Justin Bieber, TMZ, and Bad Journalism: Why It Matters That TMZ Suppressed the Racist Bieber Tape



Gawker ran a fascinating tidbit of news this week related to the ongoing Justin-Bieber-racist-video feeding frenzy. Almost lost in all the “OMG IS BIEBER RACIST” stuff was the fact that TMZ has had the tape for years, something confirmed by TMZ themselves over the weekend: “[We] got this video 4 years ago but we decided not to post it… in large part because he was 15 and immediately told his friends what he did was stupid.” Not so, says Gawker — in fact, the reason TMZ didn’t publish is because they decided “to hold [the video] over Bieber and his team’s heads in exchange for appearances on TMZ’s media properties and cooperation with stories.”

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