An article written by an unofficial user-blogger on NationalReport.net seems to be the primary source for outrage that American pop singer Justin Bieber had made an accusation of an Australian teen named Julie Gunn, that supposedly led to her suicide. The article itself is not the journalistic work of National Report, but is actually a “blog using our site” kind of submission and isn’t subject to the same journalistic scrutiny as authentic journalism.
Dozens of comments below the post seem to take the submission seriously, but fail to offer any verification of the incident. Many comments even go so far as to say they are disgusted with Bieber and, in effect, commit the identical crime accuse Bieber of committing by name-calling a name-caller.
There are several problematic elements to the article.
* For one, the content of National Report is suspect. At the bottom reads: *DISCLAIMER: The National Report is an online portal for “citizen journalists”. The views expressed by writers on this site are theirs alone and are not reflective of the fine journalistic and editorial integrity of National Report. Advice given is NOT to be construed as professional. If you are in need of professional help, please consult a professional. National Report is not intended for children under the age of 18. Calling people who submit content “citizen journalists” seems to be the more distinguished way of saying, “we don’t verify anything these people write.”
* Secondly, the submission refers to the supposed victim as a “pudgy sunbather” who “recently endured Justin Bieber’s cruel taunts.” Those taunts alone would have gone viral within seconds of having been uttered. How a sunbather of any kind could be approached by an international pop star and have such comments made to without anyone else in the entire world know about it and fail to report it is rather nonsensical, especially “two days later” afterward. The submission itself even suggests that “everywhere she went” she endured jokes about how Beiber called her a name. How did strangers know about it so fast, if it weren’t already viral? Yet, this article is the first post any reference to it has been made.
* Third, the author, “Manfred Peregrine” seems to be a well-known troll writer whose Facebook page is littered with comments about how his articles are insane and silly — comments that were made well before this article was posted. His Facebook page (not a profile), found here, to me suggests the man is nothing shy of a hit-grabber and sensationalist tabloid-style writer with other strange articles like ear-gauging toddlers and Christians who commit suicide so they won’t have to live in a gay-accepting world, despite no other coverage of those topics being widely known. A half-Elvis, half-Michael-Jackson love-child seems like something this guy might likely be writing about next.
In addition, there are a few counterclaims currently up about it.
The pic shown describes an announcement by currently-non-existent (deleted?) Twitter account @juliegunn_ announcing: this is fake, sry beliebers, it was wrong of me to do this I know I shouldn’t have but I was paid to be an article. it was only to make justin look bad and I feel horrible please stop spreading this, but this pic is the only reference I can find to it. but I can find no other reference to substantiate that tweet was ever made.
The earliest tweet about the incident I can find is from, as of this post’s writing, 18 hours ago by @kerakumiko: I don’t want to believe this 😔💔 #justinbieber #juliegunn pic.twitter.com/jV9keoVGGt with a cropped screenshot that shows that the article was posted “20 hours ago” meaning it had only been 2 hours after the article was posted that somehow the Twitterer had found mention of it. Surely if a post about this topic could be found by some random Twitter user within 2 hours of it being posted, then someone else would have mentioned it within the 2 days between Bieber having said it and Julie Gunn having committed suicide, and “everywhere” Julie went being teased about it. That just doesn’t add up.
As a side note, for all of those who feel disgusted with Bieber for making such comments (if he even did): take care not to commit the very crime you accuse him by name-calling. If you’re against name-calling, why would you bother doing it? Wouldn’t that make you against yourself?
Edit: The rumors that Bieber did actually call a fan a “beached whale” have been repeatedly and consistently discovered to be false and completely fabricated. For instance, here, here, here, and here. The girl he interacted with in photos of a sunbathing blonde near a hotel pool is named Jordyn Dore, who claims she met the girl that supposedly had been insulted but doubted the story to be true.