Justin Bieber has been accused of punching a photographer in Paris on Tuesday, so said headlines blaring across the Internet last week.
The alleged incident unfolded as the singer and his bodyguards attempted to make their way through photographers and into their hotel, shortly after Bieber dined with supermodel pal Kendall Jenner.
Mail Online — which, like most UK tabloids, has dispensed with journalistic traditions such as the use of “allegedly” and “reportedly” — comes straight out with an accusation.
“The 20-year-old pop star attacked the paparazzo outside his hotel in the French capital as he arrived back following a lunch date with reality TV star Kendall Jenner,” the newspaper writes.
“Details of exactly what happened are unclear,” the outlet added.
While Bieber’s difficulties with paparazzi are well-documented and under focus in multiple legal cases, there are two glaring questions not one media outlet has bothered to ask:
1: Why were the paparazzi so close and clearly smothering Bieber in the first place?
2: Did anyone notice the panicked look on the singer’s face during the confrontation?
A video of Bieber facing off against the paparazzi and fan chaos on Tuesday.
While photo evidence and a later witness update appears to support the claim that Bieber “punched” a photographer, no-one can deny the paparazzi scrum and chaos that greeted Bieber when he arrived back at the Four Seasons George V hotel Tuesday from the Ferdi bar and restaurant.
Bieber arrived in Paris Monday with his girlfriend Selena Gomez after a Caribbean break.
He was seen picking up Kendall in a chauffeured Rolls Royce before they went to Ferdi.
Pictures of the paparazzi engulfing the Canadian singer when he arrived back at the hotel show something of a free-for-all went down.
In addition to being mobbed by fans, which the singer still tried to meet and greet under a barrage of flash lights and the crowd’s pushing, Bieber and his security team appeared in need of police assistance amid a seemingly out of control paparazzi pack.
From photos, Bieber looks as if he’s trying to clear a path to walk, which suggests he was not given enough space by photographers.
(Photo: Bieber appears to punch one photographer and restrain another by his neck.)
In one shot that Mail Online and other outlets published, Justin’s fist is seen in a clenched pose inches away from a paparazzo’s face. In another, his hand is seen by a paparazzo’s neck.
Noting the “lying” that Mail Online was rightly called out for by actor George Clooney over their claim that his (now) wife’s mother objected to his then impending marriage to human rights lawyer Amal Alamuddin, more coercive reporting has repeatedly been seen in the paper’s coverage of Bieber.
Take their October 1 “punching” story. Mail Online needlessly observed, “[Bieber] seemed ready for battle thanks to his attire which he wore with black trainers and he completed the look with black shades and a gold bracelet.”
At the time, Biebs was wearing a camouflage pants and jacket outfit which millions of kids, teenagers and older wear around the world and are stocked in multiple fashion outlets — though it’s likely the singer’s were designer.
(Photo: Bieber appears overwhelmed in the middle of a chaotic mix of paparazzi and fans in Paris, September 30.)
TMZ goes in for the same broad statement making in its “Justin Bieber Punching Paps in Paris” post.
It’s only when a site visitor enters past that clickbait title that the outlet calms its language down, writing,
“Justin Bieber mixed it up Tuesday with the paparazzi in Paris and appeared to throw a punch during the fracas.”
After the incident no charges were filed against Bieber, and the paparazzi and Bieber’s rep have not commented.
It’s telling that the trauma of a horde of paparazzi circling one youngster with the sole aim of making a buck, is not discussed by the industry that buys the product photogs obtain.
Back in August, after his Ferrari was rear-ended by a paparazzo, Bieber tweeted:
“There should be laws against what I just experienced. We should have learned from the death of Princess Diana.”
He added, “I don’t have a problem with paparazzi but when they act recklessly they put us all in danger.”
Justin Bieber has now reached that point.
[Images via Ramey.]