Bieber DUI Trumps Government Surveillance Scandal In MSNBC News Coverage

So if you’ve been hanging around the internet in the years since 2009, you may have heard of someone called Justin Bieber. He’s sort of big these days. So big in fact that when Justin was arrested (OMG, he got arrested?) for drunk driving yesterday, the news apparently eclipsed even political commentary in the US.

Justin Bieber Mugshot
Justin Bieber was arrested yesterday. He looked remarkably chipper in his mugshot.

At least that’s the impression created by the media coverage of Bieber’s case and particularly one blunder made by MSNBC yesterday. The internet erupted in outrage after an MSNBC anchor interrupted Congresswoman Jane Harmon in the middle of a discussion about a government task force's recommendation that the NSA stop collecting phone records on the news network. The matter of privacy rights was deemed less important than a pop star’s DUI charge however.

"Congresswoman Harman, let me interrupt you just for a moment we've got some breaking news out of Miami, stand by if you will," host Andrea Mitchell said. "Right now in Miami Justin Bieber has been arrested on a number of charges."

Watch a video of the coverage below:

This week, The Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board called to President Obama to stop the unrestricted collection of personal data by the NSA and purge the agency’s back catalog of collected phone records. It is only the latest development in a scandal that erupted last year after Edward Snowden leaked information about several global surveillance operations run by the NSA to major media outlets like The Guardian and The Washington Post.

Meanwhile, the nation’s attention was directed towards Florida, where Bieber was arrested at the wheel of a yellow Lamborghini. He has been charged with driving under the influence, driving with an expired licence and resisting arrest "without violence" and could face up to six months in jail.

Justin Bieber, Police Mugshot
Bieber's mishaps still hold the world's attention.


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