Yes, you read that headline correctly. According to Newsday, Senior Vice President for Island Def Jam records, James A. Roppo, refused to Tweet after a mall in Long Island, New York City filled up with fans and got a little unruly, though the cell phone video footage shot from inside the crowd looks incredibly boring. Even though the artist they all lined up to see, some Canadian “Tween” sensation I’ve never heard of called Justin Bieber, sent out two Tweets asking them to leave and saying the event was canceled, Roppo was taken into custody pending charges that may include criminal nuisance, endangering the welfare of a minor and obstructing government administration.
That’s just dandy on a variety of levels. First off, why would a record executive want to hamper the publicity a bunch of fans rushing a mall “Dawn of the Dead style ” creates? They wouldn’t. Secondly, as the case develops, I’ll be curious to see if it actually is a crime not to Tweet. If they had asked the executive to come down and verbally tell fans to go away or to phone in and tell fans to go away over a loudspeaker and he had refused, would that also be a crime? Is it a record executive’s responsibility to control and police the fans of their artists? Do enough people have phones with the Twitter application to make this a viable form of information dispersal in a chaotically mobile environment? The entire thing just smells fishy, and that’s not a Long Island joke.
According to Newsday.com: “An album signing scheduled Friday for teen sensation Justin Bieber at Roosevelt Field mall was canceled because a crowd of 3,000 young girls and their parents started aggressively pushing and shoving, police said.” I know that I find the prospect of teenage girls en masse to be truly terrifying and definitely worthy of the thirty-five police units who were called in to control the scene. Certainly their time might be better spent, I don’t know, finding criminals or patrolling or something.
I suppose, logistically, if 35 police units can’t control teenage girls, you have to find someone to scapegoat, right?