Justin Bieber reporting has hit a new low. The U.K.’s Mirror newspaper fraudulently pretended that it conducted an “exclusive interview” with the pop superstar. In reality, the tabloid lifted whole passages from The Telegraph’s in-depth spread with Bieber last year. Other unverifiable quotes are fabricated.
Gossip Cop reports a rep for Bieber informed the outlet that the Mirror’s misrepresented “interview” is “BS.”
Justin Bieber Interview With ‘The Mirror’ Is “BS,” Says Rep (EXCLUSIVE) https://t.co/cuNoV8WBQG
— Gossip Cop (@GossipCop) February 24, 2016
Even before the official outing of the Mirror’s deception, Justin Bieber fans raised red flags on Twitter shortly after the U.K. tabloid published its “interview” on Tuesday (February 23), when Beliebers recognized parts of the profile.
— AriaJenco (@Aria_Jenco) February 23, 2016
I told you it was bs but some of you spread it around I bet. you should never believe the Mirror
— InVy (@InVyvy) February 24, 2016
Is it me or they are using an old interview in this article? https://t.co/akXf5XAULm
— (@SoyPatricia) February 24, 2016
The specific interview which the Mirror plagiarized was conducted in person by the Telegraph‘s Craig McLean, when he met with Bieber in Los Angeles last year. It was published in October, and arcs the 21-year-old singer’s struggles during 2013-14, his perspective on growing up in the public spotlight, and his then not-yet-released Purpose album.
— Telegraph Magazine (@TelegraphMag) October 31, 2015
Fast forward to the Mirror’s supposedly new interview. It quotes the Biebs as saying, “I started to believe the hype and was acting a certain way.” However, that exact wording appears in the Telegraph’s interview, in which the Biebs admitted, “I started believing the hype and acting a certain way.” Notably, the Mirror didn’t correctly attribute that stolen quote to the Telegraph.
At another point, the Mirror reported Bieber confessed, “I got so involved in ‘me me me’. You’re young, people are telling you you’re great all the time and you start believing it.”
That statement can be found in the Telegraph. “I got so involved in ‘me me me’ — because you’re young and people are telling you you’re great all the time. And you start believing it,” the singer told the reputable paper four months ago.
The Mirror’s plagiarism continues. In its bogus exclusive, Bieber declares, “There’s so much I need to work on. And I’m still getting days where I’m depressed and upset.” He adds, “But I know that I’m not where I used to be. So that really keeps me motivated. I’m not where I wanna be. That’s kind of a cool little slogan I’ve been living by.”
Not-all-all-surprisingly, those words appear in the Telegraph. Needless to say, the Mirror didn’t credit the Telegraph as its source.
And the tabloid didn’t just steal from the Telegraph. The Mirror also cites Bieber talking about Purpose, and quotes him as saying, “I felt like I lost my purpose. But now I’ve found it, and I want to bring that hope to people.”
However, Gossip Cop was able to source the above statement. It’s a quote from Bieber’s music video for “Mark My Words,” which features on Purpose. At the beginning of the video, the Canadian states, “I felt like I lost my purpose for a while, but now I’ve found my purpose, and I just want to bring that hope to people.”
The Mirror also claimed Bieber said, “I was rebelling against the world. I started to believe the hype and was acting a certain way. I was just being a jerk.” That quote hasn’t surfaced anywhere else. But, as Bieber’s rep confirmed the Mirror’s interview is “BS,” it’s reasonable to assume the tabloid made up a likely-sounding quote and attributed it to Bieber.
Similarly, the tabloid alleges Bieber offered the following statement to his legion of fans. “Don’t put your faith in me. Because I’m gonna disappoint you every time.” Again, the quote isn’t verifiable.
Putting words into any celebrity’s mouth for traffic hits is a self-serving, dishonest, and foolish act. In this case, it devalues the Mirror’s brand and — even more importantly — indicates the tabloid cannot be trusted as a credible primary source.