Online petition to deport Justin Bieber fails

Despite garnering 100,000 signatures, the petition to ask the White House to remove the Canadian heartthrob from the US gets a very political reply.

Chris Matyszczyk
2 min read

He looks surprised. HollywireTV/YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

The tension has been very difficult to manage.

A couple of times, I have resorted to a grenache and even a couple of sips of a frisky but subtle rose.

I couldn't truly bear the thought of the White House suddenly deciding that one of the century's most significant artistic performers might be removed from our shores. But it remained a possibility.

In January, 100,000 people signed a petition to appeal for the deportation of Canadian singer Justin Bieber.

Yes, he'd been involved in a few scrapes. But it's not as if he'd frozen traffic on the George Washington Bridge, been caught snogging with a woman who was not his wife, or received carnal favors in an inner sanctum of government.

However, the White House promised it would soon offer comment. On Friday, it did.

I'm not sure if you're ready for this -- can one ever be? -- but here's part of the White House statement, titled "Believing in Immigration." (Yes, not even "Beliebing in Immigration.")

The White House said: "Thanks for your petition and your participation in We the People. Sorry to disappoint, but we won't be commenting on this one."

Wait, but White House spokesman Jay Carney had promised that there would be comment. Since when was "no comment" a comment? Sadly, since time immemorial.

Still, the White House did try to explain: "The We the People terms of participation state that, 'to avoid the appearance of improper influence, the White House may decline to address certain procurement, law enforcement, adjudicatory, or similar matters properly within the jurisdiction of federal departments or agencies, federal courts, or state and local government in its response to a petition.'"

So it was all a waste of time?

Well, the White House did add, in part: "So we'll leave it to others to comment on Mr. Bieber's case, but we're glad you care about immigration issues. Because our current system is broken. Too many employers game the system by hiring undocumented workers, and 11 million people are living in the shadows."

In sum, the US government has turned Justin Bieber into a government issue.

Instead of either admitting that the nation cannot live without this fine artist or declaring that his various alleged misdemeanors bring shame to our shores, the White House has turned Bieber into a vehicle for its own politics.

I confess to feeling both relieved and robbed.

I had rather looked forward to a YouTube video of the president crooning a little Bieber, instead of Al Green.

At worst, I had hoped that the White House would declare itself on the appropriateness of relieving -- or should that be Believing? -- oneself in a restaurant mop bucket.

I admit to having been concerned. The Biebs had, at the time of the bucket incident, offered a few ill-chosen words about President Bill Clinton.

Still, Bubba The Teenage Love Sponge stays. And a million high-pitched voices will bathe Twitter in their joy.