April 22, 2009

Carrie PreJean = Class Act: Perez Hilton = Jackass

Ms. Prejean acquits herself well here. She is poised, confident and unbowed. She was asked a loaded, hot political question at the Miss USA Pageant. A pageant for crying out loud. She had a choice to give the answer Perez Hilton wanted to hear, to give an answer that would not make people uncomfortable, to give an answer that would be safe, or to give an answer that was in accord with her own beliefs as a Christian. She chose to answer in accordance with her beliefs. She chose not to bow down and genuflect before Perez Hilton or answer in a way to curry favor with him just to win. My friend and fellow blogger at A Diva in Nascar Nation watched the pageant and says Ms. California had it in the bag until Hilton sandbagged her with the controversial question. I'm sure she knew when she gave the answer that it would cost her the crown. She did it anyway. I applaud her.

For Hilton, I have little more than contempt for his behavior. Calling her a b***ch because she has an opinion that he disagrees with, an opinion which he asked her to give. I'd say the majority of commenters to his site actually take issue with his behavior as well. Were I an advocate of gay marriage, I would feel that Hilton's actions here do nothing but bring discredit on those who advocate for it. His behavior and comments are completely lacking in class or taste. He used his position as judge in a nationally televised event to assert his ideas and pass judgment on the beliefs and politics of the contestant, not the quality of her answer. The second runner up, Miss Arizona, got that far with a totally nonsensical answer. The pageant sponsors, judges and directors should all be ashamed of the way Ms. Prejean was treated for answering honestly the question posed to her, a loaded question from a judge with a political and social agenda which he should not have been permitted to ask in the first instance. If the pageant is now going to require that the contestants meet the criterion that they have no conservative or traditional values, beliefs or opinions, they should just say so up front and save people the effort.

Ms. Prejean's answer may have cost her the crown, but not her integrity. She wins much more than she lost in the admiration and respect of people across the nation, on both sides of the issue who don't think she should have been penalized by the pageant for having traditional beliefs and values.