I want to start by clearing one thing up. On Thursday's News Stream Kristie may have uttered the words "News Stream favorite" in conjunction with pint-sized pop star Justin Bieber. The clarification goes something like this: by "favorite" we meant someone whose Twitter antics cause us to raise our eyebrows, roll our eyes, and who we like to poke a little fun at (all in a good-natured way of course).
The thing is, Bieber - the boy, the micro-blogging phenomenon, the floppy hair - seems to be cropping up with alarming regularity on our program. Take Wednesday's "Over and Out There" segment for example. We were discussing the Twitter phenomenon #lessambitiousmovies, but how did we do it? By saying it was trending higher than Justin Bieber!
So today, there I was, prepping for our daily editorial meeting and guess which CNN blog caught my eye: Justin Bieber's New Year's resolutions. What could the boy-who-has-everything possibly wish for in 2011, I thought. Well apparently he has big plans. "This year, I mean, I hope that I win a Grammy, 'cause I'm up for two", the teen idol told MTV News.
So to the end of Thursday's News Stream. Our "Over and Out There" focused on a magazine that hits news-stands in New York today. The February edition of "Vanity Fair" contains an explosive portrait of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, complete with allegations of backroom bickering and legal wrangles.
But of course nobody is talking about that...because look who's on the front cover:
Yes, you guessed it, Justin Bieber.
He's now sweet sixteen, but from this image he would be lying if he said he has never been kissed (well that, and the rumors circulating about the time he's spending with Disney favorite Selena Gomez).
It will shock few of you I'm sure to discover that the Canadian singer considers himself to be extraordinary; he told Vanity Fair that he is not a normal teenager. Just one of the quotes we pulled out of the interview may give you something of that impression: "I'm crazy, I'm nuts". It seems Justin's also got quite a high opinion of his personal appearance, telling readers that it is not his music, but his looks that make him irresistible to girls. "I'm not trying to be arrogant...but maybe I'm good-looking, right?" he asks. Well, I leave that up to you to decide...
And so we return to another of the pop star's New Year's resolutions, and one that could have Bieber fans in floods of tears. Justin has threatened to chop his mop-top!
Is the world ready for a balder Bieber? Will he, like Samson, lose his strength when his luscious locks are cut? Only time will tell.
Moreover, could this mean the end of News Stream's love-hate relationship with Justin Bieber? In the words of the teen star himself, "never say never". With six million followers on Twitter, his online presence is sometimes difficult to ignore (even if I wish I had never laid eyes on his bare-chested profile picture).
For the record, my New Year's resolution is simply this: henceforth to leave the all mention of Justin to the "Beliebers" or even "True Beliebers". Or maybe just News Stream writer Nicol.
Catch News Stream with Kristie Lu Stout weekdays at 8pm HKT/ 12pm GMT / 8am ET on CNN International.