Obviously I am not above writing about Justin Bieber for the purpose of siphoning off some of the massive amount of Bieber-related Internet and Twitter traffic, but I am at least not willing to use the phrase "Bieber Probed" as MSNBC did in its headline. I do have some minimal standards.
A spokeswoman for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police said an "active investigation" was indeed proceeding into allegations that 16-year-old pop star Justin Bieber assaulted another youngster during a laser-tag match on Friday. Bieber was in Vancouver, where he is performing on Tuesday, when the fateful match took place.
The father of a 12-year-old boy told police that Bieber "assaulted" his son during the match. (The injuries, if any, were minimal.) Most reports agree that Bieber knocked the boy down, but his motivation for doing so, if any, is disputed. One blogger, who apparently witnessed the incident, said that Bieber had been surrounded by laser-armed 12-year-olds and was simply trying to shoot his way out of danger. "A bunch of 12-year-olds surrounded Justin inside the laser tag maze and started shooting at him," said Zack Taylor. "Like any other kid playing laser tag, he bolted right through the laser tag area and accidentally hit one of [his assailants] in the face."
Given Bieber's reputation as a dancer, one would think he could have slipped through such a gauntlet more gracefully, but fear must have played a role. I guess it is hard to say how any of us would react to being surrounded by laser-armed 12-year-olds. I'd probably just start punching them in the face, but then I don't have Bieber's skills.
Another source relayed reports that Bieber was being taunted or jeered, and that this may have started an "altercation" of some kind, which makes it seem less accidental. But the exact scope of Bieber's role is still being, well, probed.
"There is an active investigation," said Corporal Annie Linteau of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. "We are in the process of interviewing a number of people [who] saw what might have happened." I guess those Chilean miners have had their 15 minutes of fame, and now we are on to the next gripping drama.