Justin Bieber‘s new book Just Getting Started comes out today, and in addition to being “a personal backstage pass to my world,” Biebs made sure to resurrect that story about his alleged babymama Mariah Yeater. To be honest, we had completely forgotten about the crazy-eyed 20-year-old claiming she conceived the next generation of Bieber in a bathroom, but you have to imagine that Justin was writing his quasi-memoir while the scandal went down. So even though he slammed the rumors on his Twitter at the time and said he would happily take a paternity test, obviously he also felt compelled to write about it.
Except, instead of going after Mariah and her people for creating the so-salacious-it-could-be-true story, his ire is for the media outlets who reported on it. In an excerpt that will someday be held up alongside that scene from All the President’s Men as the rallying cry for journalism, Bieber writes,
“Whatever happened to responsible journalism? Aren’t reporters supposed to check their facts before writing their stories? Maybe it’s just me, but I could never get away with making up some story for a school project and passing it off as real! My teachers would have flunked me for even trying something like that! Another thing I don’t really understand is that when someone is stalking you without a camera it is illegal, but if they are doing it with a camera it is somehow perfectly fine. I don’t get that difference and I suppose I never will.
“One of the worst downsides of fame is the freedom and liberties the media take when it comes to reporting on a celebrity’s personal life. At the same time, without the media, you can’t do your job so I guess it’s a give and take.
“It’s hard enough to be a teenager going through regular teenage stuff, but doing it under the microscope of the press just amplifies what’s already awkward to begin with. That would be tough for any kid. But when it comes to reporting things about my life that aren’t true, well, that crosses a line that I believe is unfair.
“Why has it become more necessary to sensationalize the news for people to get them to read a newspaper or buy a magazine at the cost of the truth? When did gossip websites become viable sources for legitimate news? Hey, I’ve always had a good relationship with the media, and for the most part, the media and paparazzi have been pretty good to me. If it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t have nearly as close a relationship with you, my fans, but at the same time I just wish that they didn’t have to go about getting the stories in the way some of them do.”
Let me break it down for you, Justin, because against all my expectations I’ve become one of those celebrity bloggers you so deride. We’re not reporters in the traditional sense, nor do we try to pass ourselves off as such. Sure, often we break news and it’s awesome, but a lot of our job is commentary on the news. We ensure our readership that we’re on top of the latest cheating scandals, out-of-context quotes, nip slips, fandom ‘ships, and Fifty Shades of Grey casting. We comb through the crap and find the videos before they go viral, the .gifs you reblog, the latest rumors that are strong enough that they’re being talked about across Tumblr, Facebook, and Twitter. We’re up-to-date and relevant.
Which means, when stories like Mariah Yeater accusing you of being her babydaddy happen, we can’t not report on them. And when I say “report,” I mean “lay out the accusations, include reactions from both sides, and comment.” We don’t claim that any of this is true, we just give our readers all the facts so we can continue the conversation. Note that in all our coverage on Mariah we painstakingly used words like “alleged” and “accused” and “rumored.” And we kept careful track of all of your responses, Justin.
That said, I can see why Justin and other celebrities take issue with these stories being disseminated at all. In many ways, continuing to spread a rumor — even if you don’t believe it — perpetuates the story for people who will take it as gospel. But in the world of blogging, if you’re not commenting on the top stories to your audience, you’re irrelevant. It’s one of those chicken-and-the-egg dilemmas that may never get solved.
So, I do feel badly that Justin feels like the media takes advantage of him. But then you see titillating self-taken photos like the one above and figure, yeah, Biebs knows exactly how blogging works. He admits, it’s a symbiotic relationship—one that he might do well to keep encouraging, since he’s ridden the wave of fame for several years and might want to start worrying about folks like One Direction taking his title.
[via Digital Spy]