Miss USA pageant a sad reminder of PC gone wild

Posted on April 21, 2009

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Last night, the Miss USA pageant turned ugly when one of the judges, celebrity fluff-blogger Perez Hilton, asked of Miss California, “Vermont recently became the fourth state to legalise same-sex marriage. Do you think every state should follow suit? Why or why not?”

Miss California Carrie Prejean responded, “Well I think it’s great that Americans are able to choose one way or the other. We live in a land where you can choose same-sex marriage or opposite marriage. You know what, in my country, in my family, I do believe that marriage should be between a man and a woman, no offence to anybody out there. But that’s how I was raised and I believe that it should be between a man and a woman. Thank you.” (Hot Air has the video.)

Not terribly impressive, but at the same time, not that big of a deal, right? Wrong. The sleazeball Hilton, who apparently got the gig out of some sort of misplaced sympathy,  while thumping his cyber-chest, slammed her answer on his widely read celebrity fluff blog as the “worst answer in pageant history” and said she lost, “not because she opposed gay marriage, but because she’s a stupid bitch!” He later doubled down on his disgusting behavior by retracting an apology and saying he was really wanting to call her the “c-word.”

(A quick refresher to Mr. Hilton: This is probably the worst answer in pageant history. And, in my own opinion, I heard way more cheers than boos for Miss California’s answer.)

A couple things: I could not normally care less about beauty pageants as I consider them vapid excersises in popularity for people who can’t get over high school. And I fully realize that this is just a minor blip in the MTV/VH1/People/Us Weekly parade of celebrity non-issues that are waved in front of our noses at the supermarket and in the breakroom as if they matter in the slightest. That being said, this episode bothers me. The main reason doesn’t have to do with gay marriage, homophobia, or any of the other reasons you might think of. I’m bothered because this has to do with a politically loaded question being asked and when an appropriate answer isn’t given, it’s full-on smear time. And the problem has been multipled one-thousand-fold because the story and its discussion is racing across the Internet, the blogosphere, and cable news, and when Mr. Hilton is being interviewed on Larry King over the episode, you know it’s gotten to ridiculous levels.

Whatever your views on gay marriage, it bothers me that someone can’t express a view that’s not for it in a fairly non-offensive manner without vulgar name-calling and silence from the host. And I submit to you that Miss California’s view isn’t really a fringe opinion, that view of marriage consisting of a man and a woman, but allowing that you can disagree in this great country (and she didn’t “denounce it” or say a “slur” as I’ve seen on high-level news sites). On a wider level, it bothers me that political correctness has taken such a foothold in this country such that any manner of disagreement on social issues draws labels and accusations. Can we have an honest discussion in this country on anything without being called “racist”, “homophobic”, “bigoted”, and so on? In the world of the mainstream media and pop culture, I’m beginning to think not. A narrative has been established, and if you hold an opinion on one issue, guess what? You neatly fall into a category that we’ve set for you.

The saddest part is that Mr. Hilton will undoubtedly get his wish of further traffic to his overrated blog to massage his ego (indicating underlying psychological problems I won’t delve into), and Ms. Prejean will still be the nationally smeared loser. It’s something that we ought consider when someone dares to question what is politically correct. The left spent the last eight years reminding us, sometimes quite rightly, that dissent should not be feared or ostracized. How quickly that lesson is forgotten.

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