Perhaps the most recognized contemporary name in the world spent time in a Netherlands museum Friday, but it wasn’t until Sunday morning that the world took a strangely jaded look at what he noted in an otherwise overlooked guest book.
Exhibiting some of the worst actions in humanity, but more importantly, the best a human can be, Anne Frank House stands as a shrine to Anne Frank’s captive life, her wildly compelling and wrenching life story, and ultimately, the Holocaust in whole.
According to the Amsterdam museum, Justin Bieber spent more than an hour in the eponymous house dedicated to one of the 20th century’s most globally recognized names.
With fans “waiting outside to see a glimpse of him,” Bieber “stayed more than an hour in the museum,” Anne Frank House staff wrote to their then-modest Facebook following Saturday.
Apparently filled with hope by Anne Frank’s life, the megastar had taken a moment to write and record his seemingly private reflective on the visit in the book.
In appreciative words to the girl who wrote her way into history with no idea they would ever see the light of a day — much less the eyes of a modern-day world celebrities — Bieber scrawled a note in an otherwise rarely seen book, relative to those who even know the house and guest book even exist:
“Truly inspiring to be able to come here. Anne was a great girl. Hopefully she would have been a belieber.”
Certainly, he knew whatever he wrote there could be shared with a ravenous audience — the man can’t walk out a door without a photograph being snapped — but is it not a stretch to think that Justin Bieber wrote that note with merely thought in his head of hoping Anne Frank, a teenage girl then, would have approved of and liked him and been a fan — a Belieber?
Taken out of its context and distorted and somehow made to be seem an assured belief, much like the Associated Press original headline and lede copy slicing quotation to only ‘would have been a belieber’, sans ‘hopefully she’:
It would then seem Justin Bieber was conceited and more than overassessed that one of the world’s most loved names would have automatically been a teenage fan in the megaclique of his fans known as the Beliebers.
Apparently taking note of the full context of his words, an editor at the Kansas Star posted the AP story online after taking a moment to add ‘hopes she’ into their headline for the AP story: ‘Justin Bieber visits Anne Frank House, hopes she ‘would have been a Belieber”
Suddenly, Justin Bieber was reportedly assured the beloved Anne Frank
But the onus of context didn’t lie solely with the AP. They are just the torchbearer informing a great mass of the populace.
The injustice to the context of the story came with an assist from publications like TMZ — widely followed by the types who idolize Justin Bieber — which project pithy assessments while being journalistically bla bla with the story, posting gems such as:
And those which stretched the quote in the opposite direction, such as Haaretz posting — no hope, but full assurance:
Then the reality behind Justin Bieber’s words came flowing…
If noted, the post on the Anne Frank House Facebook that came before the Bieber post, before the uproar, stated in part:
“Like many girls, Anne decorates her bedroom wall with pictures. These reflect her interests as she grows up. At the beginning of the hiding period, she is particularly fond of film stars.”
Could it be that Bieber went into that museum, and as he left, he wrote something with an understanding of her love for celebrities. Could it be that he hoped, since he was a celebrity, too, this amazing girl might have found in him a celebrity to like. Could he be thinking back and reflecting that he may have been an inspiration to her in her time?
As BuzzFeed’s Hunter Schwarz reported Sunday:
“During Bieber’s tour, a guide pointed out that Frank was a fan of pop culture and she might have been a fan of his. Abraham Foxman, the national director of the Anti-Defamation League, said Anne Frank was a fan of celebrities and pop culture and doesn’t have a problem with what Bieber wrote in the guestbook.”
“He was very interested in (Anne Frank’s) story,” Maatje Mostart told the New York Daily News on Sunday. “It’s great that he’s been here, and we hope a lot of his fans will want to read about Anne Frank” — a sentiment that will overarch the story of venom directed at him:
Justin Bieber left note in a guest book that the world really never would have even seen had the staff of the Anne Frank House not posted it to their Facebook and surely someone pointed out to someone with an audience’s ear.
As @annaholligan tweeted, “manager confirmed that only staff had access to their FB page & JB visited after closing last night.”
So where did and do our accusations of self-aggrandizing self-promotion and self-assurance come in relation to Justin Bieber’s note?
Underlying the uproar and disdain for Justin Bieber runs an undercurrent of misinformation and prejudice — misinformed on what he actually put down and a prejudice for the boywunder that is such an easy target for witty jokes, especially when your pet monkey is taken away by German security.
The appearance of an overly spoiled brat is often there for Justin Bieber, and episodes of lashing out at media, while being held back by a body guard, don’t help. And the monkey still being in monkey lock-up don’t help.
But here, it seems that the boy-diva we project on him was — at least for a bit over an hour in the shadow of Anne Frank — off.
If we take away what we think Justin Bieber is and look at the whole story, we see the small Canadian boy, who may have first learned of her life in school, just taking time unrequited time to appreciate the terrible yet beautiful life of Anne Frank.