Justin Bieber has been defended by Walmart against claims made by a man alleging the singer behaved like “a p***k,” “throwing things,” “opening food,” and “shining flashlights” in little girls faces inside their Stratford, Ontario, Canada, store on Monday, March 31.
Mike Malcho, who claims to have known Bieber since he was “knee-high to a grasshopper,” took to his Facebook page on Tuesday April 1 to slam the oft-criticized singer in a rambling rant while also blasting Walmart for giving him VIP treatment.
On first take, the claims are badly timed for Bieber, who is currently dealing with legal woes including a suspected DUI, a house-egging allegation and an assault charge over an alleged Toronto incident.
Despite a report in the UK’s MailOnline — which is based only on Malcho’s Facebook post — Walmart have denied his claims that Bieber was unruly or rude to locals in the Stratford store.
Contradicting Malcho’s accusation that Bieber was allegedly “walking through the store like u own the place with no regards to employees or others attending the store” after arriving in a Toronto city bus, according to E! News who contacted Walmart to investigate the claim – that did not happen.
In an April 3 broadcast E! News reported Walmart said Bieber was, “A lovely guest, polite, signed autographs and even shopped,” during his visit.
It’s as yet unclear why Malcho recalls a completely different version of alleged events on his Facebook page that’s been “Liked” by hundreds of his friends, although reportedly none of them were in the store at the time.
Branding Bieber a “disappointment” and claiming that he confronted the singer and his “30 goons,” the 43-year-old offered some unsolicited advice in an emotional vent that also took issue with Justin “bouncing balls” in the store for some reason.
“Grow up son bc life is to short and ur a much better person then ur portraying to be…Alot of us know alot more then what’s published in the books and being posted and the movies being created…The only ppl u guys r fooling is r u….Give Stratford something to be proud of again…END of story.”
In contrast, Jake Klassen — another father in the store at the time whose son Justin posed for a picture with — appears to have had no issues with the singer’s behavior and seems to have found his fun and games harmless rather than a reason to criticize.
I wish I would have made a video of #JustinBieber playing floor hockey at Stratford Walmart.
— jake klassen (@jakeallthetime) April 4, 2014
IQ notes that if media outlets base reports solely on what people claim on Facebook or other social media without the other parties’ side being presented, we run the risk of being taken in by inaccuracies, exaggerations – and, for that matter – hoaxes.
Back in February, a hoax by Atlanta radio station Rock 100.5 convinced the world’s media that Atlanta’s Buckhead Neighborhood Coalition planned to stage a protest against Bieber’s intention to buy a mansion in the area.
As it turned out, neither Bieber’s purchase or the protest were genuine, despite an authentic looking Facebook page rallying attendees in the run-up to the “protest.”
That said, we’re not suggesting Malcho’s rant is a hoax, but a subjective opinion at best — and without veracity at worst.
Looking at pictures of Bieber posing for photos with youngsters at the Stratford store and the countless occasions he has stopped for fans in the past, it seems more than a little hasty to take Malcho’s singular, histrionic rant as gospel.
(Photo: Bieber posing with a local girl outside Stratord’s Walmart Store.)
My son Anthony got picture taken with Justin Bieber @ Stratford Walmart. pic.twitter.com/GVjZWtyHKE
— jake klassen (@jakeallthetime) April 1, 2014