In the wake of Justin Bieber’s DUI arrest last week, a video from an MSNBC broadcast went viral. The video featured an MSNBC anchor interrupting a Congresswoman talking about NSA spying to break news about a minor update in Bieber’s arrest.
The video is certainly a representation of the ridiculousness of the media, favoring a minor story about a celebrity over a debate about fundamental liberty. The story that spawned it, Bieber’s arrest, certainly represents the recklessness and lack of responsibility of celebrities. Many op-ed pieces have been written over the years about how celebrities avoid punishment for their actions and live lives free of consequences. And many pieces have been penned criticizing the sensationalist media for favoring flashy fluff stories over substantive reporting.
While both celebrities and the media ultimately need to be held accountable for both of these issues, they both operate in an environment created by the public.
Ultimately, if we want celebrities to behave better and the media to be more substantive, we need to ostracize the segments of the population that greatly promote these bad behaviors. Anyone who tweets with the hashtag #freebieber or would rather see cat videos on the evening news than know what’s actually going on the world needs to be roundly criticized.
Justin Bieber should have already been arrested for a handful of past incidents, whether it’s assaulting a DJ, causing felony level damage to his neighbor’s house or illegal drug use.
Bieber escapes justice because local authorities don’t want to deal with the inevitable media circus that would descend on them if they arrested him. Those of us that value justice over celebrity exemption need to come down hard on those who have unhealthy celebrity obsessions that cloud their judgments. Those of us who value the truth over fluff need to come down hard on those who look to news for pure entertainment.
No, Bieber should not be released from jail. He recklessly put peoples lives at stake.
No, a Canadian man-child’s DUI arrest is not more important than the NSA’s egregious infringement on personal liberty.
These two statements are obvious to anyone who has common sense.
If we want a substantive, just society, we need to call those out who don’t have it.