Did Justin Bieber really mouth “F*** Pacquiao” while lip-syncing to Big Sean’s “I Don’t F*** With You” during a Las Vegas pool party this past weekend?
At the time, the Canadian was hanging out with Australian model Shanina Shaik, where he was hosting a pool party at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino before the Floyd Mayweather Jr Vs. Manny Pacquiao fight.
To cut to it, TMZ’s claim is clickbait, designed to take advantage of Mayweather-Pacquiao fight-related traffic by throwing it a sensationalist bone.
After at least 20 listens and views (which is 19 more than were pleasurable) of the video posted at the gossip outlet’s website, three things are clear:
1: Justin Bieber lip-synced to a track in which the word “F***” is mentioned. A lot. There is no clear evidence on the video that he sang “F*** Pacquiao.”
Furthermore, whoever filmed the singer while Big Sean’s song was loudly playing, cannot honestly claim with any certainty that the heartthrob mentioned the Filipino boxer.
2: TMZ’s report also demonstrates the power of suggestion. Before readers are directed to the video link, the exclamation-dense headline “Justin Bieber ‘F*** PACQUIAO!!!'” and text (“at 33 seconds you can see him mouth the words ‘f*** Pacquiao’…,” along with the glaring yellow and black graphic of “Warning: Explicit Content,” prompts readers to expect to hear and see what is claimed.
According to multiple psychology texts, the power of suggestion is the ability to convince, based on the psychological mechanism that whatever the subconscious mind accepts, it acts on.
The Huffington Post previously reported, scientists Maryanne Garry, Robert Michael, and Irving Kirsch explored this phenomena in their paper in the journal “Current Directions in Psychological Science.”
The trio discovered that deliberate suggestions can influence how people remember and experience things and behave. They said the reason is down to “response expectancies.” Put simply, if something is suggested to you, or you expect an outcome — your behavior, thoughts, and reactions will actually contribute to making that expectation occur.
TMZ’s “Justin Bieber ‘F*** PACQUIAO!!!'” headline is what the power of suggestion looks like in the news cycle.
Based on the video the website used to make its claim, it is not possible to unequivocally say that Bieber used an expletive or even said Pacquiao’s name. It’s more reasonable to report that the singer lip-synced along to “IDFWU,” as did others at the party.
In light of the highly volatile reaction among Manny Pacquiao fans, following their hero’s defeat by Mayweather, TMZ’s publication of a claim that is not certain and is not factually proven, is irresponsible and could be dangerous.
And if the strength of feeling seen in tweets to Kellerman were bad, comments at Bieber’s Instagram account by the pic he posted of himself and Mayweather after the champ’s 12-round, unanimous win, set new standards for rage.
In a post-fight report, The Daily Beast noted Pacquiao — a self-declared Christian — uses his “massive popularity and considerable political heft to oppose LGBT rights and women’s access to abortion, contraception, and safe sex education in the Philippines.”
Accordingly, many of the insults left by incandescent Pacquiao fans at Bieber’s Instagram and in TMZ’s comments section, are homophobic and threatening. These appear to be an escalation of the cyber-hate Bieber already receives, which may be something his security team and management are aware of.
3: As for the possibility that Bieber did mouth “F*** Pacquiao” in TMZ’s video, the simplest reason why the site’s headline would still be inflammatory comes down to context.
The clip linked below shows the “Where Are U Now” singer lip-syncing to “IDFWU” before the 0.34 mark on TMZ’s video.
As seen on the video, Bieber’s facial expression and manner throughout is light-hearted. It is clear that he is joking with someone (or a group) out of range. That a far-reaching media outlet would take a 21-year-old’s downtime moments at a party out of context for traffic — that would obviously become hateful — is staggering, even in these clickbait-centric times.
[Images via MPNC/Media Punch]