While scrolling through twitter this morning I came across some very disturbing news: Justin Bieber’s monkey is in quarantine in Germany. Apparently the singer did not have the proper documentation for his pet capuchin and German customs officials would not let him bring the animal into the country. This raised three questions in my mind:

  1. Why does Justin Bieber even have a monkey?
  2. Why does he, or one of his many assistants, not have the proper documentation for this monkey?
  3. Why is the AP bothering to report this? 

I’m sure the AP’s answer to that question would involve explaining how Justin Bieber is an international celebrity and people want, and even demand, information about him. There would also be a strong undercurrent emphasizing how hard it is to continually report interesting, engaging, relevant news in a 24-hour news cycle. I don’t disagree with either of these arguments. Despite my personal feelings about Justin Bieber and his music, he is an incredibly successful artist who is internationally known. Also, as a journalist, I understand the necessity of the 24-hour news cycle in our increasingly globalized world, but also the pressure it puts on journalists and news outlets. However, I still think it is ridiculous for a wire organization of the stature of the Associated Press to report on something as insignificant as the immigration limbo Justin Bieber is currently subjecting his poor monkey too. The audience who would be interested in this news, the mostly preteen girls who compulsively stalk Bieber online, is not the same audience who gets their news from the AP and the audience who gets their news from the AP are probably not interested by the ill fated adventures of celebrity monkeys. There is also more than enough legitimate news content to satisfy the demands of the 24-hours news cycle. On the day this story ran:

And with all this, and much more, happening in this fascinating world of ours, the AP included Justin Bieber’s monkey in its reporting for the day. I hope to one day live in a world where the travel status of celebrity monkeys is of actual relevance. But right now we’re just not there. There is still real news to be reported, and there are a great number of people, and news organizations, who depend on wire services like the AP to do that reporting. I don’t often say this about the Associated Press, but I am not impressed. 

5 thoughts on “Germany

  1. i quite agree! Couldn’t have said it better. Though, I do wonder why no one is making the obvious connection with the questions that must follow… What other celebrity owned a monkey and what other similarities might we observe between the two in the future?

    But my main point in writing a reply is a question: Why exactly are 24 hr news reports necessary in a globalized world? No one has the time to actually watch all of it anyway and the minute news updates that we chose to observe, are available through our mobile devices on demand. That’s what I think anyway. I’d be interested in learning your professional reasoning on the matter!

    1. That is a really good point. All of us pick and choose what news stories to read or reports to listen to or watch based on how much time we have and what our interests are. And a lot of people are getting their news from tablets or smartphones now, rather than newspapers, the radio, tv, etc. I think the main reason a 24-hour news cycle is necessary in an interconnected, globalized world is because of the pace of breaking news. Or maybe timing is a better word. For example, when important economic or political decisions are being made in Germany, most Americans are asleep or are just waking up. If the Asian stock markets crash, most of Europe and Africa are going to be asleep when it happens. Since the world is so intimately connected, these events–wherever they take place–effect millions of people simultaneously. Even though I’m an American, I would be effected if the eruozone were to collapse. Just as members of the eruozone would be effected if the American economy collapsed again. Even though I might not be awake when some important economic decision is made in Brussels, as soon as it is passed that decision starts to effect me, and everyone else. The stock market could fluctuate, there could be a bank run, etc. Someone needs to be reporting on these events, all the time, so people everywhere have access to the news and information that is important to them.

      I hope that helped clear up my position on the 24-hour news cycle! And that’s a good point about the previous monkey owner…perhaps a downhill slide is in Bieber’s future!

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