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Why We Don’t Need To See Videos of Justin Bieber In Jail

Posted on March 6, 2014 by
Justin Bieber headshot photo from his Jan. 23 arrest

How would you feel if every move you made was recorded on video and made public for the world to see? Sounds a little gross, creepy and demeaning doesn’t it?

So what gives us the right to ask for the same thing from someone famous? It doesn’t. But that hasn’t stopped the media from getting what they want and in this case, that’s a video of Justin Bieber in jail.

As a refresher, pop star Justin Bieber was arrested and accused of drag racing and driving under the influence in Miami back in January. The star had to take a breathalyzer test and a sobriety test upon his arrest. He was released on bail later that day.

Over a month after the arrest, the Miami-Dade County Police Department will now disclose material from Bieber’s stay in jail. They began on Tuesday by releasing 18 photos they took of Justin to catalogue the star’s extensive tattoo collection.

As “delicious” as these “never-before-seen” photos are, that’s just the beginning. In a response to requests made by The Associated Press, CBS and The Miami Herald, the court has also ordered that the video surveillance footage from his time in jail be released.

Is it going to change or impact our lives in a significant way? Not likely.

This is made possible by Florida’s open records law which gives the media full access to documents, photographs and videos collected by police “unless there is a compelling reason to keep them private.” And with Bieber currently dominating the headlines, why wouldn’t the media ask for these videos ?

So far, three of the five videos have been disclosed. In it, they show Bieber doing pushups in his cell and walking a white line for his sobriety test.

The two other videos are being withheld as they show Bieber giving a urine sample and using the washroom in his cell. They will soon see the light of day as Miami judge William Altfield has approved their release but only after Bieber’s genitals are sufficiently blurred out so the star “still retains his expectation of dignity.”

“Mr. Bieber’s right to privacy is paramount. He has not lost his right to privacy, and that is what is important here,” said Atfield.

Truth be told, I’m not a fan of Justin Bieber, nor am I condoning what he has done he land himself in this sticky situation (in this case, possibly driving under the influence). But I have to wonder, what’s really the point of all of this?

Two photos of Justin Bieber showing his tattoos during his arrest in Miami on Jan. 23


We can neither blame the judge for the release of this information or his lawyers for not fighting the request (which they probably couldn’t even do). We can, however, wonder why the media finds it necessary to request such material.

Because what does releasing a video of one of the world’s biggest stars in a clearly vulnerable moment in his life accomplish? In my view, nothing. It accomplishes nothing.

Is it going to change or impact our lives in a significant way? Not likely.

Will it affect the public’s well-being? No.

From my standpoint, it seems like the request for the release of the videos and photos are really just a means to embarrass the singer and sensationalize a trying situation.

Besides, the photos they’ve released are nothing new. The star often takes selfies without a shirt on, hardly making the effort to cover or hide his tattoos. But the media are making it sound as though these photos are part of a DVD’s special features.

All in all, the release of  “Justin Bieber’s time in jail” only succeeds by in clogging up the airwaves. It’s not helping improve us as a society and it’s just another way to kick someone while they’re down.

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