It turns out Justin Bieber did not buy the new private jet that he Instagrammed pictures of on Christmas Day. He chartered it.
Now an enraged/embarrassed news cycle — most of which slammed the singer’s seeming purchase of new wings — is accusing the singer of lying because he didn’t buy it.
But let’s back up. Who fooled whom? And is there anything to be learned?
On Christmas Day, Bieber posted two photos of a luxe jet interior with captions that were — strictly speaking — totally accurate.
“New jet for Christmas, and she’s beautiful,” he wrote, adding, “Merry Christmas she’s a beauty.”
The above certainly suggests a Christmas purchase was made by the Biebs. But it is the job of media outlets to fact-check and not simply blindly report stories or claims.
In short: Bieber could post a snap of a gherkin on his Instagram and say it’s the Statue of Liberty if he’s so inclined. His feed isn’t a news source, it’s a social media account of a 20-year-old boy.
As one Twitter user pointed out:
PS. if you actually read the captions Justin never said he bought the plane. I think the company he uses just upgraded the plane
— InVy (@InVyvy) December 26, 2014
That scenario may or may not be what happened. Either way, Bieber didn’t buy and does not own the sky-palace many envied him for just days ago.
TMZ now reports the jet — which most media outlets assumed was a G6 and which retails in the ballpark of $60 million — is a G4, which goes for around $6 million and is well within the price range of the singer, who is reportedly worth around $200 million.
The private G4 jet was used by the “Confident” superstar for a jump from Canada to New York City last week.
The Improper makes the point that it “did what every other news site should have done — checked with Federal Aviation Administration.”
It added, “All private planes and their owners must be registered with the federal agency, and guess what, Bieber’s name doesn’t turn up anywhere, not for a luxurious G6 or any other Gulfstream model.”
However, The Improper also incorrectly assigns a quote to Bieber, and confuses implying “X” with stating “X.”
Bieber suggested he bought the private jet, but did not explicitly state it. More importantly, any media outlet that reported he bought the jet without fact-checking — and that includes the Inquisitr — only has itself to blame for falling for the hoax.
And that’s despite the additional fuel provided by Bieber’s pal Floyd Mayweather, Jr., who posted an Instagram welcoming the heartthrob to the “private jet club.”
“@JustinBieber Welcome to the Jet Club!” Mayweather wrote.
Floyd added, “Yes, I got a 14 passenger jet. Got to give them another reason to hate, but I will motivate the people that are ambitious and want to be winners in life. I am guilty!”
Notwithstanding Mayweather’s stoking, fact-checking would have uncovered the ruse.
Today’s revelation is just a continuation of the shoddy reporting in the Bieber news cycle, which daily regurgitates ridiculous, baseless stories about the singer originating at clearly disreputable outlets.
Has the Biebs made mistakes? Sure. But every single writer or journalist working for any news/entertainment outlet is well aware that those mistakes have been ridden all the way to the click bait bank, through a deliberate pattern of misreported assumptions, overblown narratives and toxic snark for well over a year, with no contextual understanding given to a former child star who publicly wobbled, fell, and is trying to get back up.
Small wonder Justin Bieber gifted himself a little trolling of his own for Christmas.
[Images via Instagram]