Justin Bieber is not being smeared in the news because he wore Nike shoes in his visit to French President Macron. He is being smeared for being a Christian. The purported claim that he was “labelled ‘disrespectful'” by fans is not from any scientific poll, it’s from anecdotal comments that fit with the narrative. Such comments could come from news writers themselves and the reporting wouldn’t clarify otherwise. Headlines would have us believe that the majority of the people who love him and his music—that is his fans—object to his shoes. But, that is not a reasonable claim. Objections probably come from non-fans and haters. The biggest haters are those in the news industry who hate all Christians, Bieber included. We already know that haters rarely disclose their affiliations and biases, including those in the news industry.
But, why does society keep placing the same expectations on both politicians and entertainment stars? Bieber is a singer, we should expect him to dress somewhat like one. You won’t see the same newspapers reporting objection when Bono wears his trademark sunglasses in photos with heads of state. We know they are different—but do we really? Why do Hollywood and the Chinese government care what John Cena says about China?
Perhaps people can’t tell a difference between Bieber’s and Macron’s professions because both are seen as simply “on TV”. It’s no wonder democracies are collapsing around the world—the voters view politics as entertainment and make entertainment political. An article reporting on fans that expect a pop entertainer to dress or act like a politician should focus on a society that can’t tell the difference between the two. Fortunately, at least one news article does address the deeper issue.