But that didn’t stop a slew of gossip sites from People magazine to ABC News, Fox News, GossipCop, TMZ and dozens of copycat sites from reporting it as fact.
An TheImproper investigation, however, flushed that crap right out of the news cycle. This site reported two days ago that Bieber did not own a jet. We did what every other news site should have done–checked with Federal Aviation Administration.
All private planes and their owners must be registered with the federal agency and guess what, the registrations are public. Bieber’s name doesn’t turn up anywhere, not for a luxurious G6 or any other Gulfstream model.
Bieber got the hoax rolling by posting photos of himself inside the cabin of a private jet with the caption: “New jet for Christmas, and she’s beautiful.”
“Yes, I got a 14 passenger jet. Got to give them another reason to hate, but I will motivate the people that are ambitious and want to be winners in life. I am guilty!” said buddy Floyd Mayweather, welcoming Bieber to the “Private Jet Club.”
Mayweather was duped just like almost everyone else, likely touching off waves of envy among other celebrities, who aren’t crazy enough, or can’t afford, to buy a private jet.
As TheImproper reported, a private jet would cost $445,000 a year in crew costs, hanger fees, insurance and other miscellaneous costs. In addition, the plane would cost an additional $3,600 a hour to operate. Flying just 100 hours a year would cost about $771,000, an airplane broker told us.
That’s a tough nut even for someone like Bieber. It’s been reported that he’s worth $200 million and made $80 million last year, even though he hasn’t put out a new album in more than two years. In retrospect those numbers sound grossly inflated.
In any event, Bieber’s claim was reported as fact, and Google search results were flooded with fake news stories. CBS, the New York Daily News, UsMagazine, Gawker, the Daily Mail and a slew of cheesy, low-flying gossip sites contributed to the farce.
Today, TMZ appears to be the only site that tried to wipe the egg off its face. It reported that Justin only chartered the jet for a short hop from Canada to New York City.
Technically NOT a lie, claimed the site, in a bid to save face. But we beg to differ. He did not buy it. It was a lie. In fact, the jet pictured is a used G450 model. It’s for sale for $6 million, not $60 million as so many sites reported.
The story is a case study of why the media today is held in such low repute.
Google contributes to the problem because it views many of these outlets as “authority” sites.
In fact, the state of journalism is so sorry, even major media outlets don’t bother to check things out, anymore.
Incidentally, no other site, so far, has corrected its story, including GossipCop, which prides itself on “busting bad dish.” Except when the dish is its own. Smell the roses anyone?
Update: Since this article was published GossipCop has picked up the TMZ story. But no apology to readers, or even a mention of its own misleading story. Instead it insults its readers by hoping they have a short attention span. To add insult to injury, GossipCop cited Bieber’s supposed wealth and said he merely hadn’t bought a jet “yet.” We guess that makes the story “almost” true.