We might all enjoy becoming as great a media figure as Justin Bieber has, but then again we might not. The 18-year-old puts up with baby-scams, in-your-face paparazzi and, as he did recently, radio disc jockeys who hunger for a controversial interview.
The most recent radio jock seeking an interview that would create headlines is a guy named Mojo, a.k.a. Thomas Carballo, who has a Detroit radio show called 'Mojo in the Morning'. The interview was replete with issues and the show's broadcaster, 'Clear Chanel' has suspended Mojo, though according to a tweet from Mojo himself, it's not clear for how long nor precisely why the suspension occurred.
Bieber and Timberlake comparison
The interview began well enough but before long, Mojo said that Bieber's voice on his new album 'Believe' sounded just like Justin Timberlake. "Man, that's crazy 'cause our voices sound nothing alike. I mean, I'm not trying to sound like anyone," Bieber responded. "Saying I sound like someone else is not really a compliment. I think if you were to say 'I heard some Justin Timberlake-esque things in your sound', I would take that as a compliment."
That wasn't as difficult an exchange as one that followed minutes later. Carballo decided to bring Bieber's mother into the conversation, suggesting that because Bieber was friends with boy band 'One Direction' he might be concerned about member Harry Styles, who reportedly has a thing for older women, hitting on his, Bieber's, mom. Bieber answered civilly but ended with a pretty firm boundary.
"I mean, definitely somewhat (on being friends with 'One Direction'). They were in town a while ago and they came over and stuff, but, yeah, they're good kids," he told Carballo, soon after adding the DJ shouldn't worry about his mother. "Worry about your mom, bro," he said.
Here Carballo decided to tell Bieber his Mom was dead. "Worry about my Mom?" Carbello asked. "Justin, my mom's dead, unfortunately, so it wouldn't work." It was not certain whether that is true, but it shocked Bieber. Did he feel bad for bringing up the interviewer's dead mother, and had no way of dealing with that? It certainly put the young singer in an awkward position and his response was to hang up. End of interview.
Mojo in the Morning: childish patter
The DJ and two others he does the show with later talked about the incident and it was clear they thought it was funny, laughing child-like throughout their description, including the part about Carballo's mother being deceased. Carballo trashed Bieber, suggesting the hang up indicated he was changing and taking himself too seriously. Since the hang up, Crystal Bell of the Huffington Post, and other media, have made similar comments about the Canadian singer.
But how do you respond to someone who seems to be having fun with you over the death of their mother? You're having a talk on music and suddenly your living mother and their dead mother are brought into the conversation in a shocking, tasteless and mocking manner. Not cool, not funny, not a thing wrong with Bieber's response.
So Justin Bieber had to contend with the interview, and subsequently with a backlash which suggests he was being a spoiled star. Which brings us back to the top of this - we might all enjoy becoming as great a media figure as Justin Bieber has, but then again we might not.