Pop sensation Justin Bieber has had it tough for the past week, what with the death of a paparazzo attempting to get Bieb photos getting hit by car and killed, then TMZ posting photos of the young pop star smoking on some dubious looking something that may or may not have been a blunt (a marijuana cigarette disguised in cigar or cigarillo fashion for public enjoyment). But that's a quick judgment derived from photos that just might be inaccurate.
TMZ reported Thursday (Jan. 4), along with the posted photos, that the pics were taken in a hotel room in Newport Beach the day after the paparazzo was killed. Although this looks bad in hindsight, especially since this was given as the reason the paparazzo, Chris Guerra, was taking photos of Bieber's Ferrari in the first place (to try and catch the Biebs toking up), it by no means is an indictment. Nor is it proof that Bieber was smoking marijuana in blunt form. ("Blunt" is slang for the packing of pot into a hollowed out cigar, although cigar-colored rolling papers can also be purchased at most gas stations.)
But sources told TMZ that Lil Twist, the rapper who was driving Bieber's car that the paparazzo took photos of, and his brother were at the hotel party rolling the blunts. Bieber and several others didn't seem to be shy about partaking of the brothers' largesse.
Here's the defense: Cigarillos and cheroots are smaller in diameter than regular cigars, with cheroots ranging somewhere in the middle between cigars and cigarettes. Cigarillos are often about the same diameter as a cigarette and have a darker outer wrapping, much like what looks like a blunt in the Bieber photos.
Also: Whoever took the photos knew exactly what the party looks like. It wouldn't be difficult to sell those types of photos to an interested party -- say, TMZ -- for a large amount of money. Add in some anonymous sources, plus the photo-taker's assurances that what looks like what was going on was exactly what was going on and... sale made.
And then there is the fact that security was apparently present during the event. Yet, nobody moved to stop the underaged "Baby" singer from engaging in the illegal activity, nor did they seem to mind the photos being taken (which gives speculators reason to push the idea that such "damaging" photos were simply a plant by Bieber and his reps to try and dispel the pristine "good boy" reputation the celebrity has cultivated in his rise to fame).
But in the end, there was no "maybe."
Instead of using full-on plausible deniability, Bieber all but admitted to what he was being accused of -- allegedly smoking pot -- without actually admitting to doing anything at all. He took to his Twitter account the following day after the TMZ article was posted online.
"everyday growing and learning," Bieber wrote. "trying to be better. u get knocked down, u get up."
It wasn't really an admission to anything, but it certainly wasn't covering or denying, either.
He followed with: "back on tour tomorrow. ready to see u all smile. time to do what im supposed to be doing. performing. #BELIEVEtour"
So he's "trying to do better" and insists he will "do what [he is] supposed to be doing." All in all, it looks like Justin Bieber was caught out doing something he shouldn't have been doing. But, then, looks can be deceiving. And rather than go for obfuscation and deny his activities, he chose to merely move beyond it all.
But does it mean he was smoking pot? Conclusively speaking, no. Does it mean he wasn't? Again, technically speaking, no.
But he admits to doing wrong, just not what it was he has done that was wrong. But haven't we all?
And those sources? People will say just about anything for money. And a scandal involving Justin Bieber adds up to dollar signs.
But it doesn't mean they were lying, either...