Monday, May 11, 2009

It's all up to the Donald

Well today's press conference will lead to tomorrow's press conference:

Officials of the Miss California USA pageant strongly criticized some of the actions of titleholder Carrie Prejean on Monday but said it's not their decision whether she should be stripped of her crown.

Co-executive directors Keith Lewis and Shanna Moakler told a press conference that only Miss USA pageant owner Donald Trump can make that decision. He plans to hold a press conference at 11 a.m. Tuesday in New York City.

The officials said Prejean has been "unavailable" and so in the meantime they have appointed the state pageant's runner-up, Tami Farrell, as a "Beauty of California Ambassador" to fulfill any duties the winner normally would handle.

Lewis said that if Trump allows Prejean to retain her crown, state pageant officials would welcome her back and encourage her to take part in her normal duties.

"We're still going to be able to fulfill our duties no matter if Mr. Trump offers a second chance or utters his famous line from `The Apprentice,'" Lewis said (meaning, of course, "You're fired").

Prejean, 21, of San Diego, created controversy during the Miss USA pageant when she answered a judge's question by saying she believes marriage should only be between a man and a woman.

The state pageant has been investigating whether she violated her contract by making public appearances with groups opposed to same-sex marriage. Prejean also failed to reveal that she posed in her underwear as a teenager.

Personally I think that Donald will be a nice guy and allow Prejean to keep her crown. And I hope he does, with a strong admoninition that the crusade against same-sex marriage is not a part of her duties as Miss California. If she refuses, then get rid of her. Many may want Prejean to lose her title but for her to lose it now takes attention off of the fact that it was her actions, not words, that forced the situation to this point. By giving her a chance to conduct herself in a better fashion, Trump would help to remove the "she is being persecuted because of her beliefs" factoid.

For now, that factoid is being milked to its fullest extent by religious right groups.

And why not? It generates a lot of controversy and no doubt it's a good fundraising tool for the religious right. Who cares if she has broken her contract and have been derelict in her duties as Ms. California? Why let a good angle be spoiled by truth.

But something bothers me

I keep hearing that "the left" is trying to destroy Prejean. Just who are these people on "the left" who are trying to allegedly destroy Prejean?

Of course the lgbt community is angry at Prejean's comments but it's too much of a generalization to call all lgbts members of the left.

Perez Hilton? Come on now. The man draws doodles on pictures of celebrities.

TMZ? Please. It's a celebrity sheet and Prejean is a celebrity. The only plan TMZ has is to make money.

Prejean's situation illustrates the laziness of American culture. My journalism professors always told me to look deeper when looking at issues. But it seems that many in the media haven't gotten the same instructions. It's easier and sexier to talk about how "the left" or "the right" is after someone; to make false generalizations instead of exposing complex truths. It's easier to hire a pundit to tell people what they want to hear rather than what they need to hear.

Basically it all comes down to cotton candy journalism - it's sweet and tasty but melts before you know it. Then all you are left with is hard gummy junk that you can't get rid of.

And speaking of religious right groups - Miss California Director Indicts Maggie Gallagher

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Monday midday news briefs

Man, this is a slow news day. I guess everyone is resting before THE PRESS CONFERENCE

Harry Jackson: Carpetbagger? - You mean Harry Jackson is being deceptive about his place of residency when he attacks same sex partnership in DC? I'm shocked.

Boycotted hotel gives gays gigs - Trying to get back in lgbts' good graces.

New ads from Cali. rights group - In anticipation for the possible Proposition 8 challenge loss, send that sucker back to the voters!

Maine Bishop Richard Malone: "Same Sex Marriage is Dangerous" - No Catholic priests jokes!

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Wanda and Carrie makes the beginnings of a wild week

Today I am at home because of a bizarre agreement in the SC Legislature. In order to pass a holiday commemorating Martin Luther King Jr., legislators also agreed to pass a holiday commemorating the Confederacy.

This is that day - Confederate Memorial Day. While I'm not necessarily cottoning a holiday honoring the Confederacy, the pragmatist in me says "shut up and enjoy a day off from work."

So the pragmatist wins.

Anyway, Wanda Sykes, who has still yet to make the cover of the Advocate magazine, killed this weekend at the White House Correspodents Dinner. While some may not have liked what she said about Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh, and Sean Hannity, I say deal with it. It was funny.

And yes I am saying that partly because I am biased. It was a great moment in gay and black history because Sykes was the first openly gay person to be the featured entertainer at this dinner.

Now in the territory of "God won't this thing just end," Miss California Carrie Prejean will probably lose her crown today:

Miss California USA co-directors Shannon Moakler and Keith Lewis are to hold a news conference in Beverly Hills today, presumably to discuss the controversy surrounding Prejean. While Prejean is not on the list of expected attendees, Tami Farrell, the first runner up to Miss California USA 2009, is.

. . . Prejean came under further scrutiny last week after semi-nude photos of her purportedly taken when she was a teenager emerged. Her contract contains a clause that asks participants whether they have conducted themselves "in accordance with the highest ethical and moral standards." For example, it asks if they have ever been photographed nude or partially nude.

. . . The beauty queen may also have violated her contract by working for a group that opposes gay marriage and making publicly speaking out against it. Last week, pageant officials said they were looking into whether Prejean violated the 12-page contract all contestants are required to sign before the November state contest.

The document prohibits whoever holds the title of Miss California from making personal appearances, granting interviews or making commercials without permission from pageant officials and gives the pageant's directors the right to revoke her crown for breaching any of the document's provisions.

If pageant officials decide to strip Prejean of her crown, they had better make damnmed sure that they have their reasons out there and clearly articulated.

Maggie Gallagher and NOM are just chomping at the bit right now. I bet they have already created the new commercial featuring Prejean as the new St. Catherine on the wheel.

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