A bogus Justin Bieber and Charlie Sheen story is currently doing the press rounds. And it’s a nasty one.
Gossip website Radar Online claims Justin Bieber snubbed Charlie Sheen by asking for his [hypothetical] dressing room to be “as far away” as possible from Sheen’s, ahead of the actor’s interview on Tuesday’s edition of the Today show when Sheen revealed he is HIV positive.
However, the claim is completely false. A representative for Bieber told watchdog outlet Gossip Cop that “Justin won’t even be there [at the Today show on Tuesday].”
Logically, this means no request about Charlie Sheen was made by Team Bieber. And, as viewers of the Today show saw on Tuesday, apart from a pre-recorded skateboarding video segment which mentioned the Biebs’ upcoming concert on Wednesday, the singer didn’t make a live appearance on Tuesday’s show and, reportedly, was never scheduled to.
Update: After the publication of this report, during an live interview with Bieber on Wednesday, Lauer confirmed that the singer was only booked for live appearances on Today on Monday and Wednesday. The first was postponed for reasons explained below. In short: Bieber was never going to appear live on the show on Tuesday.
Embarrassingly for Radar Online, the site published its fabricated allegation on Monday, hours after Gossip Cop revealed Bieber’s team and the Today show had mutually agreed to postpone Matt Lauer’s interview with the pop superstar, which had been scheduled for Monday.
This was done so that the program could focus on coverage of the recent terrorist attacks in Paris. Last week, NBC revealed Bieber would appear on Today for a sit-down with Lauer on Monday, “fun surprises” on Tuesday, and a concert on Wednesday. But that was before ISIS’ outrages.
Gossip Cop reports it was mutually agreed by Today and Team Bieber that an interview with Lauer would “be in poor taste,” timing-wise. As it stands, Bieber will only appear on the Today show on Wednesday to play a live set. Indie-pop darling Halsey and rapper Big Sean will also perform their respective Bieber-collaborations — “The Feeling” and “No Pressure.”
— Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) November 16, 2015
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) November 16, 2015
While ripping Radar Online, Gossip Cop also reported Bieber’s rep confirmed the heartthrob’s interview with the Today show was already pre-taped.
None of these realities stopped Radar Online from citing fictional “sources” in their clickbait report. The site alleged Bieber had done “everything in his power to avoid Charlie Sheen when the two appear on Tuesday’s ‘Today’ show.” [Note: Again, Bieber didn’t appear on Tuesday’s show].
Radar also claimed a “show insider” revealed “Justin’s team has requested the dressing room away from Charlie,” adding, “They want to make sure he’s as far away from Charlie as possible…Justin wants nothing to do with Charlie,” said the outlet’s supposed “source.”
As the Inquisitr has repeatedly previously reported, entertainment news as a whole generally tolerates lower journalistic standards than hard news, and even the latter sometimes get it wrong. It happens.
But there’s a difference between an accidental mistake in a fast-changing, 24/7 news landscape, and a conscious decision by a lower-end gossip outlet to shove two high profile names together in a headline where there’s no evidential reason to do so, simply to grab website traffic hits.
That’s what Radar Online — which has a history of doing this — did in its entirely fabricated Justin Bieber-Charlie Sheen story. That is not only a waste of readers’ time and the news cycle’s. Given the context of Sheen’s serious condition, the site’s false claim is also reprehensible.
Meanwhile, Bieber’s comeback continues. Following a week long stint on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, the 21-year-old dropped his stunning new album, Purpose, on November 13. He then put on three shows at the Staples Center, during which he premiered Purpose: The Movement — a short film of 13 videos set to every song on his LP. The Biebs’ record has sold more than a certain boyband’s album and is tracking to top the Billboard 200 album chart.
Check out the short film below. Follow the prompts to see the full video sequence. To listen to Purpose on Spotify, click here.
[Photo by Justin Merritt/Getty Images]