Well, that’s it. Any day now, the profession of journalism could implode, as science has told us someday the whole universe must. For the press corps, already weakened by technology that lets people buy used end tables off Craigslist instead of through newspaper classifieds, is on the verge of obtaining what it has become increasingly clear is our entire purpose for existing: visual evidence of Justin Bieber’s wiener.
The AP, CNN, and other media organizations have asked a Florida judge to let them see videos that reportedly show Bieber submitting to a urine test as part of his January DUI arrest, according to CBS Miami (via Poynter). In what might be the single defining quote of the news-as-entertainment era, media lawyer Deanna Shullman said yesterday, in court, “My clients have no interest in seeing Mr. Bieber’s penis.” Pause.
Both sides agreed that the video footage is part of the public record. Bieber’s lawyers argued, essentially, that while even the president of the United States sometimes must stand naked, famous privates are still private unless there’s some compelling reason otherwise (besides morbid curiosity, guys). Scott Ponce, a lawyer for CBS Miami and the Miami Herald, contended that the court could release censored footage that covers up Bieber’s man parts. But to make that case, Ponce had to say the following, again in court: “It sounds like the defendant is urinating in them [the videos]. I think the issue is do we see his penis or do we not? Under the public records rule, we redact what can be seen, and let the rest out. Put a black bar over it and let the rest out.” Yes, just relax and let the urine out. Ahh. That’s kinda warm.
Besides, the world has already seen Bieber peeing. Last year, a video surfaced that showed the Believe singer showering gold into a mop bucket. It’s hard to imagine what public interest could be served by more Bieb whiz. And it’s not as if media, um, members have shown similar curiousness in cases where there actually is an important public interest: As Andrew Cohen of the Brennan Center for Justice notes (again via Poynter), no news org to his knowledge has gone to court asking for more information about methods of administering the death penalty. That might be because — in a sense that goes far beyond financial solvency — many of us are already dead.
By the time you’ve finished skimming these 400 words about-yet-not-about a rich, famous, legally embattled 19-year-old’s junk, which no one has any interest in seeing, TMZ will have posted the full, unexpurgated urine-test videos. Some wag on Twitter will bring up Death Grips. And actually, it’ll be pretty funny.