their behavior has crossed the line, when they see reporting of stuff that never happened. He feels persecuted and misperceived.”
Criminal defense attorney Roy Black, who represents the singer in his DUI case, offers:
“We love it when people start becoming successful.” Black told reporters at a status hearing last Tuesday.
“But once they actually are highly successful, we do almost everything we can to destroy their lives. And Justin Bieber’s case is just one of many. He has absolutely no privacy. He is harassed by photographers or paparazzi – whatever you want to call them – at every turn.”
Black and his legal team fought unsuccessfully for footage of Bieber taking a urine test for drugs while in custody at Miami Beach Police Station in January to be sealed from public disclosure, after news media organizations added a motion to their request to see the urine test footage.
In the end, presiding Judge William Altfield slammed a redactive black box over the relevant footage that was so farcically big it exposed the intrusion into Bieber’s privacy for what it was — a basic denial of common decency at a vulnerable moment.
Incidentally, the videos were released on the same day as Bieber’s deposition and possibly added to his sense of pressure and anger. The surly singer we all saw in those videos didn’t just morph from the bright-eyed kid of six years ago without cause. There is a backdrop of bullying and increased paparazzi aggression towards him that’s been in play for years.
Again, this is missing from conversations that brand a slowly maturing young man who may still be taking anti-anxiety medication as a “jerk” — and worse.