As much as it pains me to write that title, I need to make this as enjoyable as I can. All puns aside, I’m hoping to turn this example of idiocy into a dissection of where it appears our society is headed. I will try my best to not turn this into me standing on my soapbox conducting an anti-Bieber rant.
As you likely know, unless you avoid all celebrity gossip like it’s the plague, Justin Bieber was arrested earlier this week. Bieber’s numerous offenses on Thursday include the following: DUI, resisting arrest without violence, drag racing, and driving on an expired license. This caused me to wonder what kind of example is this setting for our youth?
Since Bieber burst through the pop culture periphery in 2008, fans young and old established a loyal, fanatic following. No matter what happened, they were right there to witness it all. And that couldn’t be more true than with what happened earlier this week. Once the news of Bieber’s arrest became known, #FreeBieber began to fill Twitter timelines. Fans crowded the jail and courthouse to express their support for the troubled star. Despite Bieber being charged with a DUI which could have ended fatally, fans saw nothing wrong with this and shouted support through their social media avatars.
When we have an icon being worshiped by our youth while displaying reckless abandon for the safety of others, we need to question what they are being exposed to. Would these Beliebers still be by his side if this drag race ended in an accident and Bieber was responsible for taking someone’s life?
Adding to this story are the questionable decisions in covering this instance as a major event. With so many other important stories to cover in the world, here is how the major news organizations decided to cover Bieber Gate: CNN = 103 minutes, Fox News = 57 minutes, and MSNBC = 46 minutes. This lack of prioritization became apparent in a video I saw from an MSNBC broadcast. While discussing the issue of NSA spying with former Congresswoman Jane Harmon, anchor Andrea Mitchell decided to interrupt the interview in order to make a seemless transition to breaking Bieber news.
As someone who is currently trying to use social networking to benefit others by raising money for cancer research, I feel that #FreeBieber takes away from so many great purposes that the Internet serves. In the end, I think we need to all take a step back and realize that there are many more important issues for us to follow around world. If we were to perhaps take the stance that Fusion took in covering the story, we could be a much more informed society.