Stop making excuses for Justin Bieber

03/17/2014 7:59 PM

03/17/2014 7:59 PM

It’s your fault Justin Bieber is a jerk.

That’s the contention of attorney Roy Black, who is defending the 20-year-old singer on a DUI charge stemming from a Jan. 23 arrest in Miami Beach.

Black spoke to reporters last week as video of Bieber’s deposition in the case of an alleged assault by one of his bodyguards — you can’t keep this young man’s legal woes straight without a scorecard — was making the rounds on the Internet. It was not a pretty picture. Bieber comes across so snotty and insolent even Mother Teresa would want to smack him.

It’s been suggested that opposing counsel baited Bieber by asking provocative and unrelated questions. But so what? A deposition is a fishing expedition, and opposing counsel is allowed wide latitude in asking questions. The defendant’s best strategy is to keep calm and answer as briefly as possible.

Presumably, this was all explained to Bieber before he was deposed, but if so, the advice did not take. He preens, he parries, he oozes with visceral contempt for the entire process. Asked if his mentor, the singer Usher, was instrumental to his career he replies, “I was found on YouTube. I think that I was detrimental to my own career.”

Rarely have ignorance and arrogance ever combined so flawlessly to produce unintended truth.

But again, Roy Black says if you want to blame anyone for what Justin Bieber is, blame us and our culture of celebrity worship.

“We love it when people start becoming successful,” he told reporters. “But once they actually are highly successful, we do almost everything we can to destroy their lives. And Justin Bieber’s case is just one of many. He has absolutely no privacy. He is harassed by photographers or paparazzi — whatever you want to call them — at every turn.”

It is an intriguing argument in that it contains just enough truth to give you pause.

On the other hand, Bieber is hardly the first person to be famous — or, for that matter, to become famous while young. And while that proves toxic for some — Britney Spears, Michael Jackson — others seem to handle it just fine. Where are the headlines about a drunken Justin Timberlake pelting a neighbor’s house with eggs?

What we see in Bieber, then, seems to say less about celebrity than about one of its unfortunate byproducts: entitlement. Has anyone ever held this kid accountable for anything?

When he was popped in Miami, young model Ireland Baldwin tweeted, “We’re all human.”

When cops investigated him on charges of reckless driving, Usher said, “He’s a teenager ”

When drugs were found on his tour bus, Will Smith said, “These are things that are just simple and normal for a 19-year-old to do ”

But would they be so quick to make excuses if it were Justin Jones behaving as if the world were his toilet and the rules did not apply?

If people really want to help this kid, the answer is simple: Stop making excuses for him.

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